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Hakkatan meaning

הקטן
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🔼The name Hakkatan in the Bible

The name Hakkatan occurs only once in the Bible. Ezra lists Johanan, son of Hakkatan, among the 110 sons of Azgad who returned with him from exile in Babylon (Ezra 8:12).

🔼Etymology of the name Hakkatan

The core of the name Hakkatan comes from the verb קטן (qaton), meaning to be small, and is equal to the adjective קטן (qatan), meaning young or insignificant:

The letter ה (he), with which our name starts, is the definite article: the. In Hebrew this definite article is not used as lavishly as in English; it only occurs when one entity is specifically pointed out from among peers.

🔼Hakkatan meaning

Taking the article in account, the name Hakkatan would translate to something like That Young One, but it's hard to imagine why someone would be named such. In fact, the name Hakkatan constitutes a bit of a contradiction: the adjective קטן signifies something which is insignificant, but the definite article is a sign of something significant. The curious name Hakkatan could be paraphrased as Significantly Insignificant.

For a meaning of the name Hakkatan, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads The Smallest, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Little or Smallness. BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate this name but does list it under the root קטן, not as הקטן but as קטן (Katan), and reports that it is identical to the adjective קטן (qatan).

Note that the New Testament name Paul also means Small.

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