36 At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did.
37 But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
38 And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.
39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.
40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt 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.
41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.
43 So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.
Joppa (v.36) — (See 2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7; Jonah 1:3.) It was built on an elevated piece of rocky ground which made it conspicuous to vessels approaching that coast. It was, and still is, the port of Jerusalem. It is the only harbor which affords shelter for shipping between Egypt and Mr. Carmel. Its modern name is Jaffa. Philip probably preached there on his way from Gaza to Caesarea (8:40). — The Acts of the Apostles, by Thomas Walker, page 222.
Tabitha (v.36) = gazelle (Aramaic) — with emphasis on its grace and beauty
Dorcas (v.36) = gazelle (Greek) — with emphasis on its bright eyes and gentle gaze
Lydda was near Joppa (v.38) — 1o or 12 miles
not to delay (v.38) = not to scruple or be reluctant or hesitate
showing the tunics and garments (v.39) — The widows were probably wearing the tunics (close-fitting, worn next to the body) and garments (loose cloaks worn over the tunics) that Tabitha made.
had made (v.39) = tense indicates “was in the habit of making”
Simon a tanner (v.43) That trade [tanning] was regarded as unclean by the Jews, as having to do with the skins of dead animals. Peter’s continued residence in such a house was a sign that his Hebrew prejudices were weakened. It was also a special preparation for the work which lay next before him, in God’s purpose — that of opening the doors of His kingdom to the Gentiles. — Walker, page 225.
As the healing of Aeneas foreshadows the restoration of a sick Israel in the future, so the raising of Dorcas speaks of the future resurrection of those in Israel who will have died “full of good works.” Together, the restoration of living Israel and the resurrection of Israel’s saved dead will be the means of turning many to the Lord. — Acts Dispensationally Considered, by C.R. Stam, page 68