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Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Acts 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1 ) "Now about that time," (kat’ ekeion de ton kairon) "Then about that time," about that season, that period of time when the famine came to Judea.

2) "Herod the king stretched forth his hands," (epebalon Herodes ho baseleus tas cheiras) "Herod the king laid on his hands," used his power with harsh intent; This was Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great, Matthew 2:1. He was a strict observer of the Law, popular with the Jews, Acts 12:21. Herod Agrippa II, to whom Paul preached was his son, Acts 26:27.

3) "To vex certain of the church," (kakosai tinaston apo tes ekklesias) "To do evil toward or ill-treat or persecute some of those from the church," Matthew 5:11-12; 2 Timothy 3:12.

Verse 2

1) "And he killed James," (aneilen de lakolon) "And he caused James to be killed," or he killed James, directed that he be put to death. This is the elder brother of John who wrote the gospel of John, the three general epistles, 1, 2, 3 John, and book of Revelation. Our Lord referred to the death of this James when He spoke the words of Matthew 20:20-23. James is the only one of the twelve apostles of whose death we have an inspired record.

2) "The brother of John with the sword," (ton adelphon loannou machaire) "Who was the elder brother of John, the son of Zebedee, with a sword," by beheading, Matthew 4:21; Matthew 10:2; Mark 1:19.

Verse 3

1) "And because he saw it pleased the Jews," (idom de hoti areston estin tois loudaiois) "Then seeing (observing) that it was pleasing to the Jews," to those who had betrayed, rejected, and condemned the Lord Jesus Christ to death, to be crucified, Matthew 16:21; Matthew 20:18-19; Matthew 27:1-12; Acts 2:22-23; Acts 2:36; Acts 3:13-15; Acts 4:10-11; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15. Seven times it is specifically recounted that the Jews killed Jesus, John 1:11-12.

2) "He proceeded further to take Peter also," (prosetheto sullabein kai Petron) "He added to his evil treatment (orders) to arrest, or legally detain for imprisonment, Peter as well," to gain the political plaudits and popularity of the masses of Christ-rejecting and church hating Jews, much as the Jews in Jerusalem had formerly done, Acts 4:1-3; Acts 5:18-19; Acts 5:26-34; Acts 5:40-42.

3) "(Then were the days of unleavened bread.)," (hesan de hemeria ton azumon) "Then they were days of the unleavened bread," the Passover among the Jews, also referred to as Easter, Exodus 12:14-15; Exodus 23:15. This Herod, like Pilate, "loved the praise of men, more than of God," John 12:42-43; Luke 23:8-24; Matthew 27:15-26.

Verse 4

1) "And when he had apprehended him," (hon kai pisas) "Whom also seizing," detaining by arrest, for imprisonment, completed his orderly arrest, as they later did Paul in Damascus, 2 Corinthians 11:32; Acts 9:24-25.

2) "He put him in prison," (etheto eis phulaken) "He placed him (caused him to be placed) in prison, or in confinement, as a law breaker, a breaker of Jewish law, though it had been finished, fulfilled, taken out of the way, nailed to the cross, Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 16:16; Luke 24:44-45; John 19:30; Colossians 2:14-17.

3) "And delivered him to four quarternions of soldiers to keep," (paradous tessarsin tetradiois stratioton phulassein auton) "Giving him over to four quarternions of soldiers to guard," around the clock; each quarternion had four, making 16 soldiers who guarded him as if he were an high order capital crime law breaker.

4) "Intending after Easter," (boulomenos meta de pascha) "Holding in mind or intending after the Passover;- Here only in the scripture is it translated Easter.

5) "To bring him forth to the people," (anagagein auton to lao) "To bring him up (parade him up) to the people," to lead him up from prison before the people by a chain, as a criminal, an object of derision, for a mock, farcical trial and execution, that the Jews might be also gratified at his death, for they had murder in their hearts, John 8:44.

Verse 5

Effective Prayer of the Church, Peter Released from Prison by an Angel, V. 5-19

1) "Peter therefore was kept in prison:" (ho men oun etereito en te phulake) "Peter, in consideration of such, was therefore guarded in the prison place," by the 16 soldiers mentioned Acts 12:4. The high security was likely required to try to avoid what happened the previous time he was put in prison, when released by the angel of the Lord, Acts 5:18-19.

