Acts 12:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.

King James Bible
And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

Darby Bible Translation
and slew James, the brother of John, with the sword.

World English Bible
He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.

Young's Literal Translation
and he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword,

Acts 12:2 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He killed James the brother of John with the sword - This was James the greater, son of Zebedee, and must be distinguished from James the less, son of Alpheus. This latter was put to death by Ananias the high priest, during the reign of Nero. This James with his brother John were those who requested to sit on the right and left hand of our Lord, see Matthew 20:23; and our Lord's prediction was now fulfilled in one of them, who by his martyrdom drank of our Lord's cup, and was baptized with his baptism. By the death of James, the number of the apostles was reduced to eleven; and we do not find that ever it was filled up. The apostles never had any successors: God has continued their doctrine, but not their order.

By killing with the sword we are to understand beheading. Among the Jews there were four kinds of deaths:



3. killing with the sword, or beheading; and,

4. strangling.

The third was a Roman as well as a Jewish mode of punishment. Killing with the sword was the punishment which, according to the Talmud, was inflicted on those who drew away the people to any strange worship, Sanhedr. fol. iii. James was probably accused of this, and hence the punishment mentioned in the text.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Matthew 4:21,22 And going on from there, he saw other two brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father...

Matthew 20:23 And he said to them, You shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with...

Mark 10:35,38 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come to him, saying, Master, we would that you should do for us whatever we shall desire...


1 Kings 19:1,10 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and with how he had slain all the prophets with the sword...

Jeremiah 26:23 And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him to Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword...

Hebrews 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins...

Hebrew and Greek Text.
We now pass from what may be called the outward history of the Revision to the inward nature and character of the work of the Revisers, and may naturally divide that work into two portions--their labours as regards the original text, and their labours in regard of rendering and translation. I. First, then, as regards the original text of the Old Testament. Here the work of the Old Testament Company was very slight as compared with that of the New Testament Company. The latter Company had, almost
C. J. Ellicott—Addresses on the Revised Version of Holy Scripture

Peter after his Escape
'But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him forth 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 xii. 17. When the angel 'departed from him,' Peter had to fall back on his own wits, and they served him well. He 'considered the thing,' and resolved to make for the house of Mary. He does not seem to have intended to remain there, so dangerously
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Delivered from Prison
"Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church." The government of Judea was then in the hands of Herod Agrippa, subject to Claudius, the Roman emperor. Herod also held the position of tetrarch of Galilee. He was professedly a proselyte to the Jewish faith, and apparently very zealous in carrying out the ceremonies of the Jewish law. Desirous of obtaining the favor of the Jews, hoping thus to make secure his offices and honors, he proceeded to carry out
Ellen Gould White—The Acts of the Apostles

How the Gospels came to be Written
[Illustration: (drop cap B) Early Christian Lamp] But how did the story of the Saviour's life on earth come to be written? We have seen that many years passed before any one thought of writing it down at all. The men and women who had really seen Him, who had listened to His voice, looked into His face, and who knew that He had conquered death and sin for evermore, could not sit down to write, for their hearts were all on fire to speak. But as the years passed, the number of those who had seen Christ
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

Cross References
Matthew 4:21
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,

Matthew 20:23
Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."

Mark 10:39
"We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,

Acts 12:1
It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.

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