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John Wesley's notes on the Lesson: Acts 12:1-11



1. About that time - So wisely did God mix rest and persecution in due time and measure succeeding each other. Herod - Agrippa; the latter was his Roman, the former his Syrian name. He was the grandson of Herod the Great, nephew to Herod Antipas, who beheaded John the Baptist; brother to Herodias, and father to that Agrippa before whom St. Paul afterward made his defense. Caligula made him king of the tetrarchy of his uncle Philip, to which he afterward added the territories of Antipas. Claudius made him also king of Judea, and added thereto the dominions of Lysanias.

2. James the brother of John - So one of the brothers went to God the first, the other the last of the apostles.

3. Then were the days of unleavened bread - At which the Jews came together from all parts.

4. Four quaternions - Sixteen men, who watched by turns day and night.

5. Continual prayer was made for him - Yet when their prayer was answered, they could scarce believe it, ver. 15. But why had they not prayed for St. James also? Because he was put to death as soon as apprehended.

6. Peter was sleeping - Easy and void of fear; between two soldiers - Sufficiently secured to human appearance.

7. His chains - With which his right arm was bound to one of the soldiers, and his left arm to the other.

8. Gird thyself - Probably he had put off his girdle, sandals, and upper garment, before he lay down to sleep.

10. The first and second ward - At each of which doubtless was a guard of soldiers. The gate opened of its own accord - Without either Peter or the angel touching it. And they went on through one street - That Peter might know which way to go. And the angel departed from him - Being himself sufficient for what remained to be done.

11. Now I know of a truth - That this is not a vision, ver. 9.



[With gratitude to the Christian Classics Ethereal Library for this text.]