1 It was about this time that King Herod started persecuting certain members of the church.
2 He had James the brother of John beheaded,
3 and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he went on to arrest Peter as well.
4 As it was during the days of Unleavened Bread that he had arrested him, he put him in prison, assigning four sections of four soldiers each to guard him, meaning to try him in public after the Passover.
5 All the time Peter was under guard the church prayed to God for him unremittingly.
6 On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison.
7 Then suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said, ‘Hurry!’ — and the chains fell from his hands.
8 The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’
9 He followed him out, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision.
10 They passed through the first guard post and then the second and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him.
11 It was only then that Peter came to himself. And he said, ‘Now I know it is all true. TheLord really did send his angel and save me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.’