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Answers to Correspondents.
pp. 46 - 48
No. 22.--M.H.P., LONDON.
"(1). Is it correct that the Hebrew ha-qatan, which is translated (the)
`younger' in Gen. 9: 24, should be rendered `the youngest'? I am
informed that, according to Fuerst, the Hebrew Lexicographer, it is so, and
that every occurrence of ha-qatan in the O.T. means `the youngest'.
(2). According to a pamphlet entitled Coming Events, by Pastor Joseph
Smale. The Pastor writes, `That there is no tarrying in the air is clear from
the usage of the word meet' (page 9 note). If this is so, then the rapture of
I Thess. 4: will take place at the end of the great Tribulation and not
before it. But does not this contradict the teaching of I Thess. 5: 1-11 and
I Thess. 1: 10, `even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come'? I
presume that the us refers to the members that will form the bride."
In answer to (1), the word ha-qatan, primarily means anything small, then, young.
You may test the value of the assertion that "every occurrence of ha-qatan in the O.T.
means `the youngest'" by referring to its use in Genesis itself. For example, "Jacob her
younger son" (27: 15, 42), "the name of the younger was Rachel". "Seven years for
Rachel thy younger daughter" (29: 16, 18). The word youngest in these three cases
would be untrue, for Jacob had but one brother, and Rachel but one sister. Ha-qatan is
translated youngest in Gen. 42: 13; the change of vowel from qatan to qaton has no
inspired authority, for the original Hebrew had no vowel points. Time is too valuable to
tabulate the 47 occurrences of qatan, and the 50 or more occurrences of qaton, for the
words are used for either the younger or the youngest, the lesser or the least as the case
may be (see Gen. 1: 16, "lesser").
In answer to (2), when you say, "Does not this contradict the teaching of
I Thess. 5: 1-11?" you do not say enough, for you mean some interpretation of the
passage that makes it appear that those who meet the Lord in the air will of necessity
escape the great tribulation. Looking at the passage we note that it says, "But of the
times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you". Here comes a pause
in some interpretations, and the question is asked, Why had he no need to write
concerning times and seasons? the answer being, Because times and seasons had nothing
to do with them, as they would caught up before the day of the Lord comes. What is the
answer of the Word to the self-same question? The answer is that they knew perfectly!
It is as though I wrote saying, There is no need for me to send you a time-table, for you
know perfectly the time the trains start. Would it be a fair inference to say, As I have no
need for a time-table, that proves I am not going by a train at all? The Thessalonian
saints had no need for the apostle to write to them concerning "brotherly love" (4: 9), not
because brotherly love had no connection with them, but for the good reason that they
themselves were taught of God to love one another. The Thessalonian saints knew the