Acts 12:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 12:17, NIV: "Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. 'Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,' he said, and then he left for another place."

Acts 12:17, ESV: "But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place."

Acts 12:17, KJV: "But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place."

Acts 12:17, NASB: "But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, 'Report these things to James and the brethren.' Then he left and went to another place."

Acts 12:17, NLT: "He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. 'Tell James and the other brothers what happened,' he said. And then he went to another place."

Acts 12:17, CSB: "Motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. "Tell these things to James and the brothers," he said, and he left and went to another place."

What does Acts 12:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter is finally safe—for now. An angel just rescued him from prison and imminent execution. Days before, Herod Agrippa I arrested and beheaded the apostle James, brother to John and son of Zebedee, then arrested Peter (Acts 12:1–5). Once freed from the prison, Peter came to the home of Mary, mother of John Mark and possibly the host of the first church. A short time of confusion ensued as the Jesus-followers who were praying for his release came to grips with the fact their prayers had been answered (Acts 12:6–16). Now, Peter has a quick opportunity to let them know he is okay before he moves on. To where, we're not told.

In many places in the book of Acts, "the brothers" mean other Jesus-followers, including women. Considering Peter lumps them with James, he most likely means the other apostles and church leaders. "James," here, is Jesus' half-brother, the author of the book of James, who apparently leads the church in Jerusalem. Although James rejected the idea his brother was the Messiah before the resurrection (Mark 3:21), he believed after he saw Jesus raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:7). He was present in the upper room after the ascension (Acts 1:14) and well-known for his humility and his devotion to Scripture.

This is the last time Peter is mentioned until Acts 15:7 when he speaks in favor of letting the Gentiles remain uncircumcised. After a short interlude to complete Agrippa I's story (Acts 12:20–23), the book of Acts follows the missionary journeys of Paul (Acts 12:25).