The Meaning of Acts 9:40 Explained

Acts 9:40

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.

YLT: And Peter having put them all forth without, having bowed the knees, did pray, and having turned unto the body said, 'Tabitha, arise;' and she opened her eyes, and having seen Peter, she sat up,

Darby: But Peter, putting them all out, and kneeling down, prayed. And, turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes, and, seeing Peter, sat up.

ASV: But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled 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.

KJV Reverse Interlinear

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?

Context Summary

Acts 9:32-43 - Strength And Life Through Christ
Peter was now free for a visit of apostolic inspection, of which the two incidents here preserved are the only record. Lydda was a village on the great plain, abutting on the seaboard. The effect of the miracle of healing wrought upon Æneas was profound. A general conversion of the agricultural population was the immediate result. They all turned to the Lord. The villagers had probably been prepared by the tidings of what had taken place, and a single spark sufficed to set the whole country in a blaze.
The little church at Joppa had sustained a serious loss in the death of one of its chief workers, a woman named Dorcas, Acts 9:36-37. She is described as a certain disciple. She had learned of Jesus Christ the great lesson that the love of God implies ministry to others, and she gave herself to practice it by quiet, feminine handiwork, which she distributed among the desolate and friendless women of the town. Peter's prayer in the chamber of death was answered, and Dorcas was given back to her friends. Our Lord put His seal upon her work, and she has been crowned as the patron saint of women workers. [source]

Chapter Summary: Acts 9

1  Saul, going toward Damascus, is stricken down to the earth,
8  and led blind to Damascus;
10  is called to the apostleship;
18  and is baptized by Ananias
20  He preaches Christ boldly
23  The Jews lay wait to kill him;
29  so do the Grecians, but he escapes both
31  The church having rest, Peter heals Aeneas;
36  and restores Tabitha to life

Greek Commentary for Acts 9:40

Put them all forth [ekbalōn exō pantas)]
Second aorist (effective) active participle of ekball a rather strong word, perhaps with some difficulty. Cf. Mark 5:40 which incident Peter may have recalled. The words are not genuine in Luke 8:54. Peter‘s praying alone reminds one of Elijah (1 Kings 17:20) and the widow‘s son and Elisha for the Shunammite‘s son (2 Kings 4:33). [source]
Tabitha, arise [Tabeithaanastēthi)]
With sublime faith like Taleitha koum of Jesus in Mark 5:41. She sat up (anekathisen). Effective aorist active indicative of anakathizō Often in medical writers, only here in the N.T. and Luke 7:15 where Westcott and Hort have in the margin the uncompounded form ekathisen Vivid picture. [source]
She sat up [anekathisen)]
Effective aorist active indicative of anakathizō Often in medical writers, only here in the N.T. and Luke 7:15 where Westcott and Hort have in the margin the uncompounded form ekathisen Vivid picture. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Acts 9:40

