Dispersion (Dis-puhr´zhuhn; Gk. diaspora, from diaspeirein, “to scatter”)

Term referring to the exile or emigration of Jews from Israel to other countries. When the Northern Kingdom, Israel, was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 BCE, many Israelites were taken into exile in Mesopotamia. When the Southern Kingdom, Judah, was conquered in 597 and again in 587, many of its leaders and people were exiled to Babylon. During the Persian (539–332 BCE) and Hellenistic (332 BCE–63 CE) periods Jews moved to all major population centers in the eastern Mediterranean. (Acts 2:9-11) names the diverse origins of pilgrims to Jerusalem. In (John 7:35) people speculate whether Jesus will go among the Jews (called Greeks) of the Dispersion. In 1 Peter, the term “Dispersion” is applied to Christians who lived in some Roman provinces in Asia Minor (1Pet 1:1), although it is not clear if the scattering away from the homeland is understood there in a physical or a spiritual sense.

Acts 2:9-11

9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging ... View more

John 7:35

35The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach t ... View more

1Pet 1:1

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.