Little One - Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words

Usage Number: 1
Strong's Number: H2945
Original Word: tap
Usage Notes: "weaker one; child; little one." Cognates of this noun appear in Arabic and Ethiopic. All but 4 of the 42 occurrences of this word are in prose literature and mostly in early (pre-monarchy) prose narrative.

Basically this word signifies those members of a nomadic tribe who are not able to march or who can only march to a limited extent. The word implies the "weaker ones." Thus we read of the men and the tapîm, or the men and those who were unable to move quickly over long stretches: "And Judah said unto Israel, his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones" (Gen. 43:8). This nuance is clearer in Gen. 50:7-8: "And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen." They left the women and the aged to take care of the beasts and babies. These verses certainly make it clear that only men went along.

In several passages tap represents only the children and old ones: "And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house" (Gen. 34:29, first occurrence). All the able-bodied men of Shechem were killed (Gen. 34:26). Sometimes the word means "children": "But all the women children [nasb, "girls"], that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves" (Num. 31:18; cf. v. Num. 31:17).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words