2) But prayer was made without ceasing," (proseuche de hen ektenos ginomene) "Yet prayer was earnestly being offered," continually made, without interruption, as admonished by our Lord, Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; "Always to pray," "not to faint," to "pray without ceasing," Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:7.

3) "Of the church unto God for him," (hupo tes ekkiesias pros ton theon peri autou) "By the church, to God, concerning him," his detainment and demeaning treatment at the hand of Herod, and even perhaps for his release. And their "righteous prayers availed much," as the narrative later discloses, James 5:16. Great blessings come thru united prayer of "one accord," such as the church company had engaged in for ten days before Pentecost when the power of God came down and such as followed Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:41-47.

Verse 6

1) "And when Herod would have brought him forth," (hote de emellen peoagagein auton ho Herodes) "Then when Herod was about to lead (cause him to be led) forward," out and up before the public, with a chain on him, as a criminal to be tried and put to death, for it was for this purpose, to please the Jews, that he had taken him, Acts 12:4.

2) "The same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers," (te nukti ekeine hen ho Petros koimomenos metaksu duo stratioton) "In that very night before the trial Peter was sleeping between two soldiers," two of the four who were his guards that night, at that watch. Peter slept in prayer before his trial, while Paul and Silas sang and prayed, 1 Peter 5:7; Psalms 127:2; Acts 16:19-34.

3) "Bound with two chains," (dedemenos halusesin dusin) "Having been (and being) bound with two chains," one to each hand of the prisoner and then to one hand of each of the prison guards sleeping near him on each side. Such was the manner of binding one in security of the prison.

4) "And the keepers before the door kept the prison," (phulakes t ’ e pro tes thuras eteroun ten phulaken) "And guards before the door were guarding the prison place," and the other two guards outside with the two sleeping on either side of Peter in the prison, made up the four of the quarternions of that night watch, Acts 16:23-24.

Verse 7

1) "And behold the angel of the Lord came upon him," (kai idou angelos kuriou epeste) "And behold an angel of (the) Lord came upon him," came upon Peter suddenly or in an instant, where he slept between the two soldiers. This was a liberating, delivering angel of help and hope, such as later appeared to Paul in a crisis hour, Acts 27:23-25.

2) "And a light shined in the prison:" (kai phos elampsen en eo oikimati) "And a light in the building chamber," alight of hope and deliverance to light the way out, came into the cell where Peter slept peacefully, having cast all his cares upon the Lord, 1 Peter 5:7. There is light and help and hope as good angels encamp around those who love God, Psalms 34:7.

3) "And he smote Peter on the side," (pataisas de ten pleuran tou Petrou) "Then striking the side of Peter," to arouse him, to awake him, indicating the sound and quiet sleep the Lord gave him in the midst of trial, Psalms 127:2; Psalms 127:4.

4) "And raised him up, saying," (egeiren auton legon) "He (the angel of the Lord) aroused him by lifting, saying," repeatedly, instructing him, as an angel from Gabriel’s band, Hebrews 1:14.

5) "Arise up quickly," (anasta en tachi) "Arise, stand up (get up) quickly," at once, for the "kings business requires haste," 1 Samuel 21:8.

Verse 8

1) "And the angel said unto him," (eipen de ho angelos pros auton) "Then the angel instructed or directed him," as Gabriel instructs servants of God, Daniel 8:15-19; Luke 1:11-22; Luke 1:26-35.

2) "Gird thyself and bind on thy sandals," (zosai kai hupodesai ta sandalia sou) "Gird or dress yourself with a girdle tightening and put on your sandals," for a journey, an escape from that prison and the power of the chains that held and enslaved him.

3) "And so he did," (epoiesen de houtos) "And he did so," did exactly that, what he was told, at once, in obedience to the angel, a messenger from God to minister to and deliver him that night, Psalms 34:7; Daniel 6:22; Hebrews 1:14.

