12:1 About that time King Herod 1 laid hands on 2 some from the church to harm them. 3 12:2 He had James, the brother of John, executed with a sword. 4 12:3 When he saw that this pleased the Jews, 5 he proceeded to arrest Peter too. (This took place during the feast of Unleavened Bread.) 6 12:4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison, handing him over to four squads 7 of soldiers to guard him. Herod 8 planned 9 to bring him out for public trial 10 after the Passover.
12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord 11 struck 12 Herod 13 down because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died. 14 12:24 But the word of God 15 kept on increasing 16 and multiplying.
1 sn King Herod was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod I (Herod the Great). His mediocre career is summarized in Josephus, Ant. 18-19. This event took place in
2 tn Or “King Herod had some from the church arrested.”
3 tn Or “to cause them injury.”
4 sn The expression executed with a sword probably refers to a beheading. James was the first known apostolic martyr (Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 2.9.1-3). On James, not the Lord’s brother, see Luke 5:10; 6:14. This death ended a short period of peace noted in Acts 9:31 after the persecution mentioned in 8:1-3.
5 tn This could be a reference to the Jewish people (so CEV) or to the Jewish leaders (so NLT). The statement in v. 4 that Herod intended to bring Peter “out to the people” (i.e., for a public trial) may suggest the former is somewhat more likely.
6 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
7 sn Four squads of soldiers. Each squad was a detachment of four soldiers.
8 tn Grk “guard him, planning to bring him out.” The Greek construction continues with a participle (βουλόμενος, boulomeno") and an infinitive (ἀναγαγεῖν, anagagein), but this creates an awkward and lengthy sentence in English. Thus a reference to Herod was introduced as subject and the participle translated as a finite verb (“Herod planned”).
9 tn Or “intended”; Grk “wanted.”
10 tn Grk “to bring him out to the people,” but in this context a public trial (with certain condemnation as the result) is doubtless what Herod planned. L&N 15.176 translates this phrase “planning to bring him up for a public trial after the Passover.”
13 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
14 sn He was eaten by worms and died. Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 (19.343-352), states that Herod Agrippa I died at Caesarea in
15 sn A metonymy for the number of adherents to God’s word.
16 tn Or “spreading.”