Gentile (From Lat. gens, “nation”)

A non-Jew. According to several traditions, Israelites were enjoined to maintain strict separation from Gentiles in matters of religion, marriage, and politics (Exod 23:28-33; Deut 7:1-5; Josh 23:4-13). The Isaianic tradition, however, spoke of Israel as “a light to the nations” (Isa 42:6; Isa 60:3). In the latter days, the nations would flow to Jerusalem to learn Torah (Isa 2:2-4) or to participate in the coming reign of God (Isa 45:22-24, Isa 51:4-5). On the other hand, in an effort to establish a separation between Jew and Gentile, Ezra and Nehemiah commanded Jews in Jerusalem to divorce their non-Jewish wives (Ezra 9-10; Neh 10:30; Neh 13:23-31). Ruth and Jonah seem to be books written to protest this action in the name of a more universal understanding of God’s care for his human creation. The development of Christianity, which began as a Jewish movement, was profoundly affected by the success of the gentile mission undertaken by the apostle Paul and others. The Jerusalem conference ca. 49 CE determined that gentile converts to Christianity did not have to become Jewish proselytes (Gal 2:1-10; Acts 15:1-35). Paul fought efforts to discriminate between Jew and Gentile in the Christian community (Rom 3:29-30; Gal 2:11-21; Gal 3:26-29).

Exod 23:28-33

28And I will send the pestilence in front of you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you.29I will not drive them ou ... View more

Deut 7:1-5

A Chosen People
1When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you—the Hittites ... View more

Josh 23:4-13

4I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to ... View more

Isa 42:6

6I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nati ... View more

Isa 60:3

3Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Isa 2:2-4

2In days to come
the mountain of the Lord's house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations sha ... View more

Isa 45:22-24

22Turn to me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.23By myself I have sworn,
from my mouth has gone forth in righteousnes ... View more

Isa 51:4-5

4Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.5I will bring near my de ... View more

Ezra 9-10

Denunciation of Mixed Marriages
1After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites hav ... View more

Neh 10:30

30We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons;

Neh 13:23-31

Mixed Marriages Condemned
23In those days also I saw Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab;24and half of their children spoke the language of As ... View more

Gal 2:1-10

Paul and the Other Apostles
1Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.2I went up in response to a revela ... View more

Acts 15:1-35

The Council at Jerusalem
1Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of M ... View more

Rom 3:29-30

29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,30since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the groun ... View more

Gal 2:11-21

Paul Rebukes Peter at Antioch
11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;12for until certain people came from ... View more

Gal 3:26-29

26for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28There is no ... View more

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