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Gentile is used to translate the original Hebrew word pronounced goy, and its plural goyim. Various translations of The Bible, including the King James Version, American Standard Version, Revised Standard Version and New International Version use other words such as people, heathen, and nation to translate the same word.

The World Old Testament - Separation From Idolatrous Pagans

Originally a term in Bible History for national groupings that included the Israelites themselves (see Children of Jacob), goyim eventually came to be used for the pagan nations from which the Israelites were to keep themselves separate:

"Now The Lord [see Rock Of Ages and The Logos] had said unto Abram [see Abraham, Man Of Faith], Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fatherís house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:1-3 KJV)

"Ye shall therefore keep all My statutes, and all My judgments [see The Ten Commandments - Your Keys To Life], and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey [see The Promised Land]: I am The Lord your God, which have separated you from other people." (Leviticus 20:22-24 KJV)

New Testament - A Savior For All People

"And he came by the Spirit into the Temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, behold, This Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." (Luke 2:27-34 KJV)

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized [see Baptism] into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many." (1 Corinthians 12:12-14 KJV)

"Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by The Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by The Gospel" (Ephesians 3:4-6)


"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the Temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the Temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses [see The Two Witnesses and Are The Two Witnesses Here Now?], and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (Revelation 11:1-3 KJV)

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, That Old Serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth [see Could Satan Repent?], Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast [see The Lawless One] and the false prophet [see The Great False Prophet] are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:1-10 KJV)

"And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)

"Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy Name? for Thou only art Holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest." (Revelation 15:4 KJV)

Not All "Gentiles" Are Gentiles

Today, the term "Gentile" is generally used for all people who are not Jewish, however this falls far short of reality. While it is correct that, from a Biblical point of view, all non-Israelites are Gentiles, it is also important to remember that not all Israelites are Jews. The tribe of Judah, from which the Jewish people derive their name, is only one of the twelve tribes of Israel (thirteen tribes actually, if the Levites, who were distributed among the other twelve, are counted separately). There are many millions of descendants of the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes of Israel" alive and well today who are neither Jews nor Gentiles - but who are Israelites just as much as the Jewish people. This is an extremely important factor for having an accurate understanding of Prophecy.

Fact Finder: After the split of the Israelites into 2 kingdoms ("Judah" and "Israel"), did the people of Judah actually fight wars with Israel?
1 Kings 12:21
See also Jews At War With Israel

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