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Who are the Gentiles in the Scripture

Famous Speech Spoke about Jews and Gentiles

It is commonly thought that if you are not a Jew, you are a Gentile. For years people looked in the New Testament and all they saw written was “Jews and Gentiles.”

There is more foundation if we take the time to read the Old Testaments where we get more foundation.

First the Jews: the Jews are a short-name of the children of Israel who fell under the lineage of Judah (one of the 12 sons of Jacob).  It is possible to be a son of Israel and not be a Jew.  It is possible to be Semitic and not be a Jew.  The question becomes, why did Israel all get grouped as Jews?

Who are the Gentiles in the Scripture?

It is because the kingdom was torn in two; ten tribes went north to Samaria under Jeroboam, and Judah remained in the south under Rehoboam (Solomon’s son).

When Jeroboam fired the Levites from being priest, the Levites left the north and returned to the south with the kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 12). Along with them, many from the tribe of Benjamin returned to be with their brother Judah, but were all under the banner of Judah.

The Greeks called Judah, Judaea and this is why we have the term Jew as popular, but really they are Israelites, Jew is a shorthand for Judah, and is just one of the 12 tribes.

Now to the Gentiles

The Gentiles were referred to a bit in the New Testament. Primarily because the destroyers of Gentiles were in power, who were Nebuchadnezzar and his families following. Jesus warned His disciples not to go teach the Gentiles, but rather to go teach the lost sheep of the nation of Israel (Matthew 10 v5-7). Why, and who are the Gentiles?

For foundation, we go to the book of Genesis, and it initially identifies who they are.

Genesis 10

 2The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

 3And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

 4And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

 5By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Being a Gentile is Not Faith Based!

These are the sons of Japheth, the son of Noah; they are who the Gentiles are. During the time of Jesus Christ on earth, the Romans occupied rule over Jerusalem, and they were referred to as the Gentiles. Cornelius was the first Gentile pulled into the Church under the new covenant, and he was of the Italian band ((Roman) Acts 10).

Many groups of people today believe the Gentiles today are who we would categorize as white people or Europeans. That is not altogether accurate, as there could be many Gentiles of color. Being a Gentile has nothing to do with faith or belief; it has everything to do with family, bloodline and nationhood. There are scholars who believe the term Gentiles simply means the nations.

Jews and Gentiles are only a particular family among many families in the earth. They are not a religion and they are not a faith. I present this with love and in the spirit of exhortation. God bless you today, I pray this has edified you greatly.  Peace and Jesus name.

Who are the Gentiles in the Bible?


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  1. Joyce Joyce

    This is cool!

  2. Matu Matu

    HI, I”ve been struggling with this subject for some time now, and I hope you can shed some light on this. I totally agree that for some reason, God specifically singled out Japeth as the progenitor of the gentiles; He never specified Ham and Shem as such. At least not in Genesis 10. But what are Hamite unbelievers called? Or even Shem unbelievers (outside of the Hebrews).

    • Hi Matu,

      The Bible did not specify a name for them other than Ham, Shem, or their specific country such as Medes, Magog, Cush, etc. After a while, when Israel knew they weren’t Israel, they just called them a stranger or an alien. To single out Japheth and give his descendants another name, Gentiles, it definitely was done for out understanding today, as to who is who.

      • Matu Matu

        I totally agree. I’m re-reading my bible (like I do every other year), and I’m going to definitely note each mention of the word “gentiles” in my KJV, and study where and how this word is applied, and to whom. I need to make sure this application is consistent, so when I start preaching from the rooftops, I can do so with bold, stone cold conviction. Because this is a MYSTERY right here that needs to be exposed!!!

  3. Gregory Booker Gregory Booker

    Just like the term Jew has become “symbolic” description for referring to all members of the 12 tribes of Israel since Jesus…of which Judah was one of them. Paul makes this clear when he says he is from the tribe of Benjamin yet he is a Jew. So also has the term Gentiles become “symbolic” description for referring to all non Jews, regardless of racial makeup. It is the Holy Spirit which has made this clear thru all the writings of the Apostles. It is also clear that such a designation continues to be made in the Book of Revelations which is detailing a world wide (all human kind) impact of change and tribulations saints.

    I agree with lineage of the gentiles the Old Testament and we ought know that if the gentiles are blessed in the New Testament so is the world of every tongue and nation. Then until “the times of the gentiles be fulfilled” so shall all other nations and tongues be subject to that.

    • Blessings brother Gregory, that is fantastic insight. We are considering all things, and really appreciate your feedback and spiritual insight. God bless.

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