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Acts 9:36-39

Peter Raises Dorcas

9:36 Now in Joppa 1  there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 2  Dorcas). 3  She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 4  9:37 At that time 5  she became sick 6  and died. When they had washed 7  her body, 8  they placed it in an upstairs room. 9:38 Because Lydda 9  was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.” 10  9:39 So Peter got up and went with them, and 11  when he arrived 12  they brought him to the upper room. All 13  the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him 14  the tunics 15  and other clothing 16  Dorcas used to make 17  while she was with them.

1 sn Joppa was a seaport on the Philistine coast, in the same location as modern Jaffa. “Though Joppa never became a major seaport, it was of some importance as a logistical base and an outlet to the Mediterranean” (A. F. Rainey, ISBE 2:1118-19).

2 tn Grk “which being translated is called.” In English this would normally be expressed “which is translated as” or “which in translation means.” The second option is given by L&N 33.145.

3 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Dorcas is the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Tabitha. Dorcas in Greek means “gazelle” or “deer.”

4 tn Or “and helping the poor.” Grk “She was full of good deeds and acts of charity which she was continually doing.” Since it is somewhat redundant in English to say “she was full of good deeds…which she was continually doing,” the translation has been simplified to “she was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity.” The imperfect verb ἐποίει (epoiei) has been translated as a progressive imperfect (“was continually doing”).

5 tn Grk “It happened that in those days.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

6 tn Grk “becoming sick, she died.” The participle ἀσθενήσασαν (asqenhsasan) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

7 tn The participle λούσαντες (lousante") is taken temporally.

8 tn Grk “washed her,” but the reference is to her corpse.

9 sn Lydda was a city northwest of Jerusalem on the way to Joppa.

10 tn Grk “Do not delay to come to us.” It is somewhat smoother to say in English, “Come to us without delay.”

11 tn Grk “who.” The relative clause makes for awkward English style here, so the following clause was made coordinate with the conjunction “and” supplied in place of the Greek relative pronoun.

12 tn The participle παραγενόμενον (paragenomenon) is taken temporally.

13 tn Grk “and all.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

14 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.

15 tn Or “shirts” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). The name for this garment (χιτών, citwn) presents some difficulty in translation. Most modern readers would not understand what a ‘tunic’ was any more than they would be familiar with a ‘chiton.’ On the other hand attempts to find a modern equivalent are also a problem: “shirt” conveys the idea of a much shorter garment that covers only the upper body, and “undergarment” (given the styles of modern underwear) is more misleading still. “Tunic” was therefore employed, but with a note to explain its nature.

16 tn Grk “and garments,” referring here to other types of clothing besides the tunics just mentioned.

17 tn The verb ἐποίει (epoiei) has been translated as a customary imperfect.

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