Resurrected from the Dead!

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How many people have been resurrected back to life in the Bible?

The First Resurrected Person

The Bible lists ten separate occasions when God resurrected people back to life. The first one listed in Scripture is where Elijah the prophet raised a widow's son from the dead. Elijah was staying in the widow's home when her son perished. After he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Eternal each time, the child was resurrected!

And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, and said, "O Lord my God, please let this child’s life come to him again." And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child came into him again, and he lived. (1Kings 17:21 - 22, HBFV).

Two More Raised Through Elisha

The second person brought back to life was the son of a Shunammite woman whom the prophet Elisha resurrected. After putting his body in contact with the person who was dead, the young man became warm again and miraculously woke up!

Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Agnolo Bronzino, 1552

And Elisha had come to the house. And behold, the boy was dead, and laid out upon his bed. And he went in and shut the door upon the two of them, and prayed to the Lord.

And he went up and lay upon the boy, and put his mouth upon his mouth and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands. And he stretched himself upon the boy. And the flesh of the boy became warm . . .

And he called Gehazi and said, "Call this Shunammite." And he called her, and she came in to him. And he said, "Take up your son!" (2Kings 4:32 - 34, 36, HBFV).

Elisha was also involved in raising the third Biblical person resurrected when his bones were used to cause life to enter again a man. Sometime after Elisha was buried in a cave, and all that was left was his bones, a group of men entered the cave to take care of the body of another dead person. Unable to give the person a proper burial, they threw his body into the cave. When the body touched the dried bones of Elisha it came back to life (2 Kings 13:20 - 21)!

The Resurrections of Jesus

The fourth person resurrected in the Bible took place when Jesus brought back to life the only son of a widowed woman from Nain (Luke 7:11 - 18). Later, he performed the Bible's fifth resurrection when he caused life to enter again the young daughter of Jarius (he was a ruler in the synagogue, see Mark 5:35 - 38, Luke 8:49 - 52, Matthew 9:23 - 26).

And they were all weeping and bewailing her. But He said, "Do not weep. She is not dead, but is sleeping." . . . But after putting everyone outside, He took hold of her hand and called out, saying, "Child, arise" (Luke 8:52, 54).

The sixth person resurrected back to life was Jesus' well-known resurrection of his friend Lazarus (John 11).

The seventh Biblical resurrection was actually a large group of saints who were made to come out of their graves immediately after Jesus was given his spirit life back.

Then suddenly the veil of the temple was ripped in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks were split, so that the tombs were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had died, were resurrected after His resurrection; and they came out of the tombs. Then they entered into the holy city, and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:51 - 53, HBFV).

Peter Raises the Dead

In Joppa, Peter resurrected the eighth person brought back from the dead recorded in the Bible. She was a generous church member named Tabitha.

Now there was in Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha; which, being interpreted, is called Dorcas. She was full of good works and of alms that she did. And it came to pass in those days that she became sick and died; and after washing her, they put her in an upper room . . .

But after putting everyone out, Peter fell to his knees and prayed. Then, turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. (Acts 9:36 - 37, 40, HBFV).

Resurrections Related to Paul

Paul, in 46 A.D., was evangelizing Lystra with his friend Barnabas. Unbelieving Jews arrive in the city however and, turning the people against the apostle, stone him to the point where he appears dead.

Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and after persuading the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, supposing that he was dead (Acts 14:19, HBFV).

Biblical Commentaries by those such Adam Clarke and E.W. Bullinger believe the apostle was literally dead and not merely rendered unconscious. Given the ferocity of first century Jews against the gospel, and Paul in particular, it seems likely they would have insured he was killed. If true, his subsequent reawakening after being dragged outside the city would be the ninth Biblical resurrection.

The tenth and last known person in the Bible raised back to life was a young man named Eutychus. While listening to Paul's preaching he fell asleep in a third story window and accidently dropped to his death. Paul quickly went to him and resurrected him back to life!

And there sat in the window a certain youth named Eutychus, who was overpowered by deep sleep after Paul had been speaking for a long time; and he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.

But Paul went down and laid himself on him, and embraced him, and said, "Do not be anxious, for his life is in him." . . . And they brought in the boy alive, and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:9 - 10, 12, HBFV).

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