Matthew 16:18 Thou art Peter [οὺ εἶ Πέτρος]
Christ responds to Peter's emphatic thou with another, equally emphatic. Peter says, “Thou art the Christ.” Christ replies, “Thou art Peter.” Πέτρος (Peter ) is used as a proper name, but without losing its meaning as a common noun. The name was bestowed on Simon at his first interview with Jesus (John 1:42) under the form of its Aramaic equivalent, CephasIn this passage attention is called, not to the giving of the name, but to its meaning. In classical Greek the word means a piece of rock, as in Homer, of Ajax throwing a stone at Hector (“Iliadvii., 270), or of Patroclus grasping and hiding in his hand a jagged stone (“Iliadxvi., 784).On this rock ( ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέρᾳ )The word is feminine, and means a rock, as distinguished from a stone or a fragment of rock ( πέτρος , above). Used of a ledge of rocks or a rocky peak. In Homer (“Odyssey,” ix., 243), the rock ( πέτρην ) which Polyphemus places at the door of his cavern, is a mass which two-and-twenty wagons could not remove; and the rock which he hurled at the retreating ships of Ulysses, created by its fall a wave in the sea which drove the ships back toward the land (“Odyssey,” ix., 484). The word refers neither to Christ as a rock, distinguished from Simon, a stone, nor to Peter's confession, but to Peter himself, in a sense defined by his previous confession, and as enlightened by the “Father in Heaven.” The reference of πέτρα to Christ is forced and unnatural. The obvious reference of the word is to Peter. The emphatic this naturally refers to the nearest antecedent; and besides, the metaphor is thus weakened, since Christ appears here, not as the foundation, but as the architect: “On this rock will I build.” Again, Christ is the great foundation, the “chief corner-stone,” but the New Testament writers recognize no impropriety in applying to the members of Christ's church certain terms which are applied to him. For instance, Peter himself (1 Peter 2:4), calls Christ a living stone, and, in 1 Peter 2:5, addresses the church as living stones. In Revelation 21:14, the names of the twelve apostles appear in the twelve foundation-stones of the heavenly city; and in Ephesians 2:20, it is said, “Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (i.e., laid by the apostles and prophets), Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” Equally untenable is the explanation which refers πέτρα to Simon's confession. Both the play upon the words and the natural reading of the passage are against it, and besides, it does not conform to the fact, since the church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men. “The word πέτρα ,” says Edersheim, “was used in the same sense in Rabbinic language. According to the Rabbins, when God was about to build his world, he could not rear it on the generation of Enos, nor on that of the flood, who brought destruction upon the world; but when he beheld that Abraham would arise in the future, he said' 'Behold, I have found a rock to build on it, and to found the world,' whence, also, Abraham is called a rock, as it is said' 'Look unto the rock whence ye are hewn.' The parallel between Abraham and Peter might be carried even further. If, from a misunderstanding of the Lord's promise to Peter, later Christian legend represented the apostle as sitting at the gate of heaven, Jewish legend represents Abraham as sitting at the gate of Gehenna, so as to prevent all who had the seal of circumcision from falling into its abyss” (“Life and Times of Jesus”). The reference to Simon himself is confirmed by the actual relation of Peter to the early church, to the Jewish portion of which he was a foundation-stone. See Acts, Acts 1:15; Acts 2:14, Acts 2:37; Acts 3:12; Acts 4:8; Acts 5:15, Acts 5:29; Acts 9:34, Acts 9:40; Acts 10:25, Acts 10:26; Galatians 1:15.Church ( ἐκκλησίαν ) ἐκ out, καλέω , to call or summon. This is the first occurrence of this word in the New Testament. Originally an assembly of citizens, regularly summoned. So in New Testament, Acts 19:39. The Septuagint uses the word for the congregation of Israel, either as summoned for a definite purpose (Acts 7:38); but for this there is more commonly employed συναγωγή , of which synagogue is a transcription; σύν , together, ἄγω , to bring (Acts 13:43). In Christ's words to Peter the word ἐκκλησία acquires special emphasis from the opposition implied in it to the synagogue. The Christian community in the midst of Israel would be designated as ἐκκλησία , without being confounded with the συναγωγή , the Jewish community. See Acts 5:11; Acts 8:1; Acts 12:1; Acts 14:23, Acts 14:27, etc. Nevertheless συναγωγή is applied to a Christian assembly in James 2:2, while ἐπισυναγωγή (gathering or assembling together ) is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:25. Both in Hebrew and in New Testament usage ἐκκλησία implies more than a collective or national unity; rather a community based on a special religious idea and established in a special way. In the New Testament the term is used also in the narrower sense of a single church, or a church confined to a particular place. So of the church in the house of Aquila and Priscilla (Romans 16:5); the church at Corinth, the churches in Judea, the church at Jerusalem, etc.Gates of hell ( πύλαι ᾅδου )Rev., Hades. Hades was originally the name of the god who presided over the realm of the dead - Pluto or Dis. Hence the phrase, house of Hades. It is derived from ἀ , not, and; ἰδεῖν , to see; and signifies, therefore, the invisible land, the realm of shadow. It is the place to which all who depart this life descend, without reference to their moral character. By this word the Septuagint translated the Hebrew Sheol, which has a similar general meaning. The classical Hades embraced both good and bad men, though divided into Elysium, the abode of the virtuous, and Tartarus, the abode of the wicked. In these particulars it corresponds substantially with Sheol; both the godly and the wicked being represented as gathered into the latter. See Genesis 42:38; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 139:8; Isaiah 14:9; Isaiah 57:2; Ezekiel 32:27; Hosea 13:14. Hades and Sheol were alike conceived as a definite place, lower than the world. The passage of both good and bad into it was regarded as a descent. The Hebrew conception is that of a place of darkness; a cheerless home of a dull, joyless, shadowy life. See Psalm 6:5; Psalm 94:17; Psalm 115:17; Psalm 88:5, Psalm 88:6, Psalm 88:10; Job 10:21; Job 3:17-19; Job 14:10, Job 