🔼The name Hakkatan: Summary
- That Small One, Toward Smallness
- From the verb קטן (qaton), to be small.
🔼The name Hakkatan in the Bible
🔼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 verb קטן (qaton) means to be small or insignificant. Adjectives קטן (qatan) and קטן (qaton) mean small, young or insignificant. Noun קטן (qeton) refers to the little finger.
The letter ה (he), with which our name starts, is either the definite article ("the"), or else a particle of direction ("towards the") or ascription ("of the"). In Hebrew the definite article is not used as lavishly as in English; it only occurs when one entity is specifically pointed out from among peers.
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.