Peter’s 2nd miraculous escape from prison, Acts 12:1-19


Peter 3rd jailing and gets out of Jail a 2nd time. April AD44 – Acts 12:1-19.

Peter was sleeping but the church was praying and an angel appears and leads Peter out of Jail. The angel takes Peter one block and disappears. Peter went to those praying for him then goes to an other place of safety. King Herod Agrippa 1 later that day has the guards executed.

This is nearly the last time we hear of Peter in the Book of Acts, even though he carries on with the work that His Lord and Master called him to do. Peter wrote letters called 1 and 2 Peter.

John’s brother James had just been martyred by Herod Agrippa 1, the same man who put Peter into prison.

Background Reading:

An Angel Frees Peter from Prison

12:1 About that time, King Herod arrested some people who belonged to the church and mistreated them. 2 He even had James, the brother of John, killed with a sword. 3 When he saw how this was agreeable to the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter, too. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 When he arrested Peter, Herod put him in prison and turned him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, planning to bring him out to the people after Passover season.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer to God for him was being offered by the assembly.

6 That very night, before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, and guards in front of the door were watching the prisoners. 7 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on his side, woke him up, and said, “Get up quickly!” His chains fell from his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Tuck in your shirt and put on your sandals!” He did this. Then the angel told him, “Put on your coat and follow me!” 9 So Peter went out and began to follow him, not realizing that what was being done by the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate that led into the city. It opened by itself for them, and they went outside and proceeded one block when the angel suddenly left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I’m sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod and from everything the Jewish people were expecting!”

12 When Peter realized what had happened, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where a large number of people had gathered and were praying. 13 When he knocked at the outer gate, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer it. 14 On recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she didn’t open the gate but ran back inside and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 The other people told her, “You’re out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. Then they said, “It’s his angel.”

16 Meanwhile, Peter kept on knocking and knocking. When they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. 17 He motioned to them with his hand to be quiet, and then he told them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He added, “Tell this to James and the brothers.” Then he left and went somewhere else. 18 When morning came, there was a great commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 Herod searched for him but didn’t find him, so he questioned the guards and ordered them to be executed. Then he left Judea, went down to Caesarea, and stayed there for a while.
Acts 12:1-19

More Information:

Peter expected to be looked after by his friend Jesus and he was. King Herod Agrippa 1 (the grandson of Herod the Great) was born about 10BC, and reigned for seven years as a client king under Roman jurisdiction AD37-AD41. He was eaten by worms Acts 12:23.

Other modules in this unit: