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Acts 12:16-18

12:16 Now Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door 1  and saw him, they were greatly astonished. 2  12:17 He motioned to them 3  with his hand to be quiet and then related 4  how the Lord had brought 5  him out of the prison. He said, “Tell James and the brothers these things,” and then he left and went to another place. 6 

12:18 At daybreak 7  there was great consternation 8  among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.

1 tn The words “the door” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (see Acts 12:13).

2 sn That they were greatly astonished is a common response in Luke-Acts to God’s work (Luke 8:56; Acts 2:7, 12; 8:13; 9:21; 10:45).

3 tn Or “He gave them a signal.” Grk “Giving them a signal…he related to them.” The participle κατασείσας (kataseisa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

4 tc ‡ Most mss, including some of the most important ones (B D E Ψ Ï sy), read αὐτοῖς (autoi", “to them”) here, while some excellent and early witnesses (Ì45vid,74vid א A 33 81 945 1739 pc) lack the pronoun. Although it is possible that the pronoun was deleted because it was seen as superfluous, it is also possible that it was added as a natural expansion on the text, strengthening the connection between Peter and his listeners. Although a decision is difficult, the shorter reading is slightly preferred. NA27 puts the pronoun in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

5 tn Or “led.”

6 sn He…went to another place. This is Peter’s last appearance in Acts with the exception of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15.

7 tn BDAG 436 s.v. ἡμέρα 1.a has “day is breaking” for ἡμέρα γίνεται (Jhmera ginetai) in this verse.

8 tn Grk “no little consternation.” The translation given for τάραχος (taraco") in this verse by BDAG 991 s.v. τάραχος 1 is “mental agitation.” The situation indicated by the Greek word is described in L&N 25.243 as “a state of acute distress and great anxiety, with the additional possible implications of dismay and confusion – ‘great distress, extreme anxiety.’” The English word “consternation” is preferred here because it conveys precisely such a situation of anxiety mixed with fear. The reason for this anxiety is explained in the following verse.

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