4) "And he saith unto him," (kai legei auto) "And he (the angel) then instructed him further," step by step, as by the Spirit he obediently led him out of the prison cell or chamber, Romans 8:14.

5) "Cast thy garment about thee," (peribalou to himation soul "Throw your garment (wrap around garment) around you," the tunic loosely worn at night or laid aside, but bound tightly with a girdle around the waist for daily travel, not to hinder rapid movement.

6) "And follow me," (kai akolouthei moi) "And follow toward me," or follow me closely, as if I were the Lord, even as Paul morally, ethically, and doctrinally instructed, 1 Corinthians 11:1-2.

7) "And his chains fell off from his hands," (kai eksepesan autou hai haluseis ek ton cheiron) "And the chains with which he was bound came apart and fell out from and off of him," of his hands, each of which had been bound to a soldier on either side. He breaks bonds of sin, sets captives free, and cares for His own in every trial, Hebrews 13:5; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verse 9

1) "And he went out, and followed him;” (kai ekselthon ekloluthei) "And going out of his own choice, will, or accord, he followed," the angel, in or toward the direction the angel led him; It is a comforting thought the Lord goes with and before His children in every trial, 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:15-16; Hebrews 13:5.

2) "And wist not," (kai ouk hedei) "And did not realize, recognize, or comprehend," while he was doing this, following the direction of the angel, really did not know that it was an angel from God, even as Joseph did not recognize God’s way for him, in Egypt, till later, Genesis 49:20; Genesis 45:5; Genesis 45:7.

3) "That it was true which was done by the angel," (hoti alethes estin to ginomenon dia tou angelou) "That it is (was) true or real what was happening (or occurring) through the instrumental help of the angel," who came to deliver him as surely as Daniel was delivered from the lion’s mouths, Daniel 6:22.

4) "But thought he saw a vision," (edokei de hoorama blepein) "Instead he thought he saw (was seeing during this period) a vision," as in Acts 10:17. Yet he yielded, in that surrendered moment, to do exactly what God’s angel bid him do. Let it be realized that angels are still "sent forth," commissioned or mandated to serve children of the Lord in the realm of the leadership of the Holy Spirit in service in harmony with the word of God, Hebrews 1:14; Acts 11:5.

Verse 10

1) "When they were past the first and the second ward," (dielthondes de proten phulaken kai deuteran) "Then passing through the first and the second prison cells," or door chambers where the other two guards were stationed.

2) "They came unto the iron gate," (elthan epi ten pilen ten sideran) "They came upon (face to face with) the iron gate," the outer (last gate-door) from within.

3) "That leadeth unto the city;” (tenpherousan eis ten polin) "That is leading into (at the entrance into) the city of Jerusalem," proper.

4) "Which opened to them of his own accord:" (hetis automate enoige autois) "Which automated (opened of itself) to them" as they approached it, by the power of the lead-angel of Peter.

5) "And they went out and passed on through one street (kai ekselthontes proelthon hurmen mian) "And they went out (of the prison area) passing through or down one street," safely removed from the prison.

6) "And forthwith the angel departed from him," (kai eutheos apeste ho angelos ap’ autou) "And suddenly, instantly, or immediately the angel departed from him," his work being done, Peter having been set free by an angel for a second similar experience, as formerly with the twelve, Acts 5:18-19. The angel departed.

Verse 11

1) "And when Peter was come to himself," (kai ho Petros en heauto genomenos eipen) "And Peter having come to himself said," out of his daze of awe and astonishment he spoke aloud.

2) "Now I know of a surety," (nun oida alethos) "Now and hereafter I realize (know) truly," as an evident truth, perceive without question.

3) "That the Lord hath sent his angel," (hoti eksapesteilen ho Kurios ton angelon autou) "That the Lord mandated, deputized, or commissioned His angel," helper or caretaker, deliverer, and informer, as promised and revealed, Psalms 34:7; 2 Peter 2:9; Hebrews 1:14.

4) "And delivered me out of the hand of Herod," (kai ekseilato me ek cheiros Herodou) 2 Chronicles 16:9, "And liberated, delivered, or released me out of the hand of Herod," as He had liberated the twelve on a previous occasion, Job 5:19; Acts 5:18-19; Acts 12:7.

