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Fallen asleep (2837) (koimao related to keimai = to lie outstretched, to lie down) means to cause to sleep, is the word from which we get our word cemetery (see note below) which it was the early Christians optimistic name for a graveyard. It meant a sleeping place. It really was a synonym for a dormitory, a place where people sleep. This metaphorical use of the word sleep is appropriate because of the similarity in appearance between a sleeping body and a dead body; restfulness and peace normally characterize both. The object of the metaphor is to suggest that as the sleeper does not cease to exist while his body sleeps, so the dead person continues to exist despite his absence from the region in which those who remain can communicate with him, and that, as sleep is known to be temporary, so the death of the body will be found to be. Sleep has its waking, death will have its resurrection. In short, death to the believer is a sleep for his body—a period of rest to be followed by a glorious day. Koimao is used 134.7" class="scriptRef">75 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (22" class="scriptRef">22.13.11" class="scriptRef">11.11" class="scriptRef">11.9" class="scriptRef">9" class="scriptRef">19" class="scriptRef">19.4" class="scriptRef">Gen. 19:4, 32-Gen.19.38" class="scriptRef">32ff; 15.24" class="scriptRef">24" class="scriptRef">24.54" class="scriptRef">24:54; 6" class="scriptRef">26" class="scriptRef">26.10" class="scriptRef">26:10; 28.11" class="scriptRef">28:11; 43" class="scriptRef">30:15f; 31.54" class="scriptRef">31:54; 13" class="scriptRef">32:13, 21" class="scriptRef">21; 34:2, 7; 35:22; 39:7, 12, 14" class="scriptRef">14" class="scriptRef">14, 17; 41:21; 47:30; 49:9; Exod. 22:16, 19, 27" class="scriptRef">27; 23.20.20" class="scriptRef">20.18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">18" class="scriptRef">23:18; 25" class="scriptRef">34:25; Lev. 14:47; 15:4, 18, 24, 26, 33; 18:22; 19:13, 20; 20:11ff, 18, 20; 26:6; Num. 5:13, 19; 23:24; Deut. 16:4; 22:22f, 25, 28f; 24:12f; 27:20ff; 31:16; Jos. 2:8; 6:11; Jdg. 5:27; 16:3, 14; Ruth 3:4, 7f, 13f; 1 Sam. 3:9, 15; 9:26; 2 Sam. 7:12; 11:4, 9, 11, 13; 12:11, 24; 13:5f, 8, 11, 14, 31; 1 Ki. 1:2, 21; 2:10; 11:21, 43; 12:24; 14:31; 15:8, 24; 16:6, 28; 19:5f; 21:4; 22:40, 50; 2 Ki. 4:11, 20, 34; 8:24; 10:35; 13:9, 13; 14:16, 22, 29; 15:7, 22, 38; 16:20; 20:21; 21:18; 24:6; 1 Chr. 17:11; 2 Chr. 9:31; 16:13; 21:1; 26:2, 23; 27:9; 28:27; 32:33; 33:20; 36:8; Job 3:13; 7:4; 8:17; 14:12; 20:11; 21:13, 26; 22:11; 27:19; 39:9; 40:21; Ps. 3:5; 4:8; 41:8; 57:4; 68:13; Prov. 4:16; Eccl. 2:23; 4:11; Isa. 1:21; 5:27; 14:8, 18; 21:13; 43:17; 50:11; 57:8; 65:4; Jer. 3:25; 45:3; Lam. 2:21; Ezek. 4:4, 6; 23:8; 31:18; 32:20f, 27ff, 32; 34:14; Dan. 6:18; 8:18, 27) and 18 times in the NT... Matthew 27:52 and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; Matthew 28:13 and said, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.' Luke 22:45 And when He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, John 11:11 This He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep." 12 The disciples therefore said to Him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." Acts 7:60 And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" And having said this, he fell asleep. (See similar uses in the Septuagint 1Ki 2:10 referring to David falling asleep, 1Ki 11:43 referring to Solomon falling asleep) Acts 12:6 And on the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. Acts 13:36 "For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers, and underwent decay; 1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 1 Corinthians 15:6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep...18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished....20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep...51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 2 Peter 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." The early Christians adopted the word koimeterion (which was used by the Greeks of a place of rest, room for sleeping or bedroom, a rest house for strangers) for the place of interment of the bodies of their departed; thence the English word “cemetery” or “the sleeping place,” is derived. It was first applied in Christian burials in the Roman catacombs and by the 15th Century, the word cemetery had come into general usage. It is interesting that Matthew used this same verb, koimao, in his description of the events surrounding the Lord's death on the Cross... And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep (koimao) were raised and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. (Mt 27:50-53) Daniel uses this metaphor writing that... And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life (believers), but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt (unbelievers). (Daniel 12:2) C H Spurgeon writes that... The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is one of the best attested facts on record. There were so many witnesses to behold it, that if we do in the least degree receive the credibility of men's testimonies, we cannot and we dare not doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. It is all very easy for infidels to say that these persons were deceived, but it is equally foolish, for these persons could not every one of them have been so positively deceived as to say that they had seen this man, whom they knew to have been dead, afterwards alive; they could not all, surely, have agreed together to help on this imposture: if they did, it is the most marvellous thing we have on record, that not one of them ever broke faith with the others, but that the whole mass of them remained firm. We believe it to be quite impossible that so many rogues should have agreed for ever. They were men who had nothing to gain by it; they subjected themselves to persecution by affirming the very fact; they were ready to die for it, and did die for it. Five hundred or a thousand persons who had seen him at different times, declared that they did see him, and that he rose from the dead; the fact of his death having been attested beforehand. How, then, dare any man say that the Christian religion is not true, when we know for a certainty that Christ died and rose again from the dead? And knowing that, who shall deny the divinity of the Saviour? Who shall say that he is not mighty to save? Our faith hath a solid basis, for it hath all these witnesses on which to rest, and the more sure witness of the Holy Spirit witnessing in our hearts. "And last of all," says the apostle, "he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time: for I am the least of the apostles." We should not have thought Paul proud if he had said, "I am the greatest of the apostles," for he occupies the largest portion of the sacred Scriptures with his writings; and he preached more abundantly than they all. There was not one who could exceed Paul, or even come near him in his arduous labours; yet he says, 1Corinthians 15:7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; (NASB: Lockman) Greek: epeita ophthe (3SAPI) Iakobo, eita tois apostolois pasin Amplified: Afterward He was seen by James, then by all the apostles (the special messengers). (Amplified Bible - Lockman) KJV: After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. NLT: Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: He was then seen by James, then by all the messengers. (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: After that He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and in the last of all His appearances, (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: afterwards he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. THEN HE APPEARED TO JAMES: epeita ophthe (3SAPI) Iakobo: Appeared (3708) (horao) means to see or perceive with the eye, to pay attention to, to understand or to experience. Horao is used a number of times in the NT referring to seeing visions but Paul here is clearly not speaking of a vision but the actual bodily appearance of our Lord. James (2385) (Iakobos) used 42x in 38v - Matt 4:21; 10:2f; 13:55; 12.17" class="scriptRef">17.1" class="scriptRef">17:1; 27:56; Mark 1:19, 29; 3:17f; 5:37; 6:3; 9:2; 10:35, 41; 13:3; 14:33; 15:40; 16:1; Luke 5:10; 6:14ff; 8:51; 9:28, 54; 24:10; Acts 1:13; 12:2, 17; 15:13; 21:18; 1 Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19; 2:9, 12; Jas 1:1; Jude 1:1 Paul does not state which James He appeared to. There are three possibilities - Two original apostles were named James, one the son of Zebedee (Mt 4:21) and the other the son of Alphaeus (Mt 10:3, Mk 3:17, 18). The third is the Lord’s half-brother (Mt 13:55, Jas 1:1-note) Vine writes that... the James here mentioned was probably the Lord’s brother. The next clause means “then to the apostles as a complete body,” not indicating that the James referred to was one of the apostles. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos) A T Robertson comments that this is almost certainly the half brother of the Lord and ... This fact explains the presence of the brothers of Jesus in the upper room (Acts 1:14 "These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.") And so most commentators favor is James, the half-brother of the Lord, the one who became the leader of the Jerusalem church. "Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? (Mt 13:55) James had been skeptical of Jesus John recording... not even His brothers were believing in Him. (John 7:5) Stedman adds that Jesus'... brothers did not believe in him until the resurrection. It was that phenomenal event, that magnificent recovery, that finally convinced James that Jesus was the Son of God. We do not know when he appeared to him. Again, it would have been fascinating to have been there, and heard what he said, and how he revealed himself to his brother. But it is this James who wrote the Epistle of James in our New Testament. If you read through that letter you will see how reverently he refers to the Lord Jesus. He calls him twice the "Lord Jesus Christ," and once the "Lord of Glory," so that his brother was now solidly and firmly convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:5-11 They Saw Him Alive) THEN TO ALL THE APOSTLES: eita tois apostolois pasin: (Luke 24:50; Acts 1:2-12)

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