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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 12)

12:1 {About that time} (\kat' ekeinon ton kairon\). Same phrase
in Ro 9:9. That is, the early part of A.D. 44 since that is the
date of Herod's death. As already suggested, Barnabas and Saul
came down from Antioch to Jerusalem after the persecution by
Herod at the end of 44 or the beginning of 45. {Herod the king}
(\Hērōidēs ho basileus\). Accurate title at this particular time.
Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great, was King of
Palestine A.D. 42 to 44; only for these three years was a Herod
king over Palestine since the death of Herod the Great and never
afterwards. Archelaus never actually became king though he had
the popular title at first (Mt 2:22). {Put forth his hands}
(\epebalen tas cheiras\). Second aorist active indicative of
\epiballō\, old verb, to cast upon or against. The same idiom
with \tas cheiras\ (the hands, common Greek idiom with article
rather than possessive pronoun)
in 4:3; 5:18. {To afflict}
(\kakōsai\). First aorist active infinitive of \kakoō\, old word
to do harm or evil to (\kakos\), already in 7:6,19. Outside of
Acts in the N.T. only 1Pe 5:13. Infinitive of purpose. Probably
the first who were afflicted were scourged or imprisoned, not put
to death. It had been eight years or more since the persecution
over the death of Stephen ceased with the conversion of Saul. But
the disciples were not popular in Jerusalem with either Sadducees
or Pharisees. The overtures to the Gentiles in Caesarea and
Antioch may have stirred up the Pharisees afresh (cf. 6:14).
Herod Agrippa I was an Idumean through his grandfather Herod the
Great and a grandson of Mariamne the Maccabean princess. He was a
favourite of Caligula the Roman Emperor and was anxious to
placate his Jewish subjects while retaining the favour of the
Romans. So he built theatres and held games for the Romans and
Greeks and slew the Christians to please the Jews. Josephus
(_Ant_. XIX. 7, 3) calls him a pleasant vain man scrupulously
observing Jewish rites. Here we have for the first time political
power (after Pilate) used against the disciples.

12:2 {James the brother of John} (\Iakōbon ton adelphon Iōanou\).
He had been called by Jesus a son of thunder along with his
brother John. Jesus had predicted a bloody death for both of them
(Mr 10:38ff.; Mt 20:23). James is the first of the apostles to
die and John probably the last. He is not James the Lord's
brother (Ga 1:19). We do not know why Luke tells so little
about the death of James and so much about the death of Stephen
nor do we know why Herod selected him as a victim. Eusebius
(_H.E_. ii. 9) quotes Clement of Alexandria as saying that a Jew
made accusations against James and was converted and beheaded at
the same time with him. {Killed with the sword} (\aneilen
. The verb is a favourite one with Luke (Ac 2:33;
5:33,36; 7:28; 9:23-29; 10:39, etc.)
. Instrumental case and
Ionic form of \machaira\. The Jews considered beheading a
shameful death as in the case of the Baptist (Mt 14:10).

12:3 {That it pleased the Jews} (\hoti areston estin tois
. Indirect assertion with the present tense \estin\
retained. \Areston\ is the verbal adjective from \areskō\
followed by the dative as in Joh 8:29. {Proceeded to seize}
(\prosetheto sullabein\). A patent Hebraism in Lu 20:11f.
already, and nowhere else in the N.T. It occurs in the LXX (Ge
4:2; 8:12; 18:29, etc.)
. Second aorist middle indicative of
\prostithēmi\ and the second aorist active infinitive of
\sullambanō\. Literally, he added to seize, he seized Peter in
addition to James. {The days of unleavened bread} (\hēmerai tōn
. By this parenthesis Luke locates the time of the year
when Peter was arrested, the passover. It was a fine occasion for
Agrippa to increase his favour among the crowds of Jews there by
extra zeal against the Christians. It is possible that Luke
obtained his information about this incident from John Mark for
at his Mother's house the disciples gathered (12:12).

