New American Standard Bible
When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.
King James Bible
And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
Darby Bible Translation
whom having seized he put in prison, having delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep, purposing after the passover to bring him out to the people.
World English Bible
When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.
Young's Literal Translation
whom also having seized, he did put in prison, having delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him, intending after the passover to bring him forth to the people.
Acts 12:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And when he had apprehended him - When he had taken or arrested him.
He put him in prison - During the solemnities of this religious festival, it would have been deemed improper to have engaged in the trial of a supposed criminal. The minds of the people were expected to be devoted solely to the services of religion; and hence, Herod chose to retain him in custody until the Passover had ended.
To four quaternions of soldiers - A "quaternion" was a company of "four"; consequently the whole number employed here was sixteen. The Romans divided the night into four watches so that the guards could be relieved; those who were on guard occupying three hours, and being then relieved. Of the four who were on guard, two were with Peter in the prison Acts 12:6, and two kept watch before the door of the prison. The utmost precaution was taken that he should not escape; and Herod thus gave the most ample assurance to the Jews of his intention to secure Peter, and to bring him to trial.
Intending after Easter - There never was a more absurd or unhappy translation than this. The original is simply after the Passover (μετὰ τὸ πάσχα meta to pascha. The word "Easter" now denotes the festival observed by many Christian churches in honor of the resurrection of the Saviour. But the original has no reference to that, nor is there the slightest evidence that any such festival was observed at the time when this book was written. The translation is not only unhappy, as it does not convey at all the meaning of the original, but because it may contribute to foster an opinion that such a festival was observed in the time of the apostles. The word "Easter" is of Saxon origin, and is supposed to be derived from "Eostre," the goddess of Love, or the Venus of the North, in honor of whom a festival was celebrated by our pagan ancestors in the month of April (Webster). Since this festival coincided with the Passover of the Jews, and with the feast observed by Christians in honor of the resurrection of Christ, the name came to be used to denote the latter. In the old Anglo-Saxon service-books the term "Easter" is used frequently to translate the word "Passover." In the translation by Wycliffe, the word "paske," that is, "Passover," is used. But Tyndale and Coverdale used the word "Easter," and hence, it has very improperly crept into our King James Version.
To bring him forth to the people - That is, evidently, to put him publicly to death to gratify them. The providence of God in regard to Peter is thus remarkable. Instead of his being put suddenly to death, as was James, he was reserved for future trial; and thus an opportunity was given for the prayers of the church, and for his consequent release.
'And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.'--ACTS xii. 11. Where did Luke get his information of Peter's thoughts in that hour? This verse sounds like first-hand knowledge. Not impossibly John Mark may have been his informant, for we know that both were in Rome together at a later period. In any case, it is clear that, through whatever …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
Peter's Deliverance from Prison
Great Preparations for a Great Work
Third Sunday after Trinity Humility, Trust, Watchfulness, Suffering
Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him;
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.
When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.
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