Woke Up

Woke Up is a consideration of seven individuals who woke up in the Bible. I arranged these into three categories. I used the NIV Bible for this study. The reason for this is the term woke is not in the KJV. You will find awoke, awake, arise, and several other terms. Matthew 25:7 is the parable that started my study. Those virgins that woke up supplied many insights about the Kingdom of God

Several Greek terms are translated woke in the NIV and have various definitions and are applied in a variety of ways. I will look at some of the Greek terms. MOUNCE Reverse Interlinear Bible helped me with my Greek; I need it. This is not an exhaustive review of everybody who slept in the Bible or those who rose or got up.


Genesis 41:4 starts the story of Pharaoh and his dreams about cows and wheat. He woke up three times at the start of this narrative. When he woke up in the morning, his dreams troubled him and no one produced an answer about the meanings of the dreams. I have to imagine that his counselors offered ideas. Their explanations did not appease the dreamer. God had definite plans for these birthday dreams of Pharaoh, so only a God-inspired answer would do.

Two years earlier the Chief Cupbearer also woke up with a dream that troubled him. Joseph, a convict, helped the fellow out with a God-answer. God caused/allowed these dreams to raise Joseph up. Please remember that Joseph paid a severe price to interpret those dreams. 

Joseph also woke up that morning. It would be a sure bet that his bed was not as nice or smelled as good as Pharaoh’s. Joseph woke up every morning believing in God and that there was something better in his future. Remember, Joseph also woke up from his own dreams and held fast to the God of Abraham.  

Pharaoh woke up and realized his dreams were important. God graciously informed him about an issue that he could not see at that moment. The mercy of God saved the land of Egypt and helped Joseph, Israel/Jacob, and his family.

Matthew 1:24 is another story of waking up and realizing you heard God. Joseph woke up from a dream and took Mary to be his wife. That was a rough night’s sleep for the man. But Joseph heard God, so he accepted the dream to bring Mary home without questioning it. This confidence in God and His messages directed Joseph several times for the safety of his family.

Joseph and Pharaoh shared one thing in common. Once they realized God gave them those dreams, they acted on the message they received.


Matthew 8:25, Mark 4, and Luke 8 feature a sleeping Jesus and nervous disciples. This story takes place early in Jesus’s ministry. He has just started teaching about His Kingdom and training the Disciples. In a short time period, Jesus has gone from the Mountain and the Sermon to healing a leper and the Centurion’s servant, restoring Peter’s mother-in-law to health, and healing the people of Capernaum. He deserved to be tired and asleep in the boat. The disciples had no peace in the boat because they did not know the Man in the boat. The disciples called Him Lord, but did they believe He was Lord of all Creation?

Jesus woke, got up, and rebuked the storm. He then rebuked the disciples. So, was he a Master Teacher or grumpy Jesus, you judge. The Greek word for woke is egeirō, Strong’s #1453. This is a well-used word with many uses or definitions, it means to raise up or cause to arise.

Psalm 74:22 Arise O Lord and defend your cause. Did this story fulfill this verse? 

Act 12:7 has a sleeping Peter waking up by a slap on the side from an angel. He escaped guards, cell doors, strong gates, and a mean ruler. While he walked out of the fort, he imagined all of this being a dream. Maybe he woke up twice: in the jail and out on the street. Peter had grown in his faith because of the miracles worked by his hands, but this was too much for a sleepy Peter. This supernatural encounter woke Peter up to the reality of Jesus’ protection over his life and angels.

Acts 16:27 Paul’s guard woke up because of an earthquake. He drew the wrong conclusion and his sword. Waking up is hard when events are going bad. It took a friendly word from Paul and Silas and proof of God’s love to wake him and his entire family up to salvation in Jesus. 

Frightened disciples, an angel with an attitude, or an earthquake; God will use anything to wake you up when you have to act for Him.


Zechariah 4:1 has an angel waking Zechariah up during a string of visions/dreams. This series of dreams starts in 1:8 and finishes with chapter six. Many of these themes we see repeated in Revelations. This waking up takes place in between a vision for Jeshua/Joshua (the high priest) and Zerubbabel (a descendent of Jesus and the governor of Judah). 
Joshua and Zerubbabel build the Second Temple. Zechariah’s visions and preaching will help get this finished. Jesus and Revelations are all over these visions and words from the Lord in these first six chapters.

His being woken up by the angel makes me reflect on Peter. The line between our reality and angels may be thinner than we realize. Both men encounter angels that appear to have been in both realities.

Matthew 25:7 is the story of the ten virgins or young girls. The wise five woke up and prepared to complete their season of waiting to follow the bridegroom into the feast. The foolish five harassed sleeping business owners to get what they lacked. They never made it into the marriage. Jesus is love, but He is also righteous. 

In biblehub.com, I noted an interesting fact. The term woke in this story is ēgerthēsan. It occurs twice in the New Testament; they are Matthew 25:7 and again in 27:52. Chapter 27 is telling about the dead who rose to life and went back into Jerusalem.   


After musing on 25:7 I did a second post to keep this one short. 
As a retired teacher, I feel a study should answer your initial question and reveal new items for future inquiry. This investigation did both. I guess you might say I woke up during the parable.

5 thoughts on “Woke Up

  1. Pingback: Lean | Mark's Bible Study

  2. Enjoyed this! Also think you’re on to truth – the line between reality and and angels may indeed be thinner than we think!

  3. Pingback: Ten Virgins Who Woke Up | Mark's Bible Study

  4. Pingback: Politicians, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny | Mark's Bible Study

  5. Pingback: Fighting Words | Mark's Bible Study

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