An Angel Frees Peter from Prison
1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 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.
5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10 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.
11 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.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
“Peter is arrested by Herod and sentenced to be slain; he is imprisoned in a cell with guards at the locked doors; he lies chained to two soldiers; a great iron gate with more guards closes in the prison itself; a total of 16 soldiers have the lone Apostle in their charge. The Church prays for his deliverance, while Peter sleeps (as his Master had done when the storm threatened their ship on the Sea of Galilee); and lo, God sendeth an angel and Peter is freed. When no recourse remains but through divine intervention, the miraculous deliverance is accomplished. God does for man what he cannot do for himself. [See also Acts 5:17–26.]”
(Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 2:116–17.)