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The Jewish Calendar

Bible Prophecy Research and Study List
List Study: Revelation 12
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Man-Child vs Child: A Word Study of Rev. 12:5

(Rev 12:5 KJV) "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."

The translation "man-child" in Rev 12:5 is from the Greek "arsen huios" while the word "child" in the same verse has been translated from "teknon." Thus we have two different Greek words that have both been translated as "child."

man-child = arsen huois
child = teknon

Why did John use two different words for "child" in this verse? A look at how the bible differentiated between the two words and John's past usage of them gives us the answer, I believe.

According to the Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, "huios" is reserved for the Son of God (huios Theou). It "signifies the relation of offspring to parent and not simply the birth as indicated by 'teknon.'" (p 1882)

'Teknon' is "used both in the natural and figurative senses giving prominence to the fact of birth, whereas 'huios'... stresses the dignity and character of the relationship. In the narrative of His human birth, Jesus Christ is NEVER [emphasis added] designated as 'teknon' (Matt 1:21,23,25; Lk 1:31; 2:7). He was not born 'tikto', of God, in which case He would have be inferior and posterior to the Father, nor of man only. Only His mother called Him 'teknon' (Lk 2:48) as she viewed Him in His humanity. Jesus never presents Himself in His God-Man consciousness as a teknon of man or of God. He was only 'huios,' denoting relationship of character with the Father God, not giving the idea He was a mere child of the Father." (ibid, p 1880)

To further understand the meaning behind the word 'teknon,' we should examine its root. 'Teknon' is derived from 'tikto,' and it means to "produce (from seed, as a mother, a plant, the earth, etc.)" It is translated and used in the bible, either literally or figuratively as "bear, be born, bring forth, be delivered, be in travail." (Strong's 5088).

This difference between the two words 'teknon' and 'huios' is carried out even further when we examine their usage in Romans 8:14-21. In these verses, 'tekna' "refers to those who were born of God and 'huioi' refers to those who show maturity acting as sons. When just the basic relationship as a born-again child of God is referred to, it is expressed 'tekna' (Rom 8:16)... The Lord Jesus is never called 'teknon Theou,' a child of God, as believers are." (ibid, p 1882).

Again, let me emphasize that John never uses the word 'teknon' to refer to Jesus Christ. Instead, his usage of the word is usually in association with the Church or believers of Christ:

(John 1:12 KJV) "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons [teknon] of God, even to them that believe on his name."

(John 8:39 KJV) "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children [teknon], ye would do the works of Abraham."

(John 11:52 KJV) "And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children [teknon] of God that were scattered abroad."

(1 John 3:2 KJV) "Beloved, now are we the sons [teknon] of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

"Of the 99 times that 'tekna' is used in 91 verses in New Testament, only once is it used for Jesus, and that as a child (Lk. 2:28). [Even this usage was quoting Mary's words. As per the comments above, she naturally would have referred to Him as her 'teknon']. Eighteen times it refers directly or indirectly to Israel's children; 31 times to sons, daughters, and children in general; 30 times to the sons of God, children of God, light or believers or the Church in general; and 11 times by Paul to refer to his spiritual sons in Christ." (John A. Abent, "Signs in the Heavens" p 270).

John clearly is referring to Jesus Christ as the man-child in verse 5, but if he never called or even referred to Jesus as 'teknon,' then who is 'her child' referring to in the same verse?

(Rev 12:5 KJV) "... and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."

This is beautiful. The english word "caught" has been translated from the Greek word 'harpazo' (Strong's 726), which means "to seize." We'll see it translated as "catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force)."

The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible has this to say about the word: "Literally, to seize upon with force, to rob... Though generally harpazo denotes robbery of another's property, it not exclusively used thus, but sometimes generally meaning forcibly to seize upon, to snatch away, or take to oneself. Especially used of the rapture." (p 1811)

'Harpazo' is the same word that is used in the following scripture:

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

As comparison, refer to Jesus' ascension to the throne:

(Acts 1:9 KJV) "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up [epairo; exalt self, poise (lift, take) up]; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

(Acts 1:2 KJV) "Until the day in which he was taken up [analambano; receive up, take (in, unto, up)], after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen."

(Mark 16:19 KJV) "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up [analambano] into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God."

The word "harpazo" is never used when referring to the ascension of Jesus Christ.

To summarize:

John nor the bible ever refer to Jesus as 'teknon.' If Rev 12:5 is referring to the ascension of Jesus Christ to God's throne, then it is the only time in the scriptures that 'teknon' was used in reference to Jesus.

'Teknon,' when not speaking in general terms, is most commonly used to refer to the church or believers of God.

The word 'harpazo' refers to a snatching away, and is epecially used when referring to the rapture.

"Israel did bring forth the Christ, but she also brought forth the Church. The proper relationship then, between Israel and the Church, in metaphor, is that of a mother and daughter, which fits nicely with the Church being the wife and the bride of Christ, the Son of God being married to the daughter of Israel." (John A. Abent, "Signs in the Heavens" p 247)

(Gal 4:28 KJV) "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise."

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