5) "And from all the expectation," (kai pases tes prosokias) "And out of all the unanimous expectations or anticipations," things that might be conjured, thought up, in the wicked imaginations of all his enemies, the Jews, of seeing him as James had been, Acts 12:1-3.

6) "Of the people of the Jews," (tou laou ton loudaion) "Of the laity of the Jews," from among the common people of the Jews, Acts 12:3, as they had slain Jesus, Stephen, and James, Acts 2:23-24; Acts 2:36; Acts 7:51-60.

Verse 12

1) "And when he had considered the thing," (sunidon te) "And when he had realized what had happened," when he had reflected on the matter of the last hour of events, regarding the appearance of the angel, the touch, the voice, the lifting and instruction, and actions of the angel in releasing him from the chains joined to the two soldiers, and their passing thru and going out of the prison chambers, Acts 12:7-10.

2) "He came to the house," (elthen epi ten oikan) "He came of his accord upon (to) the house," up to the residence where he knew he would be taken in for the night.

3) "Of Mary the mother of John,"(tes Mariastes metros loannou) "Of the Mary (who was) the mother of John," not the John of Zebedee, Matthew 10:2.

4) "Whose surname was Mark;” (tou epikaloumenou Markou) "Of the one who is surnamed Mark," John Mark was an evangelist, a nephew of Barnabas, Colossians 4:10 like Luke not one of the twelve Apostles, but a frequent helper, Acts 12:25; Acts 13:5; Acts 13:13; Acts 15:37-39; 2 Timothy 4:11.

5) "Where many were gathered together praying," (ou esan ikanoi sunethroismenoi kai proseuchomenoi) "A place where many had been assembled scripturally, by agreement, and in an affinity of church fellowship, praying," as previously declared, Acts 12:5; Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16. Perhaps never before had the church experienced a more convincing evidence of effectual fervent prayer for one man, since the empowering at Pentecost, near 8 years earlier, Daniel 9:12-13. The seal of this is that God answers prayer.

Verse 13

1 ) "And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate," (krousantos de autou ten turan tou pulonos) "And as he (Peter) knocked at the door of the porch entrance," of the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, Colossians 4:10.

2) "A damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda," (proselthen paidiske huakousai onomati Hrode) "A maid servant by the name of Rhoda approached to answer, to listen," to find who was at the outer entrance to the home, John 18:16-17. The name Rhoda is of Greek origin and means a rose.

Verse 14

1) "And when she knew Peter’s voice," (kai epignousa ten phonen tou Petrou) "And when she recognized the voice of Peter," whom she knew personally and for whom the church had been praying all that night, Acts 12:5.

2) "She opened not the gate for gladness," (apo tes charas ouk enoiksen ton pulona) "From elation (sheer joy) she did (not even) open the outer porch entrance door," as the brethren of the church rejoiced in wonder at the resurrection appearance of Jesus, Luke 24:4.

3) "But ran in and told," (eisdramousa de apingeilen) "But ran like a dromedary, as an awkward servant maid, and announced," reported what she had heard, felt, and perhaps dimly seen in the darkness.

4) "How Peter stood before the gate," (hestanai ton Petron pro tou pulonos) "That Peter was standing before the porch entrance," as surely as she lived, Acts 12:12-13.

Verse 15

1) "And they said unto her, Thou art mad," (hoi de pros auten eipan maine) "Then they responded to her, you are just raving," you are crazy, mad, settle down.

2) "But ’she constantly affirmed," (he de diischurizeto) "But she emphatically declared it," affirmed or repeated it confidently, that she knew what she was talking about.

3) "That it was even so," (houtos echein) "That it was so," just like I told you. So that they were convinced she had seen and heard his angel, Matthew 28:10; Hebrews 1:14.

4) "Then said they, it is his angel," (hoi de elegon ho angelas estin autou) "So they replied that it is his angel," not Peter himself. That was more than they could believe. Evidently they had been praying, not for his release from prison, but that he might have grace for his imprisonment and possible pending death, such as, or similar to, that by which James had died at the hand of Herod, Acts 12:1-3; Psalms 34:7.

