Acts 9:36

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.

Acts 9:36 in Other Translations

KJV
36 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.
ESV
36 Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity.
NLT
36 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.
MSG
36 Down the road a way in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, "Gazelle" in our language. She was well-known for doing good and helping out.
CSB
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. She was always doing good works and acts of charity.

Acts 9:36 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 9:36

Now there was at Joppa
The same with Japho, ( Joshua 19:46 ) a sea port town in the tribe of Dan, said by some historians F23 to be a very ancient one, even before the flood. It is now called Jaffa, and its name, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies beauty: some say it had its name from Jope, the daughter of Aeolus, the wife of Cepheus, the founder of it; and others derive it from the name of Japhet, because it looks towards Europe, which is inhabited by the sons of Japhet. It was built upon a hill, as Pliny F24 says; and so high, as Strabo F25 reports, that Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judea, might be seen from thence, which was distant from it forty miles; as may be concluded from what Jerom, F26 says, who lived at Bethlehem many years: his words are; from Joppa, to our little village Bethlehem, are forty six miles; now Bethlehem was six miles distant from Jerusalem, to the south of it, and Joppa was to the west of it. The place is well known by Jonah's taking ship there, and going for Tarshish, when he was cast into the sea, and devoured by a fish; from whence the Ionian sea might have its name: and this was the occasion of the fable of Andromeda being exposed to a fish of a prodigious size at this place; the bones of which, Pliny F1 relates, were brought to Rome from hence, being forty foot long; and, the stones, to which she was bound, Jerom F2 says, were shown in his time on this shore: and here also, the inhabitants report, may be seen some stones in the sea, on which Peter stood and fished, when he dwelt in this place.

A certain disciple, called Tabitha;
this was a woman's name, the masculine name was Tabi. R. Gamaliel had a manservant of this name {c}, and also a maidservant, whose name was Tabitha F4; yea, every maidservant of his was called mother Tabitha, and every manservant father Tabi F5:

which by interpretation is called Dorcas;
which signifies a roe in the Greek language, as Tabitha does in the Syriac:

this woman was full of good works;
was constantly employed in doing good; her works were both many and good:

and alms deeds which she did;
she was very kind and beneficent to the poor; she wrought with her hands much for their sakes, as appears by what follows.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 Mela, l. 1. Solin. Polyhistor. c. 47. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 13.
F24 Nat. Hist. ib.
F25 Geograph. l. 16.
F26 Epist. ad Dardanum, Tom. 3, fol. 23. K.
F1 Nat. Hist. l. 9. c. 5.
F2 Comment. in Jonam, c. 1. v. 3.
F3 Misn. Beracot, c. 2. sect. 7.
F4 T. Hieros. Nidda, fol. 49. 4. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 160. 4.
F5 Massecheth Semachot, c. 1. sect. 13.

Acts 9:36 In-Context

34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.
35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.
38 Lydda 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!”

Cross References 2

  • 1. Joshua 19:46; 2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7; John 1:3; Acts 10:5
  • 2. 1 Timothy 2:10; Titus 3:8