12:1 Now 1 about that time a Herod the king stretched forth [his] hands to vex certain of the church.
(1) God gives his Church peace only for a short
(a) This name Herod was common to all those that
come from the stock of Herod Ascalonites, whose surname was Magnus: but he
that is spoken of here was nephew to Herod the great, son to Aristobulus, and
father to the Agrippa who is spoken of afterwards.
12:2 And he b
killed James the brother of John with the sword.
(b) Violently, his cause not being heard at all.
12:3 2 And
because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.
(Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
(2) It is an old habit of tyrants to attain the
favour of the wicked, with the blood of the godly.
12:4 3 And
when he had apprehended him, he put [him] in prison, and delivered [him] to four
quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth
to the people.
(3) The tyrants and wicked make a gallows for
themselves even then when they do most according to their own will and
12:5 4 Peter
therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church
unto God for him.
(4) The prayers of the godly overturn the counsel
of tyrants, obtain angels from God, break the prison, unloose the chains, put
Satan to flight, and preserve the Church.
12:7 And, behold, the angel of
the Lord came upon [him], and a light shined in the c
prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up
quickly. And his chains fell off from [his] hands.
(c) Literally, "habitation"; (Ed.).
5 And when he had considered [the
thing], he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark;
where many were gathered together praying.
(5) Holy meetings in the nights of both men and
women (when they cannot take place in the day time) are allowable by the
example of the apostles.
12:13 6 And
as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel d
came to hearken, named Rhoda.
(6) We obtain more from God than we dare well
(d) Out of the place where they were assembled,
but not out of the house.
7 But he, beckoning unto them with the
hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of
the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren.
And he departed, and went into another place.
(7) We may sometimes give place to the rage of
the wicked, but yet only in such a way that our diligence which ought to be
used in God's business does not slacken in the least.
12:18 8 Now
as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was
become of Peter.
(8) Evil counsel in the end results in the hurt
of those who devised it.
And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with
one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their
friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's
(9) A miserable and shameful example of what
happens to the enemies of the Church.
And the people gave a shout, [saying, It is] the voice of a god, and not of a
(10) The flattery of people makes fools glad.
And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he e
gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
(11) God resists the proud.
(e) Josephus records that this king did not
repress the flatterer's tongues, and therefore at his death he complained
and cried out about their empty praise.
But the s word of God grew and
(12) Tyrants build up the Church by destroying
(s) Those that heard the word of God.