(Heb plural goyum). At first the word goyim denoted generally all the nations of the world (Ge 18:18; comp. Ga 3:8). The Jews afterwards became a people distinguished in a marked manner from the other goyim. They were a separate people (Le 20:23; 26:14-45; De 28), and the other nations, the Amorites, Hittites, etc., were the goyim, the heathen, with whom the Jews were forbidden to be associated in any way (Jos 23:7; 1Ki 11:2). The practice of idolatry was the characteristic of these nations, and hence the word came to designate idolaters (Ps 106:47; Jer 46:28; La 1:3; Isa 36:18), the wicked (Ps 9:5,15,17).
The corresponding Greek word in the New Testament, ethne, has similar shades of meaning. In Ac 22:21; Ga 3:14, it denotes the people of the earth generally; and in Mt 6:7, an idolater. In modern usage the word denotes all nations that are strangers to revealed religion.
since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed?
'Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.
'But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments, if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, read more. I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up. 'I will set My face against you so that you will be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you. 'If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 'I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. 'Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit. 'If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins. 'I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which will bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted. 'And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins. 'I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands. 'When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied. 'Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. 'Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat. 'I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you. 'I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. 'I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it. 'You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. 'Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. 'All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it. 'As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall. 'They will therefore stumble over each other as if running from the sword, although no one is pursuing; and you will have no strength to stand up before your enemies. 'But you will perish among the nations, and your enemies' land will consume you. 'So those of you who may be left will rot away because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies; and also because of the iniquities of their forefathers they will rot away with them. 'If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers, in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me-- I also was acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies--or if their uncircumcised heart becomes humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land. 'For the land will be abandoned by them, and will make up for its sabbaths while it is made desolate without them They, meanwhile, will be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes. 'Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. 'But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD.'"
so that you will not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them.
You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.
Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name And glory in Your praise.
'Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, "The LORD will deliver us." Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
"O Jacob My servant, do not fear," declares the LORD, "For I am with you For I will make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, Yet I will not make a full end of you; But I will correct you properly And by no means leave you unpunished."
Judah has gone into exile under affliction And under harsh servitude; She dwells among the nations, But she has found no rest; All her pursuers have overtaken her In the midst of distress.
"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
"And He said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'"
The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU."
in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
(See GENTILES .)
The Hebrew word goi is also translated 'Gentiles,' and 'people,' and very often 'nations:' it is used in contrast to Israel irrespective of those designated being civilised or not. All the nations were idolaters, but this is not implied in the word goi, nor in the qno" -->????? of the N.T., which is more frequently translated 'nations' and 'Gentiles.' In Mt 18:17 ??????? has a peculiar application: if an offending brother will not bear the church, the injunction is "let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican," that is, as an outsider, the heathen being outside the privileges of Israel, as one to be avoided: cf. Ro 16:17; 2Th 3:6,14.
"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.