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Why Were Their Deaths Interrupted?
by Wayne Blank
"It became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord"
Dorcas, also known as Tabitha (Dorcas means a gazelle in Greek; Tabitha is the equivalent in Hebrew) was also one of the people who had their death interrupted. When she became ill and died, the other disciples in Joppa who knew her as a beloved Christian lady called for Peter because he happened to be nearby - they could have called any of the apostles (or even someone already among them, if they had enough faith) because it's the Holy Spirit that does the miracles, not the person, as Peter said himself (e.g. Acts 3:12). Peter arrived, put everyone outside of the room (their weeping and wailing, although appropriate in their grief, would have been very distracting), prayed, and knew that the miracle would happen, according to God's will.
The purpose of God's allowing Tabitha to suffer and die in the first place, and then be brought back to this life, may be explained by the beneficial result that it had for the Gospel: "And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord" (Acts 9:42 KJV). Temporarily bringing people back from the dead was a means to demonstrate the power and truth of the Gospel.
"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."
Fact Finder: When are people going to be resurrected to judgment?