Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How the Iron Gate Was Opened

You Remember that in the years while Jesus was teaching, Jerusalem and the part of the land near it was ruled by a Roman Governor, whose name was Pilate; and that he was the ruler who sent Jesus Christ to the cross. After some years, the emperor at Rome, who ruled all the lands around the Great Sea, gave all the country of the Jews to a man named Herod Agrippa, and made him King of Judea. He was the nephew of the Herod who killed John the Baptist, as was told in Story Eighteen of Part Sixth, and the grandson of the other Herod who killed all the little children of Bethlehem, in trying to kill the little child Jesus, as we read in Story Three Part Sixth. Herod Agrippa was the King of Judea when Peter saw the vision on the housetop, and preached to the Gentiles, as we read in the last Story.

Herod wished to please the Jews in Jerusalem; and he seized one of the apostles, James, the brother of John, one of the three disciples who had been nearest to Jesus. He caused his guards to kill James with the sword, just as John the Baptist had been killed by his uncle, Herod Antipas. When he saw how greatly this act pleased the chief priests and rulers, he laid hands on Simon Peter also, and put him in prison, intending at the next feast of the Passover to lead him forth, and to put him to death.

Peter, therefore, was kept in the prison, with sixteen soldiers around the prison to guard him, four soldiers watching him all the time; but all the church prayed very earnestly to God for him. On the night before the day when Peter was to be brought out to die, he was sleeping in the prison, bound with two chains, while guards before the door were watching. Suddenly a bright light shone in Peter's cell and an angel from the Lord stood by him. He angel struck him on the side, and awoke him, and said, "Rise up quickly."

An angel enters the prison cell


And As Peter awaked and stood up, his chains fell from his hands. And the angel said to him:

"Tie your girdle about your waist, and bind your sandals on your feet."

And Peter did as he was told, scarcely knowing what he was doing. Then the angel said:

"Wrap your cloak around you and follow me."

And Peter followed the angel, thinking that he was dreaming. They passed the first guard of the soldiers, and the second; but no one stirred to hinder them. Then they came to the great iron gate on the outside of the prison; and this opened to them, as if unseen hands were turning it. They went out of the prison into the city, and passed through one street. Then the angel left Peter as suddenly as he had come to him. By this time Peter was fully awake and he said:

"Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and has set me free from the power of King Herod."

Peter thought of what he should do, and where he should go; and he turned toward the house of a woman named Mary, who was near of kin to Barnabas; and who had a son named John Mark, then a young man, the same who many years afterward wrote "the Gospel according to Mark." At Mary's house many were net together, and they were praying for Peter.

Peter came to the house and knocked on the outside door, and called to those who were within. A young woman named Rhoda came to the door. She listened, and at once knew the voice of Peter. So glad was she that she did not think to open the door, but ran into the house, and told them all that Peter was standing at the door. They said to her, "You are crazed!"

But she said that she was sure that Peter was there, for she knew his voice. And then they said:

"It must be an angel who has taken Peter's form!"

But Peter kept on knocking; and when at last they opened the door, and saw him, they were filled with wonder. With his hand he beckoned to them to listen; and he told them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And Peter said to them:

"Tell these things to James and to the other apostles."

And then he went away to a place where Herod and his men could not find him. The morning came, and there was a great stir among the soldiers, as to what had become of Peter. Herod the king sought for Peter, but could not find him; and in his anger he ordered that the guards in the prison should be put to death. And not long after this Herod himself died so suddenly that many believed his death came from the wrath of God upon him. So Herod perished; but Peter, who he sought to kill lived many years, working for Christ.

The James of whom Peter spoke, when he said, "Tell these thing to James," was not James the apostle, the brother of John, for already that James had been put to death by Herod. He spoke of another James, a son of Joseph and Mary, a younger brother of Jesus, one who was always called "the Lord's brother." This James was a very holy man; and a leader of the church in Jerusalem, where he lived many years. Some time after this James wrote the book of the New Testament called "The Epistle of James."