12:4 {When he had taken him} (\piasas\). See on ¯3:7 for same
form. {He put him in prison} (\etheto eis phulakēn\). Second
aorist middle indicative of \tithēmi\, common verb. This is the
third imprisonment of Peter (4:3; 5:18). {To four quaternions
of soldiers}
(\tessarsin tetradiois stratiōtōn\). Four soldiers
in each quaternion (\tetradion\ from \tetras\, four), two on the
inside with the prisoner (chained to him) and two on the outside,
in shifts of six hours each, sixteen soldiers in all, the usual
Roman custom. Probably Agrippa had heard of Peter's previous
escape (5:19) and so took no chances for connivance of the
jailors. {After the passover} (\meta to pascha\). The passover
feast of eight days. "The stricter Jews regarded it as a
profanation to put a person to death during a religious festival"
(Hackett). So Agrippa is more scrupulous than the Sanhedrin was
about Jesus. {To bring him forth} (\anagagein auton\). Second
aorist active infinitive of \anagō\, to lead up, old verb, used
literally here. Peter was in the inner prison or lower ward and
so would be led up to the judgment seat where Herod Agrippa would
sit (cf. Joh 19:13). {To the people} (\tōi laōi\). Ethical
dative, in the presence of and for the pleasure of the Jewish

12:5 {Therefore} (\men oun\). Because of the preceding situation.
{Was kept} (\etēreito\). Imperfect passive, continuously guarded,
waiting for the feast to be over. {But prayer was made earnestly}
(\proseuchē de ēn ektenōs ginomenē\). Probably \de\ here is not
adversative (but), merely parallel (and) as Page argues. It was a
crisis for the Jerusalem church. James had been slain and Peter
was to be the next victim. Hence "earnestly" (late adverb from
\ektenēs\, strained, from \ekteinō\, to stretch. In the N.T. only
here, Lu 22:44; 1Pe 1:22)
prayer was {going up} (\ginomenē\,
present middle participle, periphrastic imperfect with \ēn\)
. It
looked like a desperate case for Peter. Hence the disciples
prayed the more earnestly.

12:6 {Was about to bring him forth} (\ēmellen prosagagein\ or
. The MSS. vary, but not \anagagein\ of verse 4.
{The same night} (\tēi nukti ekeinēi\). Locative case, {on that
(very) night}
. {Was sleeping} (\ēn koimōmenos\). Periphrastic
middle imperfect. {Bound with two chains} (\dedemenos halusesin
. Perfect passive participle of \deō\, to bind, followed
by instrumental case. One chain was fastened to each soldier (one
on each side of Peter)
. {Kept} (\etēroun\). Imperfect active,
were keeping. Two guards outside before the door and two inside,
according to Roman rule. Did Peter recall the prophecy of Jesus
that he should be put to death in his old age (Joh 21:18)?
Jesus had not said, as Furneaux does, that he would die by

12:7 {Stood by him} (\epestē\). Ingressive second aorist active
indicative of \ephistēmi\, intransitive. This very form occurs in
Lu 2:9 of the sudden appearance of the angel of the Lord to the
shepherds. Page notes that this second aorist of \ephistēmi\
occurs seven times in the Gospel of Luke, eight times in the
Acts, and nowhere else in the N.T. Note also the same form
\apestē\ (departed from, from \aphistēmi\, stood off from) of the
disappearance of the angel in verse 10. {In the cell} (\en tōi
. Literally, a dwelling place or habitation (from
\oikeō\, to dwell, \oikos\, house)
, but here not the prison as a
whole as in Thucydides, but the room in the prison (cell) where
Peter was chained to the two guards. Old word, but only here in
the N.T. {He smote Peter on the side} (\pataxas tēn pleuran tou
. More exactly, "smote the side of Peter." Strongly
enough to wake Peter up who was sound asleep and yet not rouse
the two guards. It was probably between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M., hours
when changes in the guards were made. {Rise up} (\anasta\). Short
form (_Koinē_) of \anastēthi\, second aorist active imperative of
\anistēmi\, intransitive. So also Ac 9:11 (Westcott and Hort
; Eph 5:14. {Fell off} (\exepesan\). Second aorist active
with \a\ ending like first aorist of \expiptō\, old verb. This
miracle was necessary if Peter was to escape without rousing the
two guards.

