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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(נָכְרַי, nokri', Deuteronomy 15:3; Obadiah 1:11, a stranger, as elsewhere rendered; תּוֹשָׁב, toshab', Exodus 12:45, a sojourner, as usually rendered; πάροικος, lit. a neighbor, Ephesians 2:19, elsewhere "stranger" or "sojourner"), a resident in a country not native to him, i.e., in the Jewish sense a Gentile. (See ALIEN). Such non-Israelites (גֵּרַים, Josephus ἀλλοτριόχωροι, Ant. 3:12, 3) as resided among the Hebrews were by the Mosaic law not only commended in general to the sympathy and humanity of the citizens (Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:33-34; Deuteronomy 10:18 sq.; comp. Jeremiah 7:6; Ezekiel 22:7; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5; see Josephus, Apion, 2:28), but were also entitled to certain privileges belonging to the poor, namely, to participation in the festivals and decennial feasts (Deuteronomy 14:28 sq.; Deuteronomy 16:10 sq.; Deuteronomy 26:11 sq.; Tobit 1:7), to gleanings in the vineyards and fields (Leviticus 19:10; Leviticus 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19 sq.), and to the harvest in the year of jubilee (Leviticus 25:6); prescriptions which found a definite point of support in Oriental hospitality. Before the courts they had equal rights with the native-born residents (Exodus 12:49; Leviticus 24:22; Numbers 15:15 sq.; Deuteronomy 1:16; Deuteronomy 24:17; Deuteronomy 27:19), and the cities of refuge were appointed for them likewise in case of unintentional homicide (Numbers 35:15). On the other hand, they also were not allowed to perform anything which was an abomination according to the Hebrew law (Exodus 20:10; Leviticus 17:10; Leviticus 18:26; Leviticus 20:2; Leviticus 24:16; Deuteronomy 5:14; Ezekiel 14:7); yet they were exempted from the prohibition of using the flesh of animals that died of themselves (Deuteronomy 14:21; but there are also other distinctions between this passage and Leviticus 17:15. (See CARCASE) ).

Foreign slaves must be circumcised, but were then entitled to eat the passover (Genesis 17:12 sq.; Exodus 12:44). It was lawful to take interest from foreigners for loaned capital (Deuteronomy 23:20). (See DEBT). Under certain restrictions, when they submitted to circumcision, they became naturalized, and received the prerogatives of Jewish citizenship; Edomites and Egyptians in the: third generation (Deuteronomy 23:7 sq.; comp. Theodoret, Quaest. in Deuteronomy 26), others after a longer time. Only Ammonites, Moabites, castrated persons, and the off-spring of public harlots were altogether excluded from this privilege (Deuteronomy 23:1 sq.; comp. Nehemiah 13:1).. Foreigners accordingly appear in the royal service (1 Samuel 21:7; 1 Samuel 22:9; 2 Samuel 11:3; 2 Samuel 11:6, etc.). SEE GITTITE. Later fanaticism, however sought to expel all foreigners from the country (Nehemiah 13:3; on the contrary, Ezekiel 47:22), or impose the hard conditions of circumcision (Josephus, Life, 23). See generally Michaelis, Mos. Recht, 2:443 sq.; Jahn, I, 2:346 sq. The legal treatment of foreigners was in the earlier ages the more humane, as originally at Rome (Adam, Rom. Ant. 1:145) and at Athens. (See PROSELYTE)..

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Foreigner'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Thursday, June 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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