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Jew and Greek – or Gentiles Among the Gentiles

In Blog, Written Teachings | on August, 02, 2013 | by

Gentiles Among the Gentiles

How does our 21st century mind and definition wrap itself around the passage in John where the dispersed are apparently referred to as Gentiles? Have we even considered this? In light of the numerous Pauline references to the Gentiles (in the King James version), it might be very significant for understanding Paul’s writings.

With Paul two things are of utmost importance. First, we need to remember, Paul was trained at the highest level of the Pharisees. Therefore, one could conclude he would use Pharisaical idioms. Secondly, as with all scriptural interpretation, it is important to study the context of the period.

This said, it seems we have a problem with the wording in the John passage below. Going to the “dispersed among the Gentiles and teaching the Gentiles” seems to be a conflict of subject matter:

John 7:35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he) go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

Are we talking about the dispersed (Northern Kingdom, House of Israel, exiles) or the Gentiles? Extra Biblical sources indicate the people of (the House of) Judah referred to those in exile among the Gentiles as Gentiles.

Further, we frequently find translations other than the KJV where the word Gentile in this passage is translated Greek. This is very significant. Paul, for instance, talks about the Jew and Greek in both Romans and Galatians.

Seven times, Paul is translated as saying the phrase, “among the Gentiles (KJV)”. Since the phrase is also found in Acts, one is compelled to consider the context as referring to those exiles from the Northern Kingdom dispersed among the Gentiles.  It should be noted here, that, when the (House of Judah) Jews returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, Josephus records Judah first going to the dispersed and preaching to them in the Northern reaches of Assyria. Obviously, Judah knew where their brothers (House of Israel) were. They weren’t the “10 lost tribes” at that time.

And so, we find strong evidence to indicate Paul fully understood what we call today, “The Two House Teaching.”  This teaching is not new and it certainly is not, in any way, a theory. The evidence of the two houses being an End Time fact is shown throughout the prophets. Following are two passages from Jeremiah which serve to confirm this fact.

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah

Jeremiah 33:24 – 26 Consider thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.  Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.

Paul clearly knew all about this. However, the translators seem to miss it when translating Paul. And so, who are the “Jews and Greeks” Paul references? It would seem those are the House of Judah and the House of Israel or the House of Judah(Jews) and the Dispersed (House of Israel) among the Greeks.

Further, it is understood that the promise of redemption through the death of Jesus/Yeshua on the cross was clear to Paul. He knew the bridegroom could not take back the adulterous divorced Northern Kingdom bride. It is forbidden in Torah. It would seem the Northern Kingdom also would have understood why they were in captivity. It was about their adultery with false, man-made gods. When our Messiah read the Isaiah passage in Nazareth, he read about setting the captives free. Isaiah is referencing the captivity of the Northern Kingdom. And, the reading took place in the Northern Kingdom territory. When Jesus/Yeshua said later, “I come ONLY for the lost sheep of the House of Israel,” most still did not understand.

It is clear Paul understood and this is what he called, “The mystery of the Gospel.” After all, how could the Messiah bring about the complete restoration of the descendants of all twelve tribes, if ten of them had been divorced and could not come back without breaking God’s law (Torah)? It seemed an impossibility. Paul understood. He explained that all believers are grafted (or adopted) into the Common-wealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-12), and the new covenant above is the renewed old covenant by a New Man (Jesus/Yeshua). He tried to explain this when he talked about the Law of Faith which believers were to embrace. In Romans 9:4-5 he makes it clear that the adoptee receives the promises and the covenant(s) and the Torah (Law) as well as other things pertaining to the Commonwealth of Israel. One who is adopted takes on the heritage of his adoptive family and leaves the old behind. Pretty simple, however, if your new family is carrying a curse, that is not so good. Our Messiah’s death eliminated the curse on the adoptive family.

And so, who was he explaining this to, mainly those who were descendants of the Northern Kingdom. It was the good news because it meant they were finally free of the curse of the divorce. They could come home and be part of God’s family again. And, of course, when he was warning against the leaven of the Pharisees