on Acts 12 :3
He proceeded - to take Peter also - He supposed that these two were pillars on which the infant cause rested; and that, if these were removed, the building must necessarily come down.
The days of unleavened bread - About the latter end of March or beginning of April; but whether in the third or fourth year of the Emperor Claudius, or earlier or later, cannot be determined.
on Acts 12 :3
And because he saw that it pleased the Jews - This was the principle on which he acted. It was not from a sense of right; it was not to do justice, and to protect the innocent; it was not to discharge the appropriate duties of a magistrate and a king, but it was to promote his own popularity. It is probable that Agrippa would have acted in this way in any circumstances. He was ambitious, vain, and fawning; he sought, as his great principle, popularity, and he was willing to sacrifice, like many others, truth and justice to obtain this end. But there was also a particular reason for this in his case. He held his appointment under the Roman emperor. This foreign rule was always unpopular among the Jews. In order, therefore, to secure a peaceful reign, and to prevent insurrection and tumult, it was necessary for him to court their favor; to indulge their wishes, and to fall in with their prejudices. Alas, how many monarchs and rulers there have been who were governed by no better principle, and whose sole aim has been to secure popularity, even at the expense of law, truth, and justice. That this was the character of Herod is attested by Josephus (Antiq., 19, chapter 8, section 3): "This king (Herod Agrippa) was by nature very beneficent, and liberal in his gifts, and very ambitious to please the people with such large donations; and he made himself very illustrious by the many expensive presents he made them. He took delight in giving, and rejoiced in living with good reputation."
To take Peter also - Peter was one of the most conspicuous men in the church. He had made himself particularly obnoxious by his severe and pungent discourses, and by his success in winning people to Christ. It was natural, therefore, that he should be the next object of attack.
The days of unleavened bread - The Passover, or the seven days immediately succeeding the Passover, during which the Jews were required to eat bread without leaven, Exodus 12:15-18. It was some time during this period that Herod chose to apprehend Peter. Why this time was selected is not known. As it was, however, a season of religious solemnity, and as Herod was desirous of showing his attachment to the religious rites of the nation (Josephus, Antiq., Exodus 19:7, Exodus 19:3), it is probable that he chose this period to show to them more impressively his purpose to oppose all false religions, and to maintain the existing establishments of the nation.
on Acts 12 :3
12:3 Then were the days of unleavened bread - At which the Jews came together from all parts.