The Maid is not Dead, but Sleepeth

These words of Jesus are found in the story of Jairus’ daughter. Matthew chapter 9 records it this way: 18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. … 23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. This story is repeated by Mark and Luke as follows: Mark 5:22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, 23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. 24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. … 35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. 37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. 38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. 39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. 40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. 41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. 43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. Luke 8:41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: 42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. … 49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. 51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. 52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. 56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done. Dead not Dead Obviously the maid was physically DEAD, not just physically sleeping. So why would Jesus say “The maid is not dead, but sleeping”? Let’s take a close look at the original Greek phrase:

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The maid <korasion> is <apothnesko> not <ou> dead <apothnesko>, but <alla> sleepeth <katheudo>. MT 9:24 The damsel <paidion> is <apothnesko> not <ou> dead <apothnesko>, but <alla> sleepeth <katheudo>. MK 5:39 She is <apothnesko> not <ou> dead <apothnesko>, but <alla> sleepeth <katheudo>. LK 8:52. Here are the definitions from Strong’s Greek-English Dictionary with a list of other translations of the word as found in other places in the New Testament. Korasion = #2877, a derivative of kore (a maiden); a (little) girl—damsel, maid. Paidion = #3813, a childling (of either sex), i.e. an infant or a half-grown boy or girl; figuratively, an immature Christian—(little, young) child, damsel. Apothnesko = #599 {from #575 apo “off” and #2348 thnesko “to die”} to die off (literally or figuratively)—be dead, die, death, lie a-dying, be slain. Ou = #3756 the absolute negative adverb; no or not—nay, neither, never, no, none, nothing, un(worthy), when, without, yet, but. Alla = #235 properly, other things, i.e. adverbially contrariwise—and, but (even), howbeit, indeed, nay, nevertheless, no, notwithstanding, save, therefore, yea, yet Katheudo = #2518 from 2596 (down) and heudo (to sleep); to lie down to rest, i.e. by implication) to fall asleep (literally or figuratively)—be asleep; sleep. So a word-for-word translation would actually look like this: The maid not dead dead but sleeping. Apothnesko Apothnesko Why would Jesus use the word apothnesko twice in this sentence? What is He trying to convey? Let’s see if this double-use of the word occurs anywhere else in Scripture: Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall <apothnesko> never <ou me> <eis> <aion> die <apothnesko>. [die no never therefore ever die] Joh 11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man [Lazarus], which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should <apothnesko> not <me> have died <apothnesko>? Joh 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should <apothnesko> not <ou> die <apothnesko>: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall <apothnesko> not <ou> die <apothnesko>; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Ro 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will <apothnesko> one <tis> die <apothnesko>: Ro 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead <apothnesko> <apothnesko> wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died <apothnesko> for all, then were <apothnesko> all <pas> dead <apothnesko>: Second Death The context in which the phrase <apothnesko apothnesko> is used is very interesting. It seems related to the four instances in Revelation where the phrase “second death” is used. Re 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second <deuteros> death <thanatos>.

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Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second <deuteros> death <thanatos> hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Re 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second <deuteros> death <thanatos>. Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second <deuteros> death <thanatos>. Deuteros = #1208 (ordinal) second (in time, place, or rank; also adverb)—afterward, again, second (arily, time). Thanatos = #2288 from 2348 (thnesko); properly an adjective used as a noun) death (literally or figuratively)—death, (be) deadly. If the Bible says there is a “second death” or “death death” then there also must be a first death. The term “first death” isn’t used in Scripture. So what term is used? There are more than 50 verses connecting the words “sleep” or “slept” to death and burial in the grave. The kind of death mortal humans experience is referred to as “sleep.” because it is only temporary. Jesus declared, Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Someday everyone that “sleeps the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:3) will rise in one of two resurrections, separated by a thousand years. Re 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power. At this time all of the righteous put on immortality 1Co 15:51 ¶ Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. Re 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Everyone whose name has either been blotted from the book of life or never entered there, rise in the second resurrection. They receive their just sentence of second death in hell fire at that time. Why the Scoffers? The Sadducees during Jesus’ earthly ministry did not believe that there would be any resurrection. (MK 12:18). Thus they taught that the first death is permanent. Which is perhaps

