Boldness of Jewish persecution of Christ has escalated to the point that murdering an apostle pleases them. James, John's brother, was first to be sacrificed for Jesus. Peter was slated for next. Then things got exciting: angels, visions, sleep-standing, ghosts-at-the-door, cryptic night meesages.
Peter escapted, but the sixteen men guarding him paid for it with their lives. Cowardly, self-centered Herod fled the scene; perhaps the outcry agains his atrocity drove him to safety. He went instead to Caesarea, away from the Jews to a more Roman stronghold.
Ambassadors from Pheonicia came to him there, seeking political favors. As he wallowed in their flattery, God struck him with worms. He died in agony within days.
But, Jesus' gospel just kept on winning hearts.