Verse 16

1) "But Peter continued knocking:” (ho de Petros epemenen krouon) "Yet Peter continued or remained repeatedly knocking," appealing that someone open the gate to let him come into the house. And he literally experienced "knock and it shall be opened to you," Luke 11:9-10.

2) "And when they had opened the door and saw him," (anoiksantes de eidan auton) "And having opened the porch door they recognized him," whom they thought to be in prison, for whom they had been praying all thru the night, continually, Acts 12:5; Acts 12:12.

3) "They were astonished," (kai eksestesan) "And they were amazed," astonished or astounded, Luke 5:9. Those assembled seem to have rushed to the door to see for themselves and were astonished upon recognizing Peter, an object of their prayers, beyond what they were "able to ask or to think," Ephesians 3:20; Romans 16:25.

Verse 17

1) "But he, beckoning unto them," (kataseisas de autois) "Then he beckoned to them," gestured toward them to quiet down, to avoid a night-time disturbance.

2) "With the hand to hold their peace," (te cheiri sigan) "With the hand to be quiet," to quiet down and listen, Hebrews 13:3; Hebrews 13:5.

3) "Declared unto them how," (diegesato autois pos) "Related or recounted to them how," the manner in which, gave a narrative detail to them of the step by step procedure thru which the angel had set him free, Acts 12:6-10.

4) "The Lord had brought him out of the prison," (ho kurios auton eksegagen ek tes phulakes) "The Lord had led him out of the prison place," where he had been under high security guard, chained between two soldiers, Acts 12:6-7.

5) "And he said, go shew these things unto James," (eipen te apangeilate lakobo) "And he said, you all report (this) these things to James the less," Galatians 1:19; Acts 21:18. Go tell James what has happened. The James yet living was pastor of the Jerusalem church, Acts 15:4; Acts 15:13; Acts 15:22.

6) "And to the brethren," (kai tois adelphoistauta) "And report these things to the brethren," of the church in the Judean area, report the good news that Jesus answers prayer and cares for His own, 1 Peter 5:7.

7) "And he departed and went into another place, (kai ekselthon eporeuthe eis herteron topon) "And he went away, by choice, to another kind of location," lest those at the home might be arrested the next day for giving him shelter.

Verse 18

1) "Now as soon as it was day” (genomenes de hemeras) "When it became day," after the experience of Peter in prison the previous night, his release by the angel, the all night church vigil of prayer, Peter’s appearance to them and disclosure of his release and departure to an unrevealed place or destination.

2) "There was no small stir among the soldiers," (hen tarachos ouk oligos en tois straitiotais) "There was no small disturbance among the soldiers," the quarterion of guards as they examined the chains, bolts, and bars and questioned each other. These were under oaths of high security guard to keep Peter securely, Acts 12:4-5. Note the words of Acts 12:5, "but prayer was made."

3) "What was become of Peter," (ti ara ho Petros egeneto) "What had then become (of) Peter." Perplexity, frustration, and fear gripped the emotions of the sentry guards as they questioned among themselves to determine what had become of Peter. For it was a custom of Roman law that a sentry guard or guards who permitted the escape of a prisoner, with whom he or they had been entrusted, must suffer the like penalty of the charge against the criminal, "an eye for an eye," type of penalty, Exodus 21:24; Matthew 5:28.

Let it be asked by parents, how may I stand before the judgement of God, if I permit the escape of my lost, condemned son or daughter, without bringing them safely while under my care, face to face with the charges God has against them? Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; John 8:24; Romans 14:11-12.

Verse 19

1) "And when Herod had sought for him," (Herodes de epizetesas auton) "Then when Herod had searched for him," for Peter, had made a thorough physical search for him.

2) "And found him not," (kai me heuron) "And found him not at all," not a trace of him; you see there had been an unseen person in that prison cell that night - - it was he, not the four sentry soldiers who permitted, admitted the release of Peter, a thing the natural man does not comprehend, 1 Corinthians 2:14; Psalms 34:7; Hebrews 1:14.

