'Heathen' in the Bible
But the people sacrificed [to God] in the high places [as the heathen did to their idols], for there was no house yet built to the Name of the Lord.
But he walked in the ways of Israel's kings, yes, and made his son pass through the fire [and offered him as a sacrifice], in accord with the abominable [idolatrous] practices of the [heathen] nations whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites.
King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw there their [heathen] altar. King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest a model of the altar and an exact pattern for its construction.
And walked in the customs of the [heathen] nations whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites, customs the kings of Israel had introduced.
They despised and rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings to them, and they followed vanity (false gods -- "falsehood, emptiness, and futility) and [they themselves and their prayers] became false (empty and futile). They went after the heathen round about them, of whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do as they did.
He [Hezekiah's son] did evil in the sight of the Lord, after the [idolatrous] practices of the [heathen] nations whom the Lord cast out before the Israelites.
And he built [heathen] altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord said, In Jerusalem will I put My Name [and the pledge of My presence].
And he burned incense in the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom] and burned his sons as an offering, after the abominable customs of the [heathen] nations whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites.
But he did evil in the Lord's sight, like the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites.
Also he built [heathen] altars in the Lord's house, of which the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall My Name be forever.
So Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the heathen whom the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
Also all the chiefs of the priests and the people trespassed greatly in accord with all the abominations of the heathen, and they polluted the house of the Lord which He had hallowed in Jerusalem.
And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have acted wickedly and broken faith [with God] and have married foreign (heathen) women, increasing the guilt of Israel.
So now make confession and give thanks to the Lord, the God of your fathers [for not consuming you], and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from [your] foreign (heathen) wives.
They solemnly vowed to put away their [heathen] wives, and, being guilty, [each] offered a ram of the flock for [his] guilt.
Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying strange (heathen) women?
Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign (heathen), and I defined the duties of the priests and Levites, everyone in his work;
You drove out the nations with Your hand and it was Your power that gave [Israel] a home by rooting out the [heathen] peoples, but [Israel] You spread out.
You brought a vine [Israel] out of Egypt; You drove out the [heathen] nations and planted it [in Canaan].
They did not destroy the [heathen] nations as the Lord commanded them,
And He gave them into the hands of the [heathen] nations, and they that hated them ruled over them.
For I look [upon the heathen prophets and the priests of pagan practices] and there is no man among them [who could predict these events], and among these [idols] there is no counselor who, when I ask of him, can answer a word.
Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, the islands and coastal regions and the inhabitants of them [sing a song such as has never been heard in the heathen world]!
Thus says the Lord: Learn not the way of the [heathen] nations and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens, though they are dismayed at them,
O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us [prays Jeremiah], deal and work with us for Your own name's sake [that the heathen may witness Your might and faithfulness]! For our backslidings are many; we have sinned against You.
While their children [earnestly] remember their [heathen] altars and their Asherim [wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah] beside the green trees upon the high hills.
Judah has gone into exile [to escape] from the affliction and laborious servitude [of the homeland]. She dwells among the [heathen] nations, but she finds no rest; all her persecutors overtook her amid the [dire] straits [of her distress].
And she has changed and rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the [heathen] nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for [Israel] rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they have not walked in them.
So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror and an astonishment to the [heathen] nations around you when I shall execute judgments upon you in anger and in wrath and in furious chastisements and rebukes -- "I the Lord have spoken it.
Therefore I will bring in the worst of the [heathen] nations, who will take possession of the houses [of the people of Judah]; I will also silence their strongholds and put an end to their proud might, and their holy places and those who sanctify them shall be profaned.
And when they return there, they shall take away from it all traces of its detestable things and all its abominations (sex impurities and heathen religious practices).
But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the [heathen] nations among whom they dwelt, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
But I acted for My name's sake, that it should not be profaned before the [heathen] nations in whose sight I brought them out.
Yet I withheld My hand and acted for My name's sake, that it should not be debased and profaned in the sight of the [heathen] nations, in whose sight I had brought them forth [from bondage].
Moreover, I lifted up My hand and swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the [heathen] nations and disperse them in the countries,
In your blood which you have shed you have become guilty, and you are defiled by the idols which you have made, and you have caused your time [of judgment and punishment] to draw near and have arrived at the full measure of your years. Therefore have I made you a reproach to the [heathen] nations and a mocking to all countries.
And they shall come against you with weapons, chariots, wagons and wheels, and with a host of infantry which shall array themselves against you with buckler and shield and helmet round about; and I will commit the judgment and punishment to them, and they shall judge and punish you according to their [heathen] customs in such matters.
Thus says the Lord God: Because Moab says, as does Seir [Edom], Behold, the house of Judah is like all the [heathen] nations,
To whom [O Egypt] among the trees of Eden are you thus like in glory and in greatness? Yet you [also] shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the netherworld. You shall lie among the uncircumcised heathen with those who are slain by the sword. This is how it shall be with Pharaoh and all the multitude of his strength, his tumult, and his store [of wealth and glory], says the Lord God.