14:11; Ecclesiastes 9:5. Vagueness is its characteristic. In this the Hebrew's faith appears bare in contrast with that of the Greek and Roman. The pagan poets gave the popular mind definite pictures of Tartarus and Elysium; of Styx and Acheron; of happy plains where dead heroes held high discourse, and of black abysses where offenders underwent strange and ingenious tortures. There was, indeed, this difference between the Hebrew and the Pagan conceptions; that to the Pagan, Hades was the final home of its tenants, while Sheol was a temporary condition. Hence the patriarchs are described (Hebrews 11:16) as looking for a better, heavenly country; and the martyrs as enduring in hope of “a better resurrection.” Prophecy declared that the dead should arise and sing, when Sheol itself should be destroyed and its inmates brought forth, some to everlasting life, and others to shame and contempt (Isaiah 26:19; Hosea 13:14; Daniel 12:2). Paul represents this promise as made to the fathers by God, and as the hope of his countrymen (Acts 26:7). God was the God of the dead as well as of the living; present in the dark chambers of Sheol as well as in heaven (Psalm 139:8; Psalm 16:10). This is the underlying thought of that most touching and pathetic utterance of Job (Job 14:13-15), in which he breathes the wish that God would hide him with loving care in Hades, as a place of temporary concealment, where he will wait patiently, standing like a sentinel at his post, awaiting the divine voice calling him to a new and happier life. This, too, is the thought of the familiar and much-disputed passage, Job 19:23-27. His Redeemer, vindicator, avenger, shall arise after he shall have passed through the shadowy realm of Sheol. “A judgment in Hades, in which the judge will show himself his friend, in which all the tangled skein of his life will be unravelled by wise and kindly hands, and the insoluble problem of his strange and self-contradicting experience will at last be solved - this is what Job still looks for on that happy day when he shall see God for himself, and find his Goel (vindicator) in that Almighty Deliverer” (Cox, “Commentary on the Book of Job”). In the New Testament, Hades is the realm of the dead. It cannot be successfully maintained that it is, in particular, the place for sinners (so Cremer, “Biblico-Theological Lexicon”). The words about Capernaum (Matthew 11:23), which it is surprising to find Cremer citing in support of this position, are merely a rhetorical expression of a fall from the height of earthly glory to the deepest degradation, and have no more bearing upon the moral character of Hades than the words of Zophar (Job 11:7, Job 11:8) about the perfection of the Almighty. “It is high as heaven - deeper than Sheol. ” Hades is indeed coupled with Death (Revelation 1:18; Revelation 6:8; Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:14), but the association is natural, and indeed inevitable, apart from all moral distinctions. Death would naturally be followed by Hades in any case. In Revelation 20:13, Revelation 20:14, the general judgment is predicted, and not only Death and Hades, but the sea give tip their dead, and only those who are not written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). The rich man was in Hades (Luke 16:23), and in torments, but Lazarus was also in Hades, “in Abraham's bosom.” The details of this story “evidently represent the views current at the time among the Jews. According to them, the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life were the abode of the blessed. We read that the righteous in Eden see the wicked in Gehenna and rejoice; and similarly, that the wicked in Gehenna see the righteous sitting beatified in Eden, and their souls are troubled (Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus”). Christ also was in Hades (Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31). Moreover, the word γέεννα , hell (see on Matthew 5:22), is specially used to denote the place of future punishment. Hades, then, in the New Testament, is a broad and general conception, with an idea of locality bound up with it. It is the condition following death, which is blessed or the contrary, according to the moral character of the dead, and is therefore divided into different realms, represented by Paradise or Abraham's bosom, and Gehenna. The expression Gates of Hades is an orientalism for the court, throne, power, and dignity of the infernal kingdom. Hades is contemplated as a mighty city, with formidable, frowning portals. Some expositors introduce also the idea of the councils of the Satanic powers, with reference to the Eastern custom of holding such deliberations in the gates of cities. Compare the expression Sublime Porte, applied to the Ottoman court. The idea of a building is maintained in both members of the comparison. The kingdom or city of Hades confronts and assaults the church which Christ will build upon the rock. See Job 38:17; Psalm 9:13; Psalm 107:18; Isaiah 38:10. [source]
Luke 7:15 Sat up [ἀνεκάθισεν]
Compare Acts 9:40. In this in-transitive sense the word is used mostly by medical writers. [source]
Luke 7:15 Sat up [ανεκατισεν]
First aorist active indicative. The verb in the N.T. only here and Acts 9:40. Medical writers often used it of the sick sitting up in bed (Hobart, Med. Lang. of St. Luke, p. 11). It is objected that the symmetry of these cases (daughter of Jairus raised from the death-bed, this widow‘s son raised from the bier, Lazarus raised from the tomb) is suspicious, but no one Gospel gives all three (Plummer). [source]
Acts 20:36 He kneeled down [τεις τα γονατα αυτου]
Second aorist active participle of τιτημι — tithēmi to place. The very idiom used in Acts 7:60 of Stephen. Not in ancient writers and only six times in the N.T. (Mark 15:19; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; Acts 9:40; Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5). Certainly kneeling in prayer is a fitting attitude (cf. Jesus, Luke 22:41), though not the only proper one (Matthew 6:5). Paul apparently prayed aloud (προσηυχατο — prosēuxato). [source]
Acts 7:60 Kneeled down [τεις τα γονατα]
Second aorist active participle of τιτημι — tithēmi placing the knees (on the ground). This idiom is not in the old Greek for kneeling, but Luke has it five times (Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; Acts 9:40; Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5) and Mark once (Acts 15:19). Jesus was standing at the right hand of God and Stephen knelt before him in worship and called on him in prayer. [source]