12:8 {Gird thyself} (\zōsai\). Direct middle first aorist
(ingressive) imperative (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 806f.) from
\zōnnumi\ (\zōnnuō\). Old verb, but in the N.T. only here and
Joh 21:18 (twice to Peter) where the active voice and the
reflexive pronoun occur in the first example. The girdle was worn
round the \chitōn\ or undergarment. {Bind on} (\hupodēsai\).
Indirect middle (by yourself or for yourself) first aorist
imperative of \hupodeō\, to bind under, old verb, only three
times in the N.T. (Mr 6:9; Ac 12:8; Eph 6:15 (middle)).
{Sandals} (\sandalia\). Persian word common from Herodotus on, a
sole made of wood or leather covering the bottom of the foot and
bound on with thongs. In the N.T. only here and Mr 6:9. In the
LXX used indiscriminately with \hupodēma\. {Cast about thee}
(\peribalou\). Second aorist middle (indirect) imperative of
\periballō\, old and common verb to throw around, especially
clothing around the body as here. The \himation\ (outer garment)
was put over the \chitōn\. It was not a hurried flight. {Follow
(\akolouthei moi\). Present (linear) active imperative, keep
on following me (associative instrumental case).

12:9 {Wist not} (\ouk ēidei\). Past perfect of \oida\ used as
imperfect, did not know. {Followed} (\ēkolouthei\). Imperfect
active, kept on following as the angel had directed (verse 8).
That it was true (\hoti alēthes estin\). Indirect assertion and
so present tense retained. Note "true" (\alēthes\) in the sense
of reality or actuality. {Which was done} (\to ginomenon\).
Present middle participle, that which was happening. {Thought he
saw a vision}
(\edokei horama blepein\). Imperfect active, kept
on thinking, puzzled as he was. \Blepein\ is the infinitive in
indirect assertion without the pronoun (he) expressed which could
be either nominative in apposition with the subject as in Ro
1:22 or accusative of general reference as in Ac 5:36; 8:9
(Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1036-40). Peter had had a vision in
Joppa (10:10) which Luke describes as an "ecstasy," but here is
objective fact, at least Luke thought so and makes that
distinction. Peter will soon know whether he is still in the cell
or not as we find out that a dream is only a dream when we wake

12:10 {When they were past} (\dielthontes\). Second aorist active
participle of \dierchomai\, transitive with \dia\ in composition.
{The first and the second ward} (\prōtēn phulakēn kai deuteran\).
It is not clear to what this language refers. Some take it to
mean single soldiers, using \phulakēn\ in the sense of a guard
(one before the door, one at the iron gate). But it seems hardly
likely that the two soldiers with whom Peter had been stationed
are meant. Probably the "first ward" means the two soldiers of
the quaternion stationed by the door and the second ward some
other soldiers, not part of the sixteen, further on in the prison
by the iron gate. However understood, the difficulties of escape
are made plain. {Unto the iron gate that leadeth into the city}
(\epi tēn pulēn tēn sidērān tēn pherousan eis tēn polin\). Note
the triple use of the article (the gate the iron one the one
leading into the city)
. For this resumptive use of the article
see Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 762, 764. This iron gate may have
opened from a court out into the street and effectually barred
escape. {Opened to them} (\ēnoigē autois\). Second aorist passive
indicative of \anoigō\, the usual later form though \ēnoichthē\
(first aorist passive) occurs also, was opened. {Of its own
(\automatē\). Old compound adjective (\autos\, self,
obsolete \maō\, to desire eagerly, feminine form though masculine
\automatos\ also used as feminine)
. In the N.T. only here and Mr
4:28. It was a strange experience for Peter. The Codex Bezae
adds here "went down the seven steps" (\katebēsan tous hepta
, an interesting detail that adds to the picture. {One
(\rhumēn mian\). The angel saw Peter through one of the
narrow streets and then left him. We have no means of knowing
precisely the location of the prison in the city. On "departed"
(\apestē\) see on verse ¯7.

