36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!"
39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon."
Peter heals Aeneas & Dorcas
For the next 2 chapters we will see the Acts of Peter, where he heals the sick and preaches the gospel to the Gentiles. The primary purpose of these miracles was to confirm the Word Heb. 2:3-4. When the people from Lydda and the surrounding area saw Aeneas standing and walking after being bed ridden for 8 years, they turned to the Lord. Peter had been able to turn their eyes from the person (himself) to the Power (Jesus) and many became Christians.
Joppa is 12 miles to the east on the seacoast. Actually today Joppa is known as Jaffa and is a suburb of Tel Aviv. In Joppa, there was now a church of the Lord, probably begun about he same time as the one at Lydda. Tabitha is the 2nd woman named in Acts since the Day of Pentecost, Sapphira was the first. Tabitha spent all her time in the performance of good works and acts of kindness, she was obviously loved and appreciated in the congregation and community, but she fell sick and died.
v. 38 Two men quickly went to Lydda where they knew Peter had just performed a miracle and these men URGED Peter to come quickly!!! She was already dead and she was about to be buried. It was not stated but it is likely they knew that Peter could bring her back to life. When he arrived he was greeted by her girl friends and works of her hands, as if pleading with Peter to bring her back to life because she was a Godly woman.
Interesting, this miracle was the first time an apostle raised someone from the dead, as far as it was recorded. Peter had no experience is raising people from the dead, he seemed to follow the pattern of Jesus, (Jesus was the Power, while Peter was seeking the power.)
First Peter sent them out of the room, then he knelt in prayer. Then he spoke clearly "Tabitha, get up." Like all other New Testament miracles, this one was immeidate, complete, and convincing.
Think about it, Peter came to weep with those who wept and he remained to rejoice with those who rejoiced!