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Bible Commentaries

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Acts 12

Verses 1-25

Again persecution broke out in Jerusalem, and the first of the apostolic band suffered martyrdom at the hands of Herod. A revealing sentence concerning Herod is that which declares that when "he saw that it [the killing of James] pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also." This, however, was not permitted by the divine overruling. The prayer of the assembled Church was heard and answered. It may remain to us a perplexing question why James was slain and Peter delivered. There is no explanation. Nevertheless, the revelation of the facts is reassuring. That God delivered Peter proves His power to have delivered James. That He did not deliver James proves that the death of James was also within the compass of His will, and we know that in the great Unveiling all will be seen to have been right.

There is something very graphic in the contrast between the opposing forces which is incidentally revealed. Baffled, angry, conceited, Herod went to Caesarea. There a popular demonstration proclaimed him a god. He did not refuse the description and was smitten. Now notice carefully the statement which follows, and which is introduced by the word "But," which suggests a contrast. "The Word of God grew and multiplied." So has it been through all the centuries. Sooner or later, those who have opposed the Christ have been swept aside, while the march of the triumphant Word has never ceased for a moment.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Acts 12". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/acts-12.html. 1857-84.