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Acts 12:5-9

Context
12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but those in the church were earnestly 1  praying to God for him. 2  12:6 On that very night before Herod was going to bring him out for trial, 3  Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while 4  guards in front of the door were keeping watch 5  over the prison. 12:7 Suddenly 6  an angel of the Lord 7  appeared, and a light shone in the prison cell. He struck 8  Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off Peter’s 9  wrists. 10  12:8 The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt 11  and put on your sandals.” Peter 12  did so. Then the angel 13  said to him, “Put on your cloak 14  and follow me.” 12:9 Peter 15  went out 16  and followed him; 17  he did not realize that what was happening through the angel was real, 18  but thought he was seeing a vision.

1 tn Or “constantly.” This term also appears in Luke 22:14 and Acts 26:7.

2 tn Grk “but earnest prayer was being made by the church to God for him.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged to follow English style, and the somewhat awkward passive “prayer was being made” has been changed to the simpler active verb “were praying.” Luke portrays what follows as an answer to prayer.

3 tn Grk “was going to bring him out,” but the upcoming trial is implied. See Acts 12:4.

4 tn Grk “two chains, and.” Logically it makes better sense to translate this as a temporal clause, although technically it is a coordinate clause in Greek.

5 tn Or “were guarding.”

6 tn Grk “And behold.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here. The interjection ἰδού (idou), often difficult to translate into English, expresses the suddenness of the angel’s appearance.

7 tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” See the note on the word “Lord” in 5:19.

8 tn Grk “striking the side of Peter, he awoke him saying.” The term refers to a push or a light tap (BDAG 786 s.v. πατάσσω 1.a). The participle πατάξας (pataxa") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

9 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Grk “the hands,” but the wrist was considered a part of the hand.

11 tn While ζώννυμι (zwnnumi) sometimes means “to dress,” referring to the fastening of the belt or sash as the final act of getting dressed, in this context it probably does mean “put on your belt” since in the conditions of a prison Peter had probably not changed into a different set of clothes to sleep. More likely he had merely removed his belt or sash, which the angel now told him to replace. The translation “put on your belt” is given by L&N 49.14 for this verse. The archaic English “girdle” for the sash or belt has an entirely different meaning today.

12 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Or “outer garment.”

15 tn Grk “And going out he followed.”

16 tn Grk “Peter going out followed him.” The participle ἐξελθών (exelqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

17 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

18 tn Grk “what was done through the angel was a reality” (see BDAG 43 s.v. ἀληθής 3).



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