a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith; especially: a Christian as distinguished from a Jew 2: heathen, pagan


H1471 gowy  – nation, people (usually of non-Hebrew people)

G1484 ethnos –  foreign nations not worshiping the true God, pagans, Gentiles

Scripture References

Leviticus 26:33 I will scatter you among the heathen (nations), and I will draw out the sword after you. Your land will be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.

Isaiah 49:6 Indeed, he says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel?  I will also give you as a light to the nations (gentiles), that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.”

Matthew 10:5 Y’shua sent these twelve out, and commanded them, saying, “Don’t go among the Gentiles, and don’t enter into any city of the Samaritans.

1 Peter 2:12  having good behavior among the gentiles, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation.


The Merriam-Webster definition of Gentile is how most people define the word, but the Hebrew word for Gentile carries a completely different meaning.  The word nations is a more accurate translation of the Hebrew and Greek words used for Gentile.  When the bible refers to ‘nations’ or uses the phrase ‘of the nations’ it is referring to people or groups of people who are NOT in covenant with YHWH.  When we hear Christians proudly proclaiming that they are Gentiles…WE CRINGE!  No one should be proud to label themselves as a gentile unless they deny YHWH.  The word gentile comes from the Latin word gentilis which means “foreign, heathen, pagan” and in the late 14th century the word gentile was defined as “one who is not a Christian” and “one who is not a Jew.”

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