stranger (Sojourner” or “alien” in some translations)

One who is not a member of a particular social group. Abraham is a stranger among the Hittites (Gen 23:4), as is Moses in Midian (Exod 2:22). After the settlement in Canaan, the term not only designated a temporary guest, but also acquired the more specialized meaning of a resident alien who lived permanently within Israel. The Israelites developed specific laws governing the treatment of strangers (Exod 22:21; Exod 23:9; Deut 10:19). Strangers were to be treated with kindness and generosity (Lev 19:10, Lev 19:33-34; Lev 23:22; Deut 14:29). They were included in the Israelite legal system (Lev 24:16; Lev 24:22; Num 35:15; Deut 1:16) and, so, were subject to most of the religious requirements (Exod 20:8-10; Lev 16:29; Lev 17:8-13; but cf. Deut 14:29). The idea of dwelling in a land owned by someone else is also applied theologically to the people Israel, since the land belonged to God and they were the strangers in it (Lev 25:23). In the NT “stranger” usually means simply someone who is not known (Matt 25:34-40; John 10:5) or, in some older translations, a foreigner (Luke 17:18; Acts 17:21). Gentiles are no longer aliens and strangers in the new Christian community (Eph 2:11-21), but, on another level, Christians are citizens of the heavenly kingdom and, so, strangers in this world (1Pet 1:1, 1Pet 1:17; 1Pet 2:11; Heb 11:13).

Gen 23:4

4“I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”

Exod 2:22

22She bore a son, and he named him Gershom; for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”

Exod 22:21

21You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Exod 23:9

9You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Deut 10:19

19You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Lev 19:10

10You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

Lev 19:33-34

33When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.34The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you sh ... View more

Lev 23:22

22When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for ... View more

Deut 14:29

29the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and e ... View more

Lev 24:16

16One who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blasph ... View more

Lev 24:22

22You shall have one law for the alien and for the citizen: for I am the Lord your God.

Num 35:15

15These six cities shall serve as refuge for the Israelites, for the resident or transient alien among them, so that anyone who kills a person without intent ma ... View more

Deut 1:16

16I charged your judges at that time: “Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or r ... View more

Exod 20:8-10

8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.9Six days you shall labor and do all your work.10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall no ... View more

Lev 16:29

29This shall be a statute to you forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall deny yourselves, and shall do no work, neither the citi ... View more

Lev 17:8-13

8And say to them further: Anyone of the house of Israel or of the aliens who reside among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice,9and does not bring it t ... View more

Deut 14:29

29the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and e ... View more

Lev 25:23

23The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.

Matt 25:34-40

34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the w ... View more

John 10:5

5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Luke 17:18

18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

Acts 17:21

21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.

Eph 2:11-21

One in Christ
11So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circ ... View more

1Pet 1:1

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

1Pet 1:17

17If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.

1Pet 2:11

Live as Servants of God
11Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul.

Heb 11:13

13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and fo ... View more

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