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Joseph Addison
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Harpazo / Aer
1 Thessalonians 4:17 - Caught up in the Air

Greek Word Studies

Harpazo / Taken

Matt. 11:12; Matt. 12:29; Matt. 13:19; John 6:15; John 10:12; John  10:28; John 10:29; Acts 8:39; Acts 23:10; 2Cor. 12:2; 2Cor. 12:4; 1Th. 4:17; Jude 1:23; Rev. 12:5.

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and violent men TAKE it by force." (Matt. 11:12)
"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and SNATCHES AWAY what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road." (Matt. 13:19)
"He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf SNATCHES them, and scatters them." (Jn. 10:12)
"and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall SNATCH them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to SNATCH them out of the Father's hand." (Jn. 10:28-29)
"save others, SNATCHING them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh." (Jude 23)

Arndt & Gingrich
"...esp. of the Holy Spirit, which carries someone away Ac. 8:39... be caught up to the third heaven 2 Cor. 12:2..." (Greek-English Lexicon, p. 108)

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
HARPAZO -- "...In the NT it occurs at 2 Cor. 12:2,4 (vision); 1 Th. 4:17; Rev. 12:5 ("to CATCH UP or away"); Ac. 8:39 -- always expressing the mighty operation of God. [CAPS emphasis mine, ees] (Werner Foerster, THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, volume 1 (p. 472)


Aer / Air

Acts 22:23 -- And as they were crying out and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the AIR,
1Cor. 9:26 -- Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the AIR;
1Cor. 14:9 -- So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the AIR.
Eph. 2:2 -- in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the AIR, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
1Th. 4:17 -- Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the AIR, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Rev. 9:2 -- He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the AIR were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
Rev. 16:17 -- Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the AIR, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done."

Arndt & Gingrich
"...To indicate the direction 'up'... throw into the air... beat the air, fr. the language of the arena, of a gladiator who misses a stroke... talk to the wind... Of space... Of the kingdom of the air, in which spirit beings live... the ruler of the kingdom of the air, i.e. Satan, Eph. 2:2..."  (Greek-English Lexicon, p. 19-20)

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
"According to the ancient conception of the earth, the sphere of the air reaches to the moon, where the ethereal region of the stars commences. The Greek made a distinction between the impure element of air and the purer ether, thus finding in the former a place of abode for imperfect spirits.

Like all animism, popular Greek belief peopled the air with all kinds of spirits, who had to be taken into account. Later Judaism sharply distinguished between angels and demons, and found in the air the abode of  the latter. In line with early Christian thinking, Paul links with this the  idea of an organized kingdom under the single ruler Satan...(Eph.2:2)...  Because of its middle position, the air in 1 Th. 4:17... is the sphere where  believers will meet Christ on his coming..." (Werner Foerster, volume 1 (p. 165-166)


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