What do the individual words in Acts 9:40 mean?

Having put then outside all - Peter and having bowed the knees he prayed having turned to the body he said Tabitha arise - And she opened the eyes of her having seen - Peter she sat up
Ἐκβαλὼν δὲ ἔξω πάντας Πέτρος καὶ θεὶς τὰ γόνατα προσηύξατο ἐπιστρέψας πρὸς τὸ σῶμα εἶπεν Ταβιθά ἀνάστηθι δὲ ἤνοιξεν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῆς ἰδοῦσα τὸν Πέτρον ἀνεκάθισεν

Ἐκβαλὼν  Having  put 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐκβάλλω  
Sense: to cast out, drive out, to send out.
ἔξω  outside 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ἔξω  
Sense: without, out of doors.
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Πέτρος  Peter 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Πέτρος  
Sense: one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
θεὶς  having  bowed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: τίθημι  
Sense: to set, put, place.
γόνατα  knees 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: γόνυ  
Sense: the knee, to kneel down.
προσηύξατο  he  prayed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: προσεύχομαι  
Sense: to offer prayers, to pray.
ἐπιστρέψας  having  turned 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐπιστρέφω  
Sense: transitively.
σῶμα  body 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: σῶμα  
Sense: the body both of men or animals.
εἶπεν  he  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
Ταβιθά  Tabitha 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Feminine Singular
Root: Ταβιθά  
Sense: the name of the woman that Peter raised from the dead.
ἀνάστηθι  arise 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: ἀναπηδάω 
Sense: to cause to rise up, raise up.
Parse: Article, Nominative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἤνοιξεν  she  opened 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀνοίγω 
Sense: to open.
ὀφθαλμοὺς  eyes 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ὀφθαλμός  
Sense: the eye.
αὐτῆς  of  her 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Feminine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἰδοῦσα  having  seen 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: εἶδον 
Sense: to see with the eyes.
τὸν  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Πέτρον  Peter 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: Πέτρος  
Sense: one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
ἀνεκάθισεν  she  sat  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀνακαθίζω  
Sense: to raise one’s self and sit upright, to sit up, erect.