12:11 {Was come to himself} (\en heautōi genomenos\). Second
aorist middle participle of \ginomai\ with \en\ and the locative
case, "becoming at himself." In Lu 15:17 we have \eis heauton
elthōn\ (coming to himself, as if he had been on a trip away from
. {Now I know of a truth} (\nun oida alēthōs\). There was
no further confusion of mind that it was an ecstasy as in
10:10. But he was in peril for the soldiers would soon learn of
his escape, when the change of guards came at 6 A.M. {Delivered
(\exeilato me\). Second aorist middle indicative of
\exaireō\. The Lord rescued me of himself by his angel.
{Expectation} (\prosdokias\). Old word from \prosdokaō\, to look
for. In the N.T. only here and Lu 21:26. James had been put to
death and the Jewish people were eagerly waiting for the
execution of Peter like hungry wolves.

12:12 {When he had considered} (\sunidōn\). Second aorist active
participle of \suneidon\ (for the defective verb \sunoraō\), to
see together, to grasp as a whole, old verb, but in the N.T. only
here and 14:6, save the perfect indicative \sunoida\ (1Co
and participle (Ac 5:2). It is the word from which
\suneidēsis\ (conscience) comes (Ro 2:15). Peter's mind worked
rapidly and he decided what to do. He took in his situation
clearly. {To the house of Mary} (\epi tēn oikian tēs Marias\).
Another Mary (the others were Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of
Bethany, Mary Magdalene, Mary wife of Cleopas, Mary the mother of
James and Joses)
. She may have been a widow and was possessed of
some means since her house was large enough to hold the large
group of disciples there. Barnabas, cousin of John Mark her son
(Col 4:10), was also a man of property or had been (Ac
. It is probable that the disciples had been in the habit
of meeting in her house, a fact known to Peter and he was
evidently fond of John Mark whom he afterwards calls "my son"
(1Pe 5:13) and whom he had met here. The upper room of Ac
1:13 may have been in Mary's house and Mark may have been the
man bearing a pitcher of water (Lu 22:10) and the young man who
fled in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mr 14:51f.). There was a gate
and portress here as in the house of the highpriest (Joh
. Peter knew where to go and even at this early hour hoped
to find some of the disciples. Mary is one of the many mothers
who have become famous by reason of their sons, though she was
undoubtedly a woman of high character herself. {Were gathered
together and were praying}
(\ēsan sunēthroismenoi kai
. Note difference in the tenses, one periphrastic
past perfect passive (\sunathroizō\ old verb, in the N.T. here
only and 19:25 and the uncompounded \throizō\ in Lu 24:33)

and the periphrastic imperfect. The praying apparently had been
going on all night and a large number (many, \hikanoi\) of the
disciples were there. One recalls the time when they had gathered
to pray (4:31) after Peter had told the disciples of the
threats of the Sanhedrin (4:23). God had rescued Peter then.
Would he let him be put to death now as James had been?

12:13 {When he knocked at the door of the gate} (\krousantos
autou tēn thuran tou pulōnos\)
. Genitive absolute with aorist
active participle of \krouō\, common verb to knock or knock at.
So from the outside (Lu 13:25). \Pulōn\ here is the gateway or
passageway from the door (\thura\) that leads to the house. In
verse 14 it is still the passageway without the use of \thura\
(door, so for both door and passageway). {To answer}
(\hupakousai\). To listen under before opening. First aorist
active infinitive of \hupakouō\, common verb to obey, to hearken.
{A maid} (\paidiskē\). Portress as in Joh 18:17. A diminutive
of \pais\, a female slave (so on an ostracon of second century
A.D., Deissmann, _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 200)
. {Rhoda}.
A rose. Women can have such beautiful names like Dorcas
(Gazelle), Euodia (Sweet Aroma), Syntyche (Good Luck). Mark or
Peter could tell Luke her name.