Whom [among them] do you surpass in beauty? Go down and be laid with the uncircumcised (the heathen).
The strong among the mighty shall speak of [Pharaoh] out of the midst of Sheol (the place of the dead, the netherworld) with those who helped him; they are gone down; they lie still, even the uncircumcised (the heathen) slain by the sword.
Edom is there, her kings and all her princes, who for all their might are laid with those who were slain by the sword; they shall lie with the uncircumcised (the heathen) and with those who go down to the pit.
For I have put his and My terror in the land of the living, and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised (the heathen) with those slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord God.
The resistless wind [of God's wrath] has bound up [Israel] in its wings or skirts, and [in captivity] they and their altars shall be put to shame because of their sacrifices [to calves, to sun, moon, and stars, and to heathen gods].
If Gilead is given over to idolatry, they shall come to nought and be mere waste; if they [insult God by] sacrificing bullocks in Gilgal [on heathen altars], their altars shall be like heaps in the furrows of the fields.
For a [heathen and hostile] nation [of locusts, illustrative of a human foe] has invaded My land, mighty and without number; its teeth are the teeth of a lion, and it has the jaw teeth of a lioness.
A day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and of thick mists and darkness, like the morning dawn spread upon the mountains; so there comes a [heathen, hostile] people numerous and mighty, the like of which has never been before and shall not be again even to the years of many generations.
Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; and let them say, Have pity and spare Your people, O Lord, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the [heathen] nations should rule over them or use a byword against them. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God?
Yes, the Lord answered and said to His people, Behold, I am sending you grain and juice [of the grape] and oil, and you shall be satisfied with them; and I will no more make you a reproach among the [heathen] nations.
You [yourself] will be filled with shame and contempt instead of glory. Drink also and be like an uncircumcised [heathen]! The cup [of wrath] in the Lord's right hand will come around to you [O destroyer], and foul shame shall be upon your own glory!
And those who worship the starry host of the heavens upon their housetops and those who [pretend to] worship the Lord and swear by and to Him and yet swear by and to [the heathen god Molech or] Malcam [their idol king],
And this you do with double guilt; you cover the altar of the Lord with tears [shed by your unoffending wives, divorced by you that you might take heathen wives], and with [your own] weeping and crying out because the Lord does not regard your offering any more or accept it with favor at your hand.
And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.
Who by the mouth of our forefather David, Your servant and child, said through the Holy Spirit, Why did the heathen (Gentiles) become wanton and insolent and rage, and the people imagine and study and plan vain (fruitless) things [that will not succeed]?
You stubborn and stiff-necked people, still heathen and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always actively resisting the Holy Spirit. As your forefathers [were], so you [are and so you do]!
Now the apostles (special messengers) and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard [with astonishment] that the Gentiles (heathen) also had received and accepted and welcomed the Word of God [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God].
And Paul and Barnabas spoke out plainly and boldly, saying, It was necessary that God's message [concerning salvation through Christ] should be spoken to you first. But since you thrust it from you, you pass this judgment on yourselves that you are unworthy of eternal life and out of your own mouth you will be judged. [Now] behold, we turn to the Gentiles (the heathen).
For so the Lord has charged us, saying, I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles (the heathen), that you may bring [eternal] salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.
So, being fitted out and sent on their way by the church, they went through both Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles (the heathen), and they caused great rejoicing among all the brethren.
But since they kept opposing and abusing and reviling him, he shook out his clothing [against them] and said to them, Your blood be upon your [own] heads! I am innocent [of it]. From now on I will go to the Gentiles (the heathen).
And coming to [see] us, he took Paul's belt and with it bound his own feet and hands and said, Thus says the Holy Spirit: The Jews at Jerusalem shall bind like this the man who owns this belt, and they shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles (heathen).
Even including ourselves whom He has called, not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles (heathen)?
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, impurity of a sort that is condemned and does not occur even among the heathen; for a man has [his own] father's wife.
For the unbelieving husband is set apart (separated, withdrawn from heathen contamination, and affiliated with the Christian people) by union with his consecrated (set-apart) wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart and separated through union with her consecrated husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean (unblessed heathen, outside the Christian covenant), but as it is they are prepared for God [pure and clean].
You know that when you were heathen, you were led off after idols that could not speak [habitually] as impulse directed and whenever the occasion might arise.
[I went on to say] Although we ourselves (you and I) are Jews by birth and not Gentile (heathen) sinners,
So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds.
Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will,
For these [traveling missionaries] have gone out for the Name's sake (for His sake) and are accepting nothing from the Gentiles (the heathen, the non-Israelites).
And the heathen (the nations) raged, but Your wrath (retribution, indignation) came, the time when the dead will be judged and Your servants the prophets and saints rewarded -- "and those who revere (fear) Your name, both low and high and small and great -- "and [the time] for destroying the corrupters of the earth.