Acts 12:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 12:10, NIV: "They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him."

Acts 12:10, ESV: "When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him."

Acts 12:10, KJV: "When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him."

Acts 12:10, NASB: "When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him."

Acts 12:10, NLT: "They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him."

Acts 12:10, CSB: "After they passed the first and second guards, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went outside and passed one street, and suddenly the angel left him."

What does Acts 12:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Pilate's mode of governing was to keep literal peace as much as possible. An insurrection in Judea could mean the loss of his job. He knew Jesus had broken no laws and, even more importantly, was not going to lead a rebellion. Yet, when he tried to convince the Sanhedrin to let Jesus go, he realized it was the Jews who posed the greatest threat to his rule. So, he agreed to crucify an innocent man (John 18:28—19:16).

Herod Agrippa I has a different approach. He is king over nearly as much territory as his grandfather Herod the Great and seems to truly respect the Jewish leadership and their religion. He protected the temple from an idolatrous statue of the emperor and reads from the Mosaic law. So, when he realizes his arrest and execution of James, a leader in the new Jewish sect, pleases the Sanhedrin, he does one better and arrests and sentences Peter with the same fate (Acts 12:1–4).

Unfortunately for Agrippa's plans, right before he means to bring Peter an angel rescues Peter from prison. He releases Peter's chains, tells him to dress for action, and leads the groggy-eyed apostle out of the cell. The fact that the gate is iron and not wood suggests this is a formidable prison. One possibility is the Fortress Antonia, the headquarters of the Roman soldiers in Jerusalem on the northwest corner of the Temple Mount. Peter follows the angel past the guards, through the miraculously opening gate, and down a street before he realizes this isn't a vision; he is free and Agrippa will not kill him tonight (Acts 12:6–9, 11).