4. What People Were Raised From The Dead In The Bible?
From time to time, we have reports of deaths and people being called back to life. When Christ arose from the dead, he was the first to be resurrected. It is important to note however that the resurrection speaks of that which only Christ began, that is He alone arose from the dead never to die again. So when we speak of the resurrection scripturally, don’t think of someone who has merely died and has been called back to life, because they’re going to die again. The next resurrection will only occur when Christ returns for his people (1Co 15:20, 23, 16:15; Jas 1:18; Rev 14:4).
There are nine individuals in the Bible presented as being raised from the dead. Of these miraculous resurrections, three occur in the Old Testament. At least three individuals were raised from the dead by Jesus. Both Peter and Paul raised a person from the dead and most importantly of all, Jesus himself was resurrected.
In addition, an untold number of saints also “arose” after Jesus’ resurrection (Matthew 27:52-53). It is also possible that Paul was raised from the dead after he was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19-20).
Elijah Resurrected The Son Of Zarephath’s Widow
1 Kings 17:17-24 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
19 And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.
22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth.
24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
Elisha Resurrected The Son Of The Great Shunammite Woman
2 Kings 4:35 (KJV)
35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
This interesting account is recorded in 2 Kings 4. The Shunammite woman had no children. For a woman to be barren in those days was a great source of shame. The word says that her husband was old, which would imply he was unable to produce seed. However, because the Shunammite woman was genuinely kind and generous to the prophet Elisha, he told her she would have a child in one year’s time. God healed her and her husband and she conceived and gave birth to a son.
Later on while working out in the fields something disastrous happens to her son (a head injury or possibly heat stroke) and he dies. Â The Shunammite woman hastily went to the prophet Elisha, and she insisted he go to her son and raise him from the dead.
A Dead Man Comes Back To Life When He Touches Elisha’s Bones
2 Kings 13:21 (KJV)
21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
Even after he was dead, the anointing still remaining in Elisha’s bones raised someone from the dead. Earlier in 2 Kings 2:9, Elisha had boldly requested that he receive a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. However, after Elisha died it looked like it was too late for him to raise twice as many people from the dead as Elijah.
Who would have ever thought that touching Elisha’s bones could raise someone from the dead; certainly not the men that were burying him! Clearly the seeds of faith we sow in the brief time we are in this world continue to grow and accomplish things even after we are long gone.
Jesus Resurrects The Widow’s Son At Nain
Luke 7:13-15 (KJV)
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter From The Dead
Matthew 9:25 (KJV)
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
See also Mark 5:42, and Luke 8:55
Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead
John 11:43-44 (KJV)
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Many Saints Resurrected At Jesus’ Crucifixion
Matthew 27:52-53 (KJV)
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Matthew 28:5-7 (KJV)
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
See also Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11, and John 20:1-10
Peter Raises A Female Disciple Named Tabitha From The Dead
Acts 9:36-42 (KJV)
36 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.
37 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.
38 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.
39 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 shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
40 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.
41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.
Paul Raises Eutychus From The Dead
Acts 20:9-12 (KJV)
9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.
11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
12 And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.
A Strong Possibility That Paul Was Raised From The Dead
Acts 14:19-20 (KJV)
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
The scripture doesn’t explicitly say that Paul was dead, but at best he was so close to death that the people who stoned him assumed he was dead. Either way this was a truly miraculous healing. One day Paul was being stoned to death and the next day he was marching on over to Derbe which was many miles away.