Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

What Peter Saw by the Sea

As the church was now planted in many cities throughout the land of the Jews, Peter, who was a leader among the apostles, went from place to place visiting the believers in Christ and preaching the gospel. At one time Peter went down to the plain beside the Great Sea, and came to a city called Lydda. There Peter found a man named Aeneas, who had the palsy, and culd not walk, and had been lying on his bed eight years. Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ makes you well; rise up and roll up your bed."

Then at once Aeneas arose, and was well; and he took up the roll of matting on which he had been lying so long, and laid it away. All the people in Lydda and in Sharon heard of this great work, and many turned to the Lord.

There had been living at Joppa, not far from Lydda, a very good woman, whom everybody loved. She was called "The Gazelle," which is the name of a beautiful animal, like a deer. For her name in Hebrew was Tabitha, and in Greek was Dorcas, words which mean "Gazelle". Tabitha, or Dorcas, was a believer in Christ, and like her Lord, she loved the poor and helped them. By her work and by her gifts.

Dorcas helping the poor


While Peter was at Lydda, Dorcas was taken ill and died. They laid her body in an upper room, and then they went two men to Lydda for Peter, begging him to come without delay. Peter went to Joppa at once; and when he came to the house where the body of Dorcas was lying he found the room filled with widows and poor women, who were weeping, and showing the garments which Dorcas had made for them. But Peter sent them all out of the room; and when he was alone with the body of Dorcas, he knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the body and said. "Tabitha, arise!"

Lydda as seen to-day


And She opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter she sat up. Peter took her by the hand, and raised her up; then he called into the room the widows and the believers in Christ, and showed Dorcas to them, alive and well. The news of this wonderful work, of life given to the dead, amazed all the city of Joppa, and led many to believe in Christ. Peter stayed many days in Joppa, at the house of a man named Simon, who was a tanner, and lived near the sea.

The house of Simon the tanner in Joppa as it now i


At that time an officer of the Roman army was at Caesarea, about thirty miles north of Joppa, beside the Great Sea. His name was Cornelius; and he was the commander of a company of a hundred soldiers. We would call such an officer "a captain" but in the Roman army he was called "a centurion". The centurion Cornelius was not a Jew, but a Gentile, which was the name that the Jews gave to all people except themselves. Yet Cornelius did not worship idols, as did most of the Gentiles. He prayed always to the God of Israel, and feared God, and gave to the poor; and he taught his family to worship the Lord.

One day, in the afternoon, Cornelius was praying in his house, when an angel came to him and called him by name, "Cornelius!" Cornelius looked at this strange and shining being, and he was filled with fear, but he said, "What is it, Lord?"

And the angel said to him, "Cornelius, the Lord has seen your gifts to the people and has heard all your prayers. Now send men to Joppa, and let them bring to you a man named Simon Peter. He is staying in the house of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea."

Then the angel passed out of sight, and Cornelius called two servants and a soldier who worshipped the Lord. He told them what the angel had said, and sent them to Joppa for Peter. These men traveled all night, following the road southward by the Great Sea, and about noon of the next day they drew near to Joppa.

On that day, just before these men came to Joppa at noon, Peter went up to the roof of the house to pray. He became very hungry, and wished for food; but while they were making ready the dinner he fell into a strange sleep, and a vision came to him. In his vision he saw what seemed to be a great sheet let down by its four corners from above. In it he saw all kinds of beasts, and birds, and creeping things. Some of these were animals and birds that the Jews were allowed to eat; but many others were of kinds that the old law forbade the Jews to eat; and such as were forbidden, the Jews called "common" and "Unclean". Peter saw in this great sheet many beasts, and birds, and creeping things that in his sight were common and unclean. As he looked, he heard a voice saying to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat."

Peter had always been very strict in keeping the Jewish rules about food, and he answered, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything common or unclean."

Then he hear the voice saying to him, "What God has made clean, do not thou make common or unclean."

Three times Peter heard these words spoken, and then the great sheet with all the living creatures in it was lifted up to heaven and passed out of his sight. Peter knew at once that the vision and the words which he had heard must have a great meaning; but as he thought upon it he could not see what the moaning was. While he was thinking of the vision and wondering at it, the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him, saying, "Peter, three men are looking for you. Go down to the door and meet them; and go with them, without doubting, for I have sent them."

Just at that moment, the three men from Caesarea Knocked at the door, and asked for Simon Peter. Peter met them, and said to them, "I am here, the man whom you are looking for. For what reason have you come to me?"

And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion at Caesarea, a good man, one that fears God, and is well spoken of by all the Jews, was yesterday commanded by a holy angel to send for you, and to listen to words from you.

Them Peter called the men into the house and heard all their story, and kept them there that night. On the next morning he went with them, and some of the believers from the church of Joppa went with the party. On the next day they came to Caesarea, and entered into the house of Cornelius. There they found Cornelius waiting for them, and with him a number of his family and his friends. As Peter came into the room, Cornelius fell down at his feet, and was about to worship him; but Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself, also, am a man, and not God."

And as Peter looked around he saw many people that had net together; and they were all Gentiles, men who were not Jews. And Peter said, "You know that it is against the law of the Jews for a man that is a Jew to come into the house with one of another nation, or to meet with him. But God has showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. For this reason I came at once when I was sent for. Now I ask for what purpose you have sent for me."

Then Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was praying, at three o'clock in the afternoon, when a man stood by me, clad in shining garments, and he said to me, 'Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your good deeds are known to God. Send now to Joppa, and send for Simon who is called Peter.' I sent at once for you, and you have done well to come so soon. Now we are all here before God, to hear whatever God has given to you to speak to us."

Then Peter opened his mouth, and began to speak; for he saw now what the vision meant which he had seen on the housetop. He said, "I see now that God cares for all men alike, not for the people of one nation only; but that in every nation those that fear God and do right are pleasing to him." Then Peter began to tell the story of Jesus; how he lived, how he did good works, how he died, how he rose again, and how in Jesus Christ every one who believes may have his sins forgiven.

While Peter was speaking the Holy Spirit fell on all who were in the room. And the Jews who were with Peter were amazed as they saw the Spirit of God given to Gentiles, men who were not Jews. Then Peter said, "Can any man forbid that these should be baptized with water, upon whom the Spirit has come, and as he came upon us?"

Then by Peter's command these Gentile believers with Cornelius were baptized as members of Christ's Church. And Peter stayed with them a few days, living with Cornelius, and eating at his table, though he was a Gentile, something which Peter would never before have thought it right for him to do. Soon the news went through all the churches in Judea that Gentiles had heard the word and had been baptized. At first the Jewish believers could not believe that this should be allowed; but when Peter had told them all the story of Cornelius and the angel, of his own vision of the great sheet full of animals, and of the Spirit coming upon the Gentiles, then they all praised God, and said, "So to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews, God has given to turn from their sins, and to be saved in Jesus Christ, and to have everlasting life."