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gentiles Summary and Overview

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gentiles in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Heb., usually in plural, goyim), meaning in general all nations except the Jews. In course of time, as the Jews began more and more to pride themselves on their peculiar privileges, it acquired unpleasant associations, and was used as a term of contempt. In the New Testament the Greek word Hellenes, meaning literally Greek (as in Acts 16:1, 3; 18:17; Rom. 1:14), generally denotes any non-Jewish nation.

gentiles in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(nations). All the people who were not Jews were so called by them, being aliens from the worship, rites and privileges of Israel. The word was used contemptuously by them. In the New Testament it is used as equivalent to Greek. This use of the word seems to have arisen from the almost universal adaption of the Greek language.

gentiles in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Hebrew Gowy, "the nations" (or "pagan," derived from the Greek ethnee), as opposed to Israel (Nehemiah 5:8). In Genesis 10:5, "isles of the Gentiles," the term is used geographically in no invidious sense. In Genesis 14:1, Tidal "king of nations" was probably chief of several nomadic wandering tribes of western Asia. In Joshua 12:23 we read, "the king of the nations (the gentile foreigners) of Gilgal," the modern Moslem village Jiljule, six Roman miles N. of Antipatris. Goim is especially used of Galilee, bordering on and, even in Israelite times, much peopled with the Gilgal (Judges 4:2; Isaiah 9:1.) (See GALILEE.) "Greeks" in New Testament is used for Gentiles (Acts 14:1; Acts 17:4; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:12; Romans 2:9-10; 1 Corinthians 10:32 margin). With all the superiority of the gentile great world kingdoms, in military prowess, commerce, luxury, and the fine arts, Israel stood on an immense moral elevation above them, in the one point, nearness to God, and possession of His revealed will and word (Exodus 19:5-6; Psalm 147:19-20; Psalm 148:14; Romans 3:1-2). But this superiority was in order that Israel, as priests unto God, might be mediator of blessings unto all nations (Isaiah 61:6). The covenant from the first with Abraham contemplated that "in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed" (Genesis 22:18). The Jews in national pride failed to see this, and despised the Gentiles Rejecting Messiah, they were "broken oft" from the olive, that the Gentiles might be" grafted in" (Romans 11:11-35). "The times of the Gentiles" began with Judah's depression and captivity under Nebuchadnezzar, to whom God delegated the world empire (Jeremiah 27:6-7), from whence Jeremiah's counsel to the Jews to submit to hint was true patriotism, not cowardice. Jerusalem has more or less been ever since "trodden down of the Gentiles," and shall be so "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). Then shall the times of Israel begin with a glory eclipsing her past glory. "All Israel shall be saved." "The receiving of them shall be life from the dead" to the whole world (Micah 5:7; Isaiah 2:2-4; Revelation 11:2-15). The theocracy shall be restored with unparalleled splendor at the coming of Him "whose right it is" (Ezekiel 21:27). The times of the gentile monarchies answer to Israel's seven times punishment (Leviticus 26:18; Leviticus 26:21-24).