3) "He examined the keepers," (anakrinas tous pulakas) "He examined the guards of Peter’s prison," placed on trial the four quarterion of soldiers (16) sentry soldier guards, or at least the four on duty the night of Peter’s escape, Acts 12:4-6; Acts 4:9; Luke 23:14.

4) "And commanded that they should be put to death," (ekeleusen apachthenai) "Then mandated that they be led away," to be executed, put to death for dereliction or neglect of sentry duty, going to sleep on the job, more for revenge than for justice, Acts 16:27; Matthew 28:12-14.

5) "And he went down from Judea to Caesarea," (kai katethon apo tes loudaias eis Kaisareian) "And going down from Judea to (into) Caesarea," to preside over a festive carnival and public games honoring Claudius Caesar, Josephus 19:8.

6) "And there abode," (dietriben) "There he stayed," or resided for a time.

Verse 20

Divine Judgement Hastened Death of Herod V. 20-25

1) "And Herod was highly displeased," (hen de thumomachon) "Now he (Herod) was furiously, violently angry with," inflamed toward.

2) "Them of Tyre and Sidon:” (Turiois kai Sidoniois) -Tyrians and Sidonians," both, dwellers of the Mediterranean coastal area of Phoenicia, north of Caesarea by the seaside, but he had no power to wage war against it.

3) "But they came with one accord to him," (homothumadon de paresan pros auton) "Then with one mind or a united disposition they of Tyre and Sidon came to him," to Herod, perhaps with bribes or "kickbacks" over commercial disputes, Matthew 28:14; Acts 24:25.

4) "And, having made Blastus," (kai peisantes Blaston) "And when they had persuaded Blastus," negotiated the issue of the quarrel or violent dispute.

5) "The king’s chamberlain their friend," (ton epi tou koitonos tou Basileos) "The one who was over the bedchamber or household of the king, of Herod.

6) "Desired peace;” (etouton eirenen) "They asked for or requested peace," a truce with king Herod, in making friends with mammon, Luke 19:9; Proverbs 18:24.

7) "Because their country was nourished by the king’s country," (dia to trephesthai auton te choran apo tes basilikes) "Because their country was fed from the king’s country." They exchanged merchandise in commerce for corn from Palestine, 1 Kings 5:9; Ezra 3:7; Ezekiel 27:17.

Verse 21

1) "And upon a set day," (takte de hemers) "And on an appointed day," a prearranged day, by agreed appointment.

2) "Herod, arrayed in a royal apparel " (ho Herod endusamenos estheta basiliken) "When Herod had been arrayed with regal clothing," in king’s garments.

3) "Sat upon his throne," (kathisas epi tou bematos) "And was sitting upon the tribunal place, the throne," a special throne of judgement erected in the popular open air arena (amphitheater) in Caesarea, built by Herod.


4) "And made an oration unto them," (edemegorie pros autous) "He made an emotional public speech to them," of Tyre and Sidon who had come for the gala festive and business negotiation occasion. The people, the environmental setting, and the subject matter that had been negotiated, settled before the oration, were three factors that made the speech an oration, an emotional charged address that tickled the ears of those guests from Tyre and Sidon with emotional elation of flesh nature.

Verse 22

1) "And the people gave a shout," (ho de dermos epephonei) "Then the mob cried out loudly," with a shout of flattering approval. It was a matter of joy they had over an announced political decision that would be good for their bodies and bellies, not their souls, Luke 12:21; 1 Timothy 6:18-19.

2) "Saying, it is the voice of a god," (theou phone) "It is (the) voice of a god," a supernatural message, one from a god. They worshipped the dignity of the king’s person and manner of condescension to them and he accepted it without protest. They magnified Herod to be equal with or above God, Daniel 11:3.

3) "And not of a man," (kai ouk anthropou) "And not (merely that of) a human being;" they flattered him and he covetously, selfishly accepted this praise of men, to the point of divine wrath against him, loving the "praise of men more than the praise of God," John 12:43. They and Herod were both "blinded (that day) by the god of this world," the god of mammon, 2 Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13.

