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Rhoda, from the Greek word pronounced roe-dose (the Greek island Rhodes takes its name from the name Greek word), meaning a rose, was a young Christian girl who was among those at "the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying" (Acts 12:12 KJV) for protection from Herod's deadly persecution. Rhoda was the first to discover that their prayers were being answered - she found the rescued apostle Peter at the door.

"And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda"

There are four men of Bible History who were known as Herod (see the Fact Finder question below). Herod Agrippa I was the son of Aristobulus and Bernice, and grandson of Herod The Great (the Herod who tried to murder Christ when He was born). Herod Agrippa I was tetrarch of the provinces previously ruled by Lysanias II, but eventually he possessed the entire kingdom of his grandfather, with the title of king. It was Herod Agrippa I that had James, the brother of John, martyred. He then imprisoned Peter with the intention of killing him also, but God had an angel go in and get him out (see below). Like all of the rest, Herod Agrippa I had a very high opinion of himself until one day, about 44 A.D., it went too far. He claimed to be divine, and The Lord struck him down.

"12:21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. 12:22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. 12:23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost" (Acts 12:21-23 KJV)

Herod's deadly attacks on the Church of God before that however began with the killing of "James the brother of John with the sword" (see also What Happened To The Apostles?). Peter was the next intended victim.


"12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church [see also What Is The Church?]. 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. Then were the days of unleavened bread [see The True Christian Holy Days: Lesson 2]. 12:4 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 [Note: "Easter" in this verse is an error by the King James Version translators; the actual word that was originally written in the Holy Scriptures is Passover, as most other translations correctly render it] to bring him forth to the people.

12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." (Acts 12:1-5 KJV)

The time of Peter's Ministry was not yet over however. Peter would eventually be martyred (see the Fact Finder question below), but at a time of The Lord's choosing, not any man.

"12:6 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. 12:7 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.

12:8 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. 12:9 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. 12:10 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.

12:11 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." (Acts 12:6-11 KJV)

Rhoda was the first to discover Peter's freedom.

"12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark [see John Mark]; where many were gathered together praying. 12:13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. 12:14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

12:15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.

12:16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. 12:17 "But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. 12:18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. 12:19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode." (Acts 12:12-19 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Peter know that he would eventually be martyred? How did he know? Who told him?
See Peter's Prophecy

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