ἁρπάζω (harpazō)

This is a use of the word harpazo in our New Testament.  Thayer gives this definition:

ἁρπάζω
harpazō
1) to seize, carry off by force
2) to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly
3) to snatch out or away
Part of Speech: verb

This word when used in I Thessalonians 4:17 is translated to rapiemur in the Latin Vulgate.  The Latin word is where we get our word rapture.

The following list will attempt to give us a better understanding of how the Holy Spirit inspired the use of this word.  In each line of the numbered list, the verse is as it is written in the King James Version followed by the verse unchanged except that the Greek word harpazo will be translated to rapture.

  1. [Mat 11:12] And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent rapture it.

  1. [Mat 13:19] When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and raptureth that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

  1. [Jhn 6:15] When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone.

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and rapture Him, to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone.

  1. [Jhn 10:12] But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf raptureth them, and scattereth the sheep.

  1. [Jhn 10:28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] rapture them out of my hand.

  1. [Jhn 10:29] My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand.

My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to rapture [them] out of my Father’s hand.

  1. [Act 8:39] And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord raptured Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

  1. [Act 23:10] And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring [him] into the castle.

And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to rapture him from among them, and to bring [him] into the castle.

  1. [2Co 12:2] I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one raptured to the third heaven.

  1. [2Co 12:4] How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

How that he was raptured into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

  1. [1Th 4:17] Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be raptured together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

  1. [Jde 1:23] And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

And others save with fear, rapturing [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

  1. [Rev 12:5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was raptured unto God, and [to] his throne.

This is not an attempt to show myself as an expert in translation, or anything of the sort.  The work of translation involves much more than changing one word for another, but rather needs to be the work of an expert in both languages.  It is just a simple attempt to show how this word is used in sentences and to glean what we can from it.

Incidentally, an entity who captures is called a captor. An entity that raptures could be called a raptor.  Does the following picture give a good representation of the event of I Thessalonians 4:17?

pygargue

Previous study:  Paul’s Teaching on the “Last Days”

Next Study:  The Anticipating Life

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