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why Jesus attempted to clarify to them that the maid is not permanently “dead dead” but only “sleeping” the temporary sleep of death. This idea that the first death is permanent is also likely why some people questioned Jesus’ delay in coming to heal Lazarus before he “apothnesko apothnesko” JN 11:37. And why people assumed John would not “apothnesko apothnesko” JN 21:22-23, before the second coming. Interpreting “apothnesko apothnesko” as referring to the second death resolves another perplexing text in JN 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall “no never therefore ever die die.” Of course believers are mortal and subject to the first death because they are promised the first resurrection. But they are not by any means subject to the second death. Why a Resurrection? It seems the majority of persons on earth believe “ye shall not surely die” (GE 3:4), that the dead aren’t really dead. At nearly all funerals death is explained to be a transfer into another form of life. Supposedly the body alone dies but the person goes on living as a spirit being which can think, speak, act, and feel. This spirit being supposedly goes immediately to heaven or to hell. Most persons these days are preached and prayed into heaven regardless of what sort of person they were on earth. If this were true, then why would the Bible describe the first death as a “sleep” more than 50 times? And why would a resurrection be necessary? Who would want to be cumbered about with a body again after being a liberated spirit for thousands of years? Why would Jesus have resurrected Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son (LK 7:12-16), and Lazarus (JN 11)? If they were in heaven they should have resented being brought back to experience the sorrows and sufferings of earth again. A complete study of all the verses in the Bible referring to death brings to light a consistent and unmistakably clear testimony as to the state of mortal man in death. Here are a few samples: Ec 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Ec 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Ps 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Ps 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. Ps 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? Ac 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens. Job 7:9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. 10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. 31 Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done? 32 Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb. Job 17:13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. 14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. 15 And © 2010 New Life Mission Canada 4

where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? 16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust. Isa 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. 19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth. Job 14:10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. 13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. 15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands. These verses plainly say that men go to the grave when they die and not to heaven. That in death their thoughts, emotions, words, and acts all cease. Death is nothing more than an unconscious sleep. All men, whether righteous or wicked, wait quietly in the grave until the resurrection. Souls, spirits and ghosts In the story of Jairus’ daughter as told by Luke, we read, “And her spirit <pneuma> came again, and she arose straightway” LK 8:55. Also Job 14:10 quoted above says man that dieth “giveth up the ghost <gava>.” Solomon tells us “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit <ruwach> shall return unto God who gave it.” EC 12:7. What is this this spirit, ghost or soul? Ge 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath <neshamah> of life; and man became a living soul. Notice that dust plus breath of life = living soul. Without this breath of life or neshamah, man is a dead soul. Eze 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Let us consider the definitions of the Greek and Hebrew words translated as spirit, ghost, soul and breath of life above. Pneuma = Greek#4151; from 4154 (to breathe hard); a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition—ghost, life, spirit(ual)(ly), mind. Gava = Hebrew #01478; to breathe out, i.e. (by implication) expire—die, be dead, give up the ghost, perish. Ruwach = Hebrew #0737; from 7306 (to blow or breathe); wind; by resemblance breath, i.e. a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively, life, anger; by extension, a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions)—air, anger, blast, breath, courage, mind, spirit(ual), tempest, vain, (whirl)wind(y). Neshamah = Hebrew #05397; from #5395 (to blow away); a puff, i.e. wind, angry or vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect—blast, that breath(eth), inspiration, soul, spirit. These definitions tell us that the spirit that returns to God is nothing more than the air we exhale and a complete record of all that is stored in our minds that defines us as an individual person. It is like the hard drive of a computer. Separated from the computer, it cannot be read or used. But put it into another computer and you can access all the information. At death God takes our “hard drive” and keeps it in storage until the “last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the © 2010 New Life Mission Canada 5

dead shall be raised incorruptible.” In the resurrection He installs that “hard drive” or “soul” into a new “computer” or “body” and gives it life anew. Right now God alone “hath immortality” 1TI 6:15-16. Man has to “put on immortality” when “we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” 1CO 15:51-54. Conclusion From my study of the story of Jairus’ daughter I have concluded that “the maid not dead dead but sleeping” means that she had not died the second death but was only sleeping the unconscious sleep of death until the resurrection. Jesus chose to answer her parents’ prayers of faith and raise her up to mortality again. When her spirit came into her again, it means that God returned the breath of life and record of her memory and personality so that she was the same child when she awakened as when her parents had laid her to rest. What a comfort this is for those who have lost loved ones in death. We can know they are peacefully sleeping in the grave experiencing no more the painful illness which took them there. They do not have to witness the grief and suffering that their loved ones must go through as they attempt to carry on life without them. Motherless children are not in heaven growing up by themselves. Mothers are not in heaven watching their children on earth struggle to grow up without them. God does not take people from us because he needs their voice in the heavenly choir more than we need them here. When a faithful believer dies, God misses their company too. He can totally sympathize with our grief. He looks forward to the resurrection just as much as we do! Then the communication and fellowship will resume 4,aas if it were hardly interrupted by thousands of years. Unfaithful persons are not suffering in some strange state of limbo, purgatory, or hell. Their hatred and envy are perished with them. They are not being persecuted or tortured for thousands of years for one, two, or a few sins they may have not repented of. They are peacefully sleeping until the second resurrection. After the resurrection of damnation they will suffer in the lake of fire and brimstone only “according to their works” (PS 62:12; PR 24:12; JE 25:14; MT 16:27; RE 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12). But that is another subject altogether.

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