Acts 12:16
But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Acts 12:16-17. But Peter continued knocking — Though they delayed to open to him; and when — At length, several of them, it seems, going out together; they had opened the door, and saw him — That it really was he; they were astonished — Were filled with wonder and joy, as much as they were just before with sorrow and fear concerning him. But beckoning unto them (many of whom, being amazed, were talking together) to hold their peace — That they might hear him relate in what an extraordinary manner he had been delivered; he declared unto them how the Lord had — By the ministry of an angel; brought him out of prison. — And it is probable, that, having found them praying for his deliverance, he did not part with them till he and they had solemnly given God thanks together for so wonderfully answering their prayers. And he said, Go show these things unto James — The brother, or kinsman, of our Lord, and author of the epistle that bears his name. He appears to have been a person of considerable weight and importance, probably the chief overseer of the Christian societies of that province, and of the church in Jerusalem in particular. And to the brethren — Namely, The other disciples, that they might join in praising God for this great deliverance, and consider it as laying a further obligation upon them to serve him with still greater zeal and fidelity. And he departed thence to another place — Where he might be better concealed till the rage of persecution was abated.12:12-19 God's providence leaves room for the use of our prudence, though he has undertaken to perform and perfect what he has begun. These Christians continued in prayer for Peter, for they were truly in earnest. Thus men ought always to pray, and not to faint. As long as we are kept waiting for a mercy, we must continue praying for it. But sometimes that which we most earnestly wish for, we are most backward to believe. The Christian law of self-denial and of suffering for Christ, has not done away the natural law of caring for our own safety by lawful means. In times of public danger, all believers have God for their hiding-place; which is so secret, that the world cannot find them. Also, the instruments of persecution are themselves exposed to danger; the wrath of God hangs over all that engage in this hateful work. And the range of persecutors often vents itself on all in its way.Were astonished - They were now convinced that it was Peter, and they were amazed that he had been rescued. As yet they were of course ignorant of the manner in which it was done. 16. Peter continued knocking—delay being dangerous. Peter continued knocking; Peter might be unwilling to have his entrance into the house deferred,

1. Out of fear of being taken again, and his life concerned upon it.

2. Out of an earnest desire to see the brethren, whom he might hope to meet with there.

3. Out of zeal to declare the mercy of God towards him; this fire was kindled in him, and he sought vent for it. But Peter continued knocking,.... That they might come to him, and let him in; beginning to be impatient, and being very desirous of seeing his friends, as well as being in danger of being taken up, and had to prison again, should any of his enemies come by, who knew him:

and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished: they could hardly believe their own eyes; it was amazing to them, how it should be, that he should be delivered out of prison, when they knew there was such a strong guard about him.

But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 12:16. ἐπέμενε, cf. John 8:7, with a participle as here; only found elsewhere in N.T. in Luke and Paul; see on Acts 10:48.—ἀνοίξ., another natural touch; those assembled went to the door themselves.Verse 16. - Opened for opened the door, A.V.; they... and for and... they, A.V.; amazed for astonished, A.V. (see Acts 8:9, note).
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