by Brad Scott
There is much debate concerning the event commonly called the rapture. The word is used some 13 times in the New Testament. The English word comes from the Latin rapio. Its meaning is basically the same as the Greek equivilent harpazo which means to seize, snatch, or carry away. Perhaps the most demonstrative use of this word in the New Testament is:
Ma’asey hashsheliyechiym (Acts) 23:10And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Sha’ul [Paul] should have been pulled in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the barracks.
This use most closely resembles this word as it is originally found in the Tanakh. There are two words that translate to harpazo in the Hebrew. The most oft used word is gazal (גזל), which means to violently steal away or to quickly snatch from peril.
Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 21:25And Avraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.
Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 21:12O house of David, thus saith YHVH, Execute justice in the morning, and deliver him that is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
The root meaning of this word, as it is defined in the Tanakh, is the idea of quickly rescuing someone from peril. Another Hebrew word used quite often is taraph (טרף). This word also means to tear away. This verbal root is pictured as a lion or wild beast tearing at its prey. Here are two interesting uses of this word, keeping in mind that YHVH declares from the beginning, the end.
Hoshea (Hosea) 5:14For I will be unto Ephraim like a lion, and like a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue.
Here is the first occcurrence of this word:
Bere’shiyt 8:11And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in here mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: So Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
I find it very interesting that Yah's people are seen as an olive tree, and that this olive leaf is violently taken away seven days, the duration of a Hebrew wedding, before the end of the flood, and the beginning of a new earth. Hmmmm.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