Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John ‘with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 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 to bring him forth to the people. – Acts 12:1-4
Herod had just beheaded James, it made the Jews happy. Now Herod desires to kill Peter also, but he wants to wait until after “Easter” according to the King James Bible. Every other modern ‘bible’ perversion has the word “Passover” instead of “Easter.” But “Easter” IS actually CORRECT, and is the proper word to use. How do we know this? The Bible evidences it. Notice again in the passage of Acts 12:1-4 that King Herod killed James. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, Herod also had Peter arrested. Notice that Herod took Peter DURING the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD and was going to bring him forth to the people AFTER Easter.
NOTE: Don’t forget that text in brackets ( ) in the Bible are ‘extra little personal notes’ to us from the Lord, to help clarify things for us even further – and boy do they here!
The Old Testament teaches that the DAY OF PASSOVER started the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. Notice in the following Scripture that the Day Of Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month, but the Feast Of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th day of the month:
In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. – Leviticus 23:5-6
So we learn from this Old Testament Scripture that the day of Passover fell on the 14th day of the first month, and then the “FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD” began upon the 15th day of the first month.
The days of unleavened bread came AFTER Passover! Acts 12:3 tells us that Peter was apprehended DURING the “days of unleavened bread.” This means that the day of Passover had ALREADY occurred. “Easter” could not have been Passover, because Passover occurs BEFORE the days of unleavened bread. Passover had come and gone. Herod decided to bring Peter forth AFTER Easter.
This is the proper time sequence:
- DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
The day of Passover always kicks off the seven days of unleavened bread, happening the day before the feast begins. So if Herod arrested James during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Passover was already over. Easter is correct. Of course, Easter is a pagan holiday and the Bible doesn’t deny that. The Bible is simply teaching that James was taken by Herod during the days of unleavened bread, and Herod was planning to kill Peter after Easter.
Easter was originally a pagan holiday
The word “Easter” here does NOT refer to “Easter” as we know it nor does it refer to the “Passover” as it is wrongly translated in other Bible versions. Though many Christians celebrate “Easter” in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection, Easter was originally a pagan festival (etymology of your dictionary should confirm this), which is what Acts 12:4 refers to and not the Passover. We will determine this by looking at the passage.
The Webster’s New World Dictionary gives the following etymology (origin and development of a word), for the word “Easter”:
“originally, name of pagan vernal [spring time] festival ALMOST COINCIDENT in date with paschal [Passover] festival of the church”
SOURCE: Eastre, dawn goddess—Austro, dawn
In other words, Easter was originally a pagan festival celebrated in the spring time. When the King James Bible says “EASTER” in Acts 12:4, it is correct; when the other versions say “PASSOVER” in Acts 12:4, they are incorrect. Again, “Easter” in this passage is referring to a pagan festival.
Further evidence from the Book of Numbers
Passover only comes once a year on one day, the 14th of Abib ( Numbers 28:16). After the Passover, then comes the seven days of unleavened bread (Numbers 28:16-17), extending from the fifteenth day through the twentieth day… Numbers 28:16-17, And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.
So when Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread (Acts 12:3), Passover had come and gone! This evidences 100% that “Easter” is the correct word that should be rendered in Acts 12:4. The Bible says that Herod was going to bring him forth AFTER Easter (which had not come yet). The angel of the Lord rescued Peter in response to the prayers of the church, who were gathered together praying for Peter after they heard that James had been killed. The Bible says in Acts 12:19 that the keepers of the prison were put to death by Herod for Peter’s escape from the prison. In Acts 12:23 the Holy Spirit struck Herod and He was eaten by worms and died. Herod is in Hell this moment in torments.