Acts 9:40

ESV But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
NIV Peter 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.
NASB But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, 'Tabitha, arise.' And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
CSB Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.
NLT But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, 'Get up, Tabitha.' And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up!
KJV But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

What does Acts 9:40 mean?

Peter has come to the town of Joppa, near modern-day Tel Aviv, to resurrect a respected Jesus-follower named Tabitha. When he arrives, he is swarmed by widows, mourning Tabitha's loss and showing off the garments she made for them (Acts 9:26–39).

The scene parallels that of Jairus' daughter in Mark 5:35–43. Jesus came to Jairus' house after his daughter had died. The house was filled with weeping and wailing. Like Peter, Jesus removed the mourners to provide a quieter space. And both simply told the dead to "arise."

There are distinct differences, as well. The professional mourners in Jairus' house were insincere actors: their job was to go to the homes of the newly dead and make a great show, with great commotion. Tabitha's friends were genuinely distraught. Tabitha's friends also had great faith in Jesus' healing power. Peter had been in Lydda that morning, about ten miles away. Tabitha's friends needed him to come before she would be buried—before sundown—so they rushed up to Lydda and rushed back with Peter; the "mourners" at Jairus' house told him his daughter was dead and there was no hope.

The crowd at Jairus' house practiced a religion that did not value hope. They did not understand that their Messiah was standing in front of them. The crowd at Tabitha's house had great hope that Jesus would raise their sister through His apostle Peter. Their hope was rewarded.

The other, obvious, similarity between the two stories is that when Jesus raised the little girl, He said, "Talitha cumi" (Mark 5:41) while Peter said "Tabitha, arise." Talitha is Aramaic for "maiden" or "little girl." It's thought that Mark included the Aramaic to prove that Jesus didn't use some kind of magic spell. "Tabitha" is the woman's name; it is the Greek transliteration for the Aramaic word that means "gazelle," which in Greek is Dorcas. Cumi or koumi is Aramaic for "arise" while Luke records Peter using anistēmi which is Greek for "arise." It's likely that Peter spoke Aramaic and Luke translated his words to Greek for Theophilus (Acts 1:1).
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