An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 184 of 277
Here the word is the Hebrew goi, and this word is used again and again
of the nation of Israel, the first occurrence being Genesis 12:2 'I will make
of thee a great nation'; Israel were 'a great goi'.  Israel most surely knew
and gloried in the fact that they were a 'goi', yet here we have Israel
glorying also in the opposite fact that they were not a 'goi'!  It is
therefore abundantly clear that the word goi in the prayer must refer to the
Gentile nations, as distinct from the nation of Israel, for according to the
Old Testament Scriptures, every individual on earth must belong to a nation,
a goi, and are classed under the plural goyim.
We have said above that the Authorized Version appears to have indulged
in an anachronism, using the differentiate word 'Gentile' before its time,
for when Genesis 10 was a record of 'present truth', Israel was unknown:
'By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every
one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations' (Gen.
In this verse the word goyim is translated once 'Gentiles' and once
'nations'.  There can be no thought of forgetfulness or lack of intention
here, especially when we read the full preface written by the translators and
perceive their methods and purpose.
The book of Genesis is 'The book of the generations of Adam' (Gen.
5:1), which embraces the seventy nations set forth in Genesis 10, and the
descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, namely the nation of Israel,
represented by the twelve sons, the fathers of the twelve tribes named after
them.  While the order given in Genesis 10:1 of the three sons of Noah, is
'Shem, Ham and Japheth', the opening generation is not that of Shem, but of
Japheth, who is called 'the elder' in Genesis 10:21.  The prominence given to
Shem is because of the place which his descendants were to occupy in the
redemptive purpose.  While the descendants of Ham, and many of the
descendants of Abraham (outside the line through Isaac and Jacob) were
'Gentiles' or 'nations' as distinct from Israel, the Authorized Version
places the emphasis upon the descendants of Japheth probably because some of
these nations occupied Europe at the time of Christ, and to these nations in
particular, the ministry of Paul was originally directed:
'From Jerusalem, and round about Illyricum' (Rom. 15:19).
(Illyricum including Albania, Dalmatia, etc., and later Rome, and possibly
Spain, Rom. 15:24).
The Hebrew word goi is used, sometimes generically, and refers to all
'nations', and sometimes specifically, when goi in the singular may refer to
Israel, as distinct from goyim in the plural that may refer to 'the nations
of the earth other than Israel'.  This is a feature in language that is
everywhere in use and acceptance.  The Authorized Version has translated
goyim 'Gentile' fifteen times, 'heathen' once and 'nations' about thirty
times.  The apostle Paul places the word 'Gentiles' over against the
Circumcision (Rom. 15:8 -12), those nations that 'have not the law' (Rom.
2:14) and over against 'The Jews' (Rom. 3:29).  The Gentile believers during
Paul's early ministry are likened to a 'wild olive graft' contrary to nature,
Israel being the true olive.