And there were also gathered among the people, soldiers of Rome, and many would not
so much as stand near unto them, for they were not of the seed of Abraham; and many
were astonished that John should number these Gentiles among the house of Israel;
but John forbade no man the blessings of that God who called him forth.
Summary: The term “Gentile” refers to those who were not descendants of Abraham,
ie: non-Jews or non-Israelite peoples or nations. The designation can also be considered
synonymous with the term “heathen”. During the days of Yeshua, many Jews thought
themselves superior to Gentiles, being considered of God a “chosen people”. One of
the aims of the radical party known as the Zealots was to expel all Gentiles from
the land of Israel.
Many were surprised and often offended that both John the Baptizer and Yeshua made
no distinction between Gentiles and Jews (Y:1:13; Y:4:17; Y:7:8-9; Y:21:8). When
scribes and Pharisees rebuked Yeshua for staying in the Gentile home of Porcius and
Salome, Yeshua used Jewish scripture and history to expose their hypocrisy (Y:20:15-36).