Verse 23

1) "And immediately," (parachrema de) "Then at once," suddenly, or instantly because of his wicked pride, such as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzor had once shown and been judged for, Daniel 5:18-30.

2) "The angel of the Lord smote him,"(epataksen auton angelos Kuriou) "An angel of the Lord smote him," afflicted him with blow flies.

3) "Because he gave not God the glory:’ (anth’ on ouk edoken ten doksan to theo) "Because he did not give forth the glory to the living and true God," did not rebuke the people or reject their flatteries. Note the contrast of his attitude of that of both Peter and Paul, Acts 10:26; Acts 14:14-15.

4) "And he was eaten of the worms," (kai genomenos skolekobrotos) "And he was or became eaten by worms (maggots)," from blow flies sent upon him while he was upon or immediately after he descended the throne that very day, became worm food in the presence of those he had promised to feed so abundantly that they extolled him as a god-giver of bread, James 1:1-2; La 3:21, 22; Matthew 6:11.

5) "And gave up the ghost," (eksepouksen) "And he expired," died from the effect of the angelic judgement smiting of worms, maggots from blow flies. He died a painful, horrible, lingering death as maggots ate deeper and deeper into the vitals of his body.


As you stood one stormy day on a sea cliff and marked the giant billow rise from the deep to rush on with foaming crest, and throw itself thundering on the trembling shore, did you ever fancy you could stay its course and hurl it back to the depths of t he ocean? Did you ever stand beneath the leaden, lowering cloud and mark the lightning’s leap, as it shot and flashed dazzling athwart the gloom, and think you could grasp the boll and change its path? Still more foolish and vain his thought who fancies he can arrest or turn aside the purpose of God, saying, "What is the Almighty that we should serve him? Let us break His bands asunder and cast away His cords from us!"

Verse 24

1) "But the word of God grew," (ho de logos tou Kuriou euksanen) "Then the word of the Lord grew," in influence and respect, for in that city were witnesses of Jesus Christ from Cornelius’ house, kindred, and intimate friends who had been saved and knew the true God, Acts 10:43-48.

2) "And multiplied," (kai eplethuneto) "And it increased by several fold in power and influence over people," Hebrews 4:12; Acts 6:7; Note the contrast between the persecution of the church, and the growth of the Word, with the judgement for sin upon such as take divine honor to themselves, for giving food to the masses. In spite of obstacles, the sword that took the life of James of Zebedee, and the imprisoning of Peter, the influence of Divine power in the church grew, thru the witness of the word, thru the church, Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 3:21; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31. The word, the witness, and the church prospered while the persecutor perished. He whose sword slew James, and who tried to kill Peter, died under Divine judgement, Galatians 6:7-8: Acts 19:20; Colossians 1:6; Isaiah 55:11-12.

Verse 25

1) "And Barnabas and Saul," (Barnabas kai Saulos) "Then Barnabas as well as Saul," who had labored together at the Antioch church in Syria for more than a year, who had been sent to carry charitable food and clothes gifts to the church brethren in Judea, Acts 11:17-30.

2) "Returned from Jerusalem," (hupestrepsan eks lerousalem) "Returned out of the Jerusalem area," where they had delivered the Antioch church’s alms gifts to their needy brethren, John 13:34-35.

3) "When they had fulfilled their ministry," (plerosantes ten diakonian) "When they had completed or accomplished their alms delivery ministry," the mission of the Antioch church, on which they had been "sent," mandated by authority of the Antioch church, Acts 11:30.

4) "And took with them John," (sumparalabontes loannen) "Taking in colleague or close affinity of fellowship with them John," the evangelist, who later went part of the way on their first missionary journey, Acts 13:5; Acts 13:13.

5) "Whose surname was Mark," (ton epiklethenta Markon) "The one who was surnamed Mark," Acts 15:37; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11. He was a nephew of Barnabas, son of the sister of Barnabas, a matter that perhaps contributed to the separation of Barnabas and Paul in mission labors, Acts 13:37-41. Thus ends the Divine record of the Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria phases of the spread of the gospel under the empowered New Covenant church or house of God, John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 8:4.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Acts 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/acts-12.html. 1985.
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