'Nations' in the Bible
From these, [the people of] the coastlands of the nations were separated and spread into their lands, every one according to his own language, according to their constituent groups (families), and into their nations:
These are the descendants of Ham according to their constituent groups, according to their languages, by their lands, and by their nations.
These are Shem’s descendants according to their constituent groups (families), according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.
These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their descendants, by their nations; and from these [people] the nations were separated and spread abroad on the earth after the flood.
“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,And [as a result] you shall be the father of many nations.
“No longer shall your name be Abram (exalted father),But your name shall be Abraham (father of a multitude);For I will make you the father of many nations.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.
I will bless her, and indeed I will also give you a son by her. Yes, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
since Abraham is destined to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him?
Through your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have heard and obeyed My voice.”
The Lord said to her,“[The founders of] two nations are in your womb;And the separation of two nations has begun in your body;The one people shall be stronger than the other;And the older shall serve the younger.”
I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,
May peoples serve you,And nations bow down to you;Be lord and master over your brothers,And may your mother’s sons bow down to you.May those who curse you be cursed,And may those who bless you be blessed.”
And God said to him,“I am God Almighty.Be fruitful and multiply;A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,And kings shall be born of your loins.
But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; Manasseh also will become a people and he will be great; but his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”
For I will drive out and dispossess nations before you and enlarge your borders; nor shall any man covet (actively seek for himself) your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times a year.
‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.
As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.
I will scatter you among the nations and draw out the sword [of your enemies] after you; your land will become desolate and your cities will become ruins.
You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will consume you.
But I will, for their sake, [earnestly] remember the covenant with their forefathers, whom I have brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord.’”
Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations (Gentiles) that have heard of Your fame will say,
“For from the top of the rocks I see Israel,And from the hills I look at him.Behold, the people [of Israel] shall dwell aloneAnd will not be reckoned among the nations.
“God brought Israel out of Egypt;Israel has strength like the wild ox;He will devour [Gentile] nations, his adversaries (enemies),And will crush their bones in pieces,And shatter them with his arrows.
Balaam looked at Amalek and took up his [fifth] discourse (oracle) and said:“Amalek was the first of the [neighboring] nations [to oppose the Israelites after they left Egypt],But his end shall be destruction.”
And beware that you do not raise your eyes toward heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and let yourselves be led astray and worship them and serve them, [mere created bodies] which the Lord your God has allotted to [serve and benefit] all the peoples under the whole heaven.
The Lord will scatter and disperse you among the peoples (pagan nations), and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord drives you.
dispossessing and driving out from before you nations, [nations that were] greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess, and has cleared away many nations before you, the Hittite and the Girgashite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than you,
“If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I am; how can I dispossess them?’
The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for [if you did] the wild animals would become too numerous for you.
Like the nations which the Lord causes to perish before you, so shall you perish; because you would not listen to and obey the voice of the Lord your God.
“Hear, O Israel! You are crossing the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and more powerful than you, great cities fortified to heaven,
“Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord is dispossessing them before you.
It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out before you, and to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.
You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and the hills and under every green [leafy] tree.
“When the Lord your God cuts off and destroys before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and settle in their land,
beware that you are not lured (ensnared) into following them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, so that I too may do likewise?’
for you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you out of all the peoples who are on the earth to be a people for His own possession.
When the Lord your God blesses you as He has promised you, then you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you take possession of it and live there, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations.
For these nations which you shall dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners and fortune-tellers, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.
“When the Lord your God cuts off (destroys) the nations whose land He is giving you, and you dispossess them and live in their cities and in their houses,
That is what you shall do to all the cities that are very far away from you, which are not among the cities of these nations nearby [which you are to dispossess].
and that He will set you high above all the nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor: and that you shall be a holy people [set apart and consecrated] to the Lord your God, just as He has spoken.”
“Now it shall be, if you diligently listen to and obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all of His commandments which I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
The Lord will open for you His good treasure house, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.
They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever.
Among those nations you will find no peace (rest), and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despairing soul.
(for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we passed through the nations along the way;
so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the [false] gods of these nations; so that there will not be among you a root [of idolatry] bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood (bitterness).
