Acts 9:36-39
Acts 9:36 (KJB)
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.
Almsdeeds - Kind or merciful acts
(Josh 19:46 KJV) And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho. Japho in Joshua 19:46 is the town of Joppa. It was the only seaport between Haifa and the coast of Egypt. The name “Tabitha” was an Aramaic name which was a form of the name Zibiah who was the mother of King Joash. (2 Ki 12:1 KJV) In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba. The name “Dorcas” is the First Greek name of a woman in the New Testament and it means “a gazelle” representing a thing of beauty. She was no doubt a Hellenistic Jew and possibly a wealthy woman but she is best known for her deeds of kindness done to others. She is also called a disciple which means that she was a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 9:37 (KJB)
And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
Peter was still at Lydda during this time and while he was there, Dorcas had taken ill and died. Her friends had taken her body and washed it and instead of burying it, they placed it in an upper room. It is not known what type of sickness she had but we can be sure that just as Lazarus, her death was unto the Glory of God. Even those who are very obedient to the Lord and are filled with doing good works will face the death of their physical bodies some day.
Acts 9:38 (KJB)
And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.
Perhaps the reason that they did not bury her immediately, which was the custom, was there were those in attendance who knew that Peter was close at hand in the next town over. Perhaps, there were those who knew what happened at the temple when the Lord Jesus, through Peter, healed the lame man and he walked. Instead of burying her body, the disciples were hoping that a resurrection of Dorcas might be in God’s will. So they sent for Peter to come as quickly as possible before the body starts to decompose.
Acts 9:39 (KJB)
Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
Peter had immediately went with the men and when he arrived at the house of Dorcas, they had brought him to the upper chamber where her body was laid out. Upon arrival in the room, those who were there were mourning over the loss of Dorcas and were showing Peter all the coats and garments that she had made for them. The fact that the house of Dorcas had a second floor tells us that she was quite well off because poor people lived in houses which were one room. Her having much money even causes her testimony to shine brighter because instead of hiring someone to make the clothes or going to a store and buying them, she took it upon herself to make by hand what was needed for others. She is remembered for her deeds and not for her wealth.