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Lesson 4 Hope of Israel Ministries BIBLE Correspondence Course 5

God would have told Israel that He would make were Israelites.
her a holy Gentile or heathen? 36. Now read Genesis 25:23. What two
COMMENT: Gesenius’ Hebrew- nations (goy) are referred to here?
Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament defines COMMENT: ONE became Israelite
“goy” as: “A people.” It also notes that “The and the OTHER did not!
word is general, and used of the nations at large, 37. In Genesis 35:11 the nation (goy)
and ALSO OF THE ISRAELITES.” Thus, the and company of nations (goyim) refers to what
Hebrew word goy or goyim means “nation(s)” group of people?
or “people” and can refer to Israelite or COMMENT: In this particular case
non-Israelite nations. Goy DOES NOT specify goy/goyim refers SPECIFICALLY TO
race. The term could be used with ANY race or ISRAELITES ONLY!
races. In summary, the Hebrew word
Comparing this with the Strong’s goy/goyim, as used in the OLD TESTAMENT,
Concordance definition of goy (#1471): “a simply means “nation(s)” or “people(s).” We
foreign nation; hence a Gentile,” a have seen from a number of Scripture examples
DISCREPANCY is apparent! We have already that the term CAN refer to Israelites,
examined examples which show that goy DOES non-Israelites -- or both. We have also examined
NOT always refer to a FOREIGN nation; thus, a number of examples illustrating the
the Strong’s definition is MISLEADING. INCONSISTENCY in translating this Hebrew
Goy CAN mean a foreign nation -- but word, leading to confusion and misunder-
The CONTEXT within which the word goy is The English word Gentile(s) in its
used will determine what nation or nations is MODERN meaning and usage is NOT generally
meant. With this thought in mind, answer the compatible with the use of the Hebrew word
following questions: goy. Hundreds of years ago the word Gentile
31. Read Genesis 10:5. The word was understood differently, but unfortunately it
nations (goy) refers ONLY to which of Noah’s has come to mean “non-Jew.” Later in this
descendants? lesson, we will examine the ORIGIN and
32. In Genesis 10:20, the word nations ANCIENT MEANING of the word Gentile. But
(goy) refers ONLY to which of Noah’s first, we will look at the NEW TESTAMENT
descendants? USAGES of the Greek words from which
33. Read Genesis 10:31. The word Gentile(s) is translated.
nations (goy) refers ONLY to which of Noah’s
descendants? New Testament Usage
COMMENT: In these three examples
we see the Hebrew word goy used to refer to In the New Testament the word Gentile
THREE SEPARATE branches of peoples -- two is translated from TWO Greek words (ethnos
of which are non-Semitic (not from Shem) and and Hellen) that are rendered into English in
non-Israelite. FIVE different ways.
34. Now read Genesis 17:4-6. The The following chart illustrates these
Hebrew word goy is translated as nations three various renderings -- along with their frequency
different times. In this instance, what FAMILY of use. We will examine these two Greek words
does nations refer to? individually.
35. In Genesis 17:20 the word nation
(goy) refers to what people?
COMMENT: NONE of these people

Understanding Word Meanings
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