All the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done this thing to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’
“So it shall be when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you,
then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes [in your return from exile], and have compassion on you, and will gather you together again from all the peoples (nations) where He has scattered you.
It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will go across before you [to lead you], just as the Lord has said.
“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,When He separated the sons of man,He set the boundaries of the peoplesAccording to the number of the sons of Israel.
“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;For He will avenge the blood of His servants,And will render vengeance on His adversaries,And will atone for His land and His people.”
And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake; for the Lord your God is He who has been fighting for you.
See, I have allotted to you these nations that remain as an inheritance for your tribes, with all the nations which I have cut off, from the Jordan [on the east] to the Great [Mediterranean] Sea toward the setting sun.
so that you do not associate with these nations which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear [an oath by them], or serve them, or bow down to them.
For the Lord has driven out great and mighty nations from before you; and as for you, no man has been able to stand [in opposition] before you to this day.
For if you ever turn back and cling to the rest of these nations, these that are left among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
know and understand with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left [to be conquered] when he died,
So the Lord allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out at once; and He did not give them into the hand of Joshua.
Now these are the nations which the Lord left [in order] to test Israel by them (that is, all [the people of Israel] who had not [previously] experienced any of the wars in Canaan;
The remaining nations are: the five lords (governors) of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath.
So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim.
and said to him, “Look, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us [and rule over us] like all the other nations.”
so that we too may be like all the nations [around us], that our king may judge [and govern] us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites [the enemies of Israel that Joshua had failed to annihilate]; for they had inhabited the land from ancient times, as one comes to Shur even as far as the land of Egypt.
What one nation on earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people and to make a name for Himself, and to do great and awesome things for Yourself and for Your land, before Your people whom You have redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from nations and their gods?
King David also dedicated these [gifts] to the Lord, along with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he subdued:
“You also have rescued me from strife with my [own] people;You have kept me as the head of the nations.People whom I have not known served me.
“For this I will give thanks and praise You, O Lord, among the nations;I will sing praises to Your name.
For he was wiser than all [other] men, [wiser] than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol. His fame was known in all the surrounding nations.
from the very nations of whom the Lord said to the Israelites, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for the result will be that they will turn away your hearts to follow their gods.” Yet Solomon clung to these in love.
There were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They committed all the repulsive acts of the nations which the Lord dispossessed before the Israelites.
Instead he walked in the way of the [idolatrous] kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire [as a human sacrifice], in accordance with the repulsive [and idolatrous] practices of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites.
and walked in the customs of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons (descendants) of Israel, and in the pagan customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced.
There they burned incense on all the high places, just as the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had deported before them; and they did evil and contemptible things, provoking the Lord [to anger].
So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations whom you have sent into exile and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so He has sent lions among them, and they are killing them because they do not know the manner of [worship demanded by] the god of the land.”
They feared the Lord, yet served their own gods, following the custom of the nations from among whom they had been sent into exile.
So these nations [superficially] feared the Lord; they also served their idols, as did their children and their children’s children, just as their fathers did, so do they to this day [the date of this writing].
Has any one of the gods of the nations ever rescued his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
Did the gods of the nations whom my forefathers destroyed rescue them—Gozan and Haran [of Mesopotamia] and Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?
It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have devastated the nations and their lands
He did [great] evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with the [idolatrous] repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons (descendants) of Israel.
But they did not listen; and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons (descendants) of Israel.
Then David’s fame spread into all the lands; and the Lord caused all nations to fear him.
Declare His glory among the nations,His marvelous works among all peoples.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;Gather us together and rescue us from the nations,That we may give thanks to Your holy name,And glory in Your praise.”
And what one nation on the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make a name for Yourself by great and awesome and terrible things, by driving out nations from before Your people, whom You redeemed out of Egypt?
King David also dedicated these to the Lord [setting them apart for sacred use], with the silver and the gold which he brought from all the nations: from Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, and from Amalek.
then I will uproot Israel from My land which I have given them; and I will cast this house, which I have consecrated for My Name, out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all nations.
and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, there is no one able to take a stand against You.
And he burned incense in the Valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons [as an offering], in accordance with the repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons (descendants) of Israel.
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