12:14 {When she knew} (\epignousa\). Second aorist (ingressive)
active participle of \epiginōskō\, to know fully or in addition
(\epi\), to recognize. She knew Peter and his voice from his
frequent visits there. {For joy} (\apo tēs charās\). From her joy
(ablative case), life-like picture of the maid who left Peter
standing outside with the door to the passageway unopened. Note
the aorist tenses for quick action (\ouk ēnoixen\), \eisdramousa\
(from \eistrechō\, defective verb, only here in the N.T.),
\apēggeilen\. {Stood} (\hestanai\). Second perfect active
infinitive of \histēmi\, intransitive, in indirect assertion with
\ton Petron\ (Peter) accusative of general reference. The slave
girl acted as if she were a member of the family (Furneaux), but
she left Peter in peril.

12:15 {Thou art mad} (\mainēi\). Present middle indicative second
person singular. Old verb, only in the middle voice. Festus used
the same word to Paul (26:24). The maid was undoubtedly
excited, but it was a curious rebuff from those who had been
praying all night for Peter's release. In their defence it may be
said that Stephen and James had been put to death and many others
by Saul's persecution. {She confidently affirmed}
(\diischurizeto\). Imperfect middle of \diischurizomai\, an old
word of vigorous and confident assertion, originally to lean
upon. Only here in the N.T. The girl stuck to her statement. {It
is his angel}
(\Ho aggelos estin autou\). This was the second
alternative of the disciples. It was a popular Jewish belief that
each man had a guardian angel. Luke takes no position about it.
No scripture teaches it.

12:16 {Continued knocking} (\epemenen krouōn\). Imperfect active
and present participle. Now all heard the knocking. {When they
had opened}
(\anoixantes\). First aorist active participle of
\anoigō\ or \-numi\. The whole group rushed out to the courtyard
this time to make sure. {They were amazed} (\exestēsan\). The
frequent second aorist active (intransitive) indicative of

12:17 There were probably loud exclamations of astonishment and
joy. {Beckoning with the hand} (\kataseisas tēi cheiri\). First
aorist active participle of \kataseiō\, old verb to signal or
shake down with the hand (instrumental case \cheiri\). In the
N.T. only in Ac 12:17; 13:16; 19:33; 21:40. The speaker
indicates by a downward movement of the hand his desire for
silence (to hold their peace, \sigāin\, present active
infinitive, to keep silent)
. Peter was anxious for every
precaution and he wanted their instant attention. {Declared}
(\diēgēsato\). First aorist middle of \diēgeomai\, old verb to
carry through a narrative, give a full story. See also Ac 9:27
of Barnabas in his defence of Saul. Peter told them the wonderful
story. {Unto James and the brethren} (\Iakōbōi kai tois
. Dative case after \apaggeilate\ (first aorist active
. Evidently "James and the brethren" were not at this
meeting, probably meeting elsewhere. There was no place where all
the thousands of disciples in Jerusalem could meet. This
gathering in the house of Mary may have been of women only or a
meeting of the Hellenists. It is plain that this James the Lord's
brother, is now the leading presbyter or elder in Jerusalem
though there were a number (11:30; 21:18). Paul even terms him
apostle (Gal 1:19), though certainly not one of the twelve. The
twelve apostles probably were engaged elsewhere in mission work
save James now dead (Ac 12:2) and Peter. The leadership of
James is here recognized by Peter and is due, partly to the
absence of the twelve, but mainly to his own force of character.
He will preside over the Jerusalem Conference (Ac 15:13). {To
another place}
(\eis heteron topon\). Probably Luke did not know
the place and certainly it was prudent for Peter to conceal it
from Herod Agrippa. Probably Peter left the city. He is back in
Jerusalem at the Conference a few years later (Ac 15:7) and
after the death of Herod Agrippa. Whether Peter went to Rome
during these years we do not know. He was recognized later as the
apostle to the circumcision (Gal 2:7; 1Pe 1:1) and apparently
was in Rome with John Mark when he wrote the First Epistle (1Pe
, unless it is the real Babylon. But, even if Peter went to
Rome during this early period, there is no evidence that he
founded the church there. If he had done so, in the light of 2Co
10:16 it would be strange that Paul had not mentioned it in
writing to Rome, for he was anxious not to build on another man's
foundation (Ro 15:20). Paul felt sure that he himself had a
work to do in Rome. Unfortunately Luke has not followed the
ministry of Peter after this period as he does Paul (appearing
again only in chapter Ac 15)
. If Peter really left Jerusalem at
this time instead of hiding in the city, he probably did some
mission work as Paul says that he did (1Co 9:5).

12:18 {As soon as it was day} (\Genomenēs hēmeras\). Genitive
absolute, day having come. {No small stir} (\tarachos ouk
. Litotes (\ouk oligos\), occurs eight times in the Acts
as in 15:2, and nowhere else in the N.T. \Tarachos\ (stir) is
an old word from \tarassō\, to agitate. In the N.T only here and
19:23. Probably all sixteen soldiers were agitated over this
remarkable escape. They were responsible for the prisoner with
their lives (cf. Ac 16:27; 27:42). Furneaux suggests that
Manaen, the king's foster-brother and a Christian (13:1), was
the "angel" who rescued Peter from the prison. That is not the
way that Peter looked at it. {What was become of Peter} (\ti ara
ho Petros egeneto\)
. An indirect question with the aorist
indicative retained. \Ara\ adds a syllogism (therefore) to the
problem as in Lu 1:66. The use of the neuter \ti\ (as in Ac
is different from \tis\, though nominative like \Petros\,
literally, "what then Peter had become," "what had happened to
Peter" (in one idiom). See the same idiom in Joh 21:21 (\houtos
de ti\)
. {But this one what} (verb \genēsetai\ not used).

12:19 {He examined} (\anakrinas\). First aorist active participle
of \anakrinō\, old verb to sift up and down, to question
thoroughly, in a forensic sense (Lu 23:14; Ac 4:9; 12:19;
. {That they should be put to death} (\apachthēnai\).
First aorist passive infinitive (indirect command) of \apagō\,
old verb to lead away, especially to execution as in Mt 27:31.
Here it is used absolutely. This was the ordinary Roman routine
and not a proof of special cruelty on the part of Herod Agrippa.
{Tarried} (\dietriben\). Imperfect active. Herod Agrippa made his
home in Jerusalem, but he went to Caesarea to the public games in
honour of Emperor Claudius.

12:20 {Was highly displeased} (\ēn thumomachōn\). Periphrastic
imperfect active of \thumomacheō\, late compound of \thumos\
(passionate heat) and \machomai\, to fight. Only here in the
N.T., to fight desperately, to have a hot quarrel. Whether it was
open war with the Phoenicians or just violent hostility we do not
know, save that Phoenicia belonged to Syria and Herod Agrippa had
no authority there. The quarrel may have been over commercial
matters. {They came with one accord} (\homothumadon parēsan\).
The representatives of Tyre and Sidon. See on ¯1:14 for
\homothumadon\. Tyre was a colony of Sidon and had become one of
the chief commercial cities of the world by reason of the
Phoenician ships. {The king's chamberlain} (\ton epi tou koitōnos
tou basileos\)
. The one over the bedchamber (\koitōnos\, late
word from \koitē\, bed, here only in the N.T.)
. {Made their
(\peisantes\). First aorist active participle of
\peithō\, to persuade. Having persuaded (probably with bribes as
in Mt 28:14)
. {They asked for peace} (\ēitounto eirēnēn\).
Imperfect middle of \aiteō\, kept on asking for peace. {Because
their country was fed}
(\dia to trephesthai autōn tēn choran\).
Causal sentence with \dia\ and the articular infinitive (present
passive of \trephō\, to nourish or feed)
and the accusative of
general reference, "because of the being fed as to their
country." Tyre and Sidon as large commercial cities on the coast
received large supplies of grain and fruits from Palestine. Herod
had cut off the supplies and that brought the two cities to

12:21 {Upon a set day} (\taktēi hēmerāi\). Locative case and the
verbal adjective of \tassō\, to arrange, appoint, old word, here
only in the N.T. Josephus (_Ant_. XVII. 6, 8; XIX. 8, 2) gives a
full account of the occasion and the death of Herod Agrippa. It
was the second day of the festival in honour of the Emperor
Claudius, possibly his birthday rather than the _Quinquennalia_.
The two accounts of Luke and Josephus supplement each other with
no contradiction. Josephus does not mention the name of Blastus.
{Arrayed himself in royal apparel} (\endusamenos esthēta
. First aorist middle (indirect) participle of
\endunō\ or \enduō\, common verb to put on. Literally, having put
royal apparel on himself (a robe of silver tissue, Josephus
. The rays of the sun shone on this brilliant apparel and
the vast crowd in the open amphitheatre became excited as Herod
began to speak. {Made an oration} (\edēmēgorei\). Imperfect
active of \dēmēgoreō\, old verb from \dēmēgoros\ (haranguer of
the people)
, and that from \dēmos\ (people) and \agoreuō\, to
harangue or address the people. Only here in the N.T. He kept it

12:22 {Shouted} (\epephōnei\). Imperfect active, kept on
shouting, calling out to him. Old verb, but only four times in
the N.T. and all by Luke. The heathen crowd (\dēmos\) repeated
their flattering adulation to gain Herod's favour. {The voice of
a god}
(\theou phōnē\). In the pagan sense of emperor worship,
not as the Supreme Being. But it was pleasing to Herod Agrippa's

12:23 {Smote him} (\epataxen auton\). Effective aorist active
indicative of \patassō\, old verb, used already in verse 7 of
gentle smiting of the angel of the Lord, here of a severe stroke
of affliction. Like Nebuchadnezzar (Da 4:30) pride went before
a fall. He was struck down in the very zenith of his glory.
{Because} (\anth' hōn\). \Anti\ with the genitive of the relative
pronoun, "in return for which things." He accepted the impious
flattery (Hackett) instead of giving God the glory. He was a
nominal Jew. {He was eaten of worms} (\genomenos skōlēkobrōtos\).
Ingressive aorist middle participle, "becoming worm-eaten." The
compound verbal adjective (\skōlēx\, worm, \brōtos\, eaten, from
is a late word (II Macc. 9:9) of the death of
Antiochus Epiphanes, used also of a tree (Theophrastus), here
only in the N.T. The word \skōlēx\ was used of intestinal worms
and Herodotus (IV. 205) describes Pheretima, Queen of Cyrene, as
having swarms of worms which ate her flesh while still alive.
Josephus (_Ant_. XIX. 8, 2) says that Herod Agrippa lingered for
five days and says that the rotting of his flesh produced worms,
an item in harmony with the narrative in Luke. Josephus gives
further details, one a superstitious sight of an owl sitting on
one of the ropes of the awning of the theatre while the people
flattered him, an omen of his death to him. Luke puts it simply
that God smote him. {Gave up the ghost} (\exepsuxen\). Effective
aorist active of \ekpsuchō\, to breathe out, late verb, medical
term in Hippocrates, in the N.T. only in Ac 5:5,10; 12:23.
Herod was carried out of the theatre a dying man and lingered
only five days.

12:24 {Grew and multiplied} (\ēuxanen kai eplēthuneto\).
Imperfect active and passive. Cf. 6:1. The reaction from the
death of James and the imprisonment of Peter.

12:25 {From Jerusalem} (\ex Ierousalēm\). Probably correct text,
though D has \apo\. Westcott and Hort follow Aleph B in reading
\eis\ (to) Jerusalem, an impossible reading contradicted by
11:29f.; 13:1. The ministration (\diakonian\) referred to is
that in 11:29f. which may have taken place, in point of time,
after the death of Herod. {Taking with them} (\sunparalabontes\).
Taking along (\para\) with (\sun\) them, John Mark from Jerusalem
(12:12) to Antioch (13:1). The aorist participle does not
express subsequent action as Rackham here argues (Robertson,
_Grammar_, pp. 861-863)

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Acts: Chapter 12)