Dorcas/ Tabitha:


Dorcas/Tabitha is a perfect role model of a strong woman that had traditional family values, courage, fortitude and good sense. She gave herself, her time and her love to serve the neediest among them of the day which was the widows. Peter resurrected her from death and because of this miracle many came to know Jesus Christ.  Acts 9:36-43

Dorcas/Tabitha seems to have been a well-off widow living in the coastal city of Joppa. Joppa has its own history being an ancient port in Israel where Jonah had set sail. It is also where the Apostle Peter performed many miracles. Today it is the modern city of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Dorcas/Tabitha was a disciple, and was full of good works and acts of mercy and donation to the poor. Dorcas/Tabitha became ill and she died. She was well loved by her friends and family who nursed her. Her illness is undetermined or at least not mentioned. When Dorcas/Tabitha died her body was washed and then laid out in an upper room.

The upper chamber or room is important to this story because this room was usually the highest part of the house. This upper room is usually where the women resided and it is the part of the house where traditionally was used for dinning, meditating and praying. It was usually built upon the flat roof of the house.

The mourners that were around Dorcas’ house knew that Peter had been nearby Lydda. They sent for Peter to come and not delay. Peter did respond immediately and his journey was considerable. Peter was staying at Lydda, about 11 miles inland. That would have taken Peter about 2 hours to walk.

Peter was taken to Dorcas /Tabitha’s body which was laid out in the upper room of her house. All the widows stood by him weeping and gathered around her body. They show Peter the garments she has made for the poor. This was the evidence to demonstrate to Peter all the good works that Dorcas /Tabitha had done while she was alive.

Peter was probably moved by their grief, but he put them all out of the room. Peter knelt down and prayed. This was done away from the body so he could focus entirely on the LORD God. Then he turned to the body and used her Jewish name, Tabitha. Peter commanded in the same way he had witnessed Jesus do.”Tabitha arise.”
She opened her eyes and when she saw Peter she sat up. Peter gave her his hand and she rose to her feet. Peter then presented her to the Christians and widows in the house. Peter remained in the town, staying at the house of Simon the tanner.

Dorcas/Tabitha was able to return to her friends and community. People could see with their own eyes that she had been brought back to life. The miracle was soon known all over the town of Joppa and because of this miracle people in Joppa came to believe in Jesus.

It was because of Dorcas/Tabitha at Joppa that there was a significant change in the way he saw his mission. It was at Joppa that Peter saw his mission went beyond the conversion of the Jewish people. Act 10:34 we see that Peter realized that the LORD God does not discriminate. Here is when Peter knew that he had to convert the Gentile as well as the Jews to believe and know the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through examples that many can be brought gently and lovely to Jesus Christ. Dorcas/Tabitha was tireless in giving to the widowers and needy. The Bible tells us “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10).

Her works among the widows follow after the teachings of the Bible. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27).

We can learn from Dorcas/Tabitha in that she gave herself, her time and her love to serve the neediest among them of the day which was the widows. Not all of them were believers because Acts 9: 41 tells us that Peter called in the saints and the widows. Dorcas/Tabitha is an example of love, kindness and goodness which are the fruits of the spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”(Galatians 5:22-26).

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:

Holstein, Joanne “Dorcas/ Tabitha: .” Becker Bible Studies Library Oct 2014.<,>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2014, October) “Dorcas/ Tabitha:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from,.

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2014) “Dorcas/ Tabitha:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (October),, (accessed).

Joanne Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is a graduate of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling with Liberty University. She is well-known as a counselor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on historical development of Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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