New Defender's Study Bible Notes
12:6 Peter was sleeping. In spite of his miserable circumstances and the probability of being executed the next morning, Peter was sleeping so soundly that the angel had to strike him and lift him up. Even then, Peter still thought he was dreaming until the angel left him outside in the street (Acts 12:10). Peter surely experienced the reality of Psalm 121:3, assuring him that “He that keepeth thee will not slumber,” and of Psalm 127:2, which says, “He giveth His beloved sleep.”
12:7 angel of the Lord. Peter had experienced a similar angelic release from prison at least once before (Acts 5:19), so he knew that God was still in control.
12:9 wist. That is, “know.”
12:12 many were gathered together. This was most likely the same upper room where they had been praying before the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:13), and where they had observed the last supper with the Lord (Luke 22:12). Mark had probably been in the house with them both times.
12:15 Thou art mad. In spite of the fact that they had been praying without ceasing for Peter’s release (Acts 12:5), they at first could not believe that God had answered their prayers!
12:15 It is his angel. There are, indeed, “guardian angels” assigned to believers (e.g., Psalm 34:7; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14), and it was evidently believed that each such angel could, if appropriate, assume the appearance of his particular charge. There is no Scriptural basis anywhere for the pagan belief that those who die still linger as ghosts. Besides, the Christians knew that Peter was not scheduled for execution until after the Passover (Acts 12:4), so there is no reason to think that, by “his angel,” they meant “his spirit.”
12:17 James. This James was obviously not the James who had just been slain by Herod, but rather James the half-brother of Jesus, who was becoming increasingly responsible for the leadership of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:13).
12:17 another place. At this point, Peter disappears from the narrative for several years, although he was active again in the Jerusalem church at the time of the council dealing with Jewish legalism (Acts 15:7).