Acts 9:36

ESV Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.
NIV In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
NASB Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which when translated means Dorcas); this woman was excelling in acts of kindness and charity which she did habitually.
CSB In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which is translated Dorcas). She was always doing good works and acts of charity.
NLT There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas ). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.
KJV Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

What does Acts 9:36 mean?

After Stephen's death (Acts 7:54–60), the Sanhedrin commissioned a passionate young Pharisee-trained Jew named Saul to track down Jesus-followers and bring them to trial. In Saul's zeal, he hunted the Jesus-followers and beat them. If they didn't blaspheme against Jesus, he voted for their execution (Acts 22:19; 26:10–11). In the wake of his fury the Jesus-followers scattered (Acts 8:1–3).

One of these Jesus-followers was Philip. After spending some time in Samaria, Philip preached about Jesus from the town of Azotus, up the coast to Caesarea Maritima (Acts 8:40). Today, Joppa is Jaffa, the seaport of Tel Aviv. In Peter's time, Joppa is a short detour off the coastal highway. It's possible that Philip established the church in Joppa, but it's equally possible that Tabitha learned about Jesus in Jerusalem and was, herself, a refugee.

"Tabitha" is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic tabhyetha, which means "gazelle." "Dorcas" means "gazelle" in Greek. Tabitha's good works included making clothing for the local widows (Acts 9:39). The responsibility to take care of widows is firmly established in the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 24:19; 27:19). Before Philip escaped Jerusalem and started his life as an evangelist, he was one of the first deacons, designated to make sure the Greek-speaking widows received enough food (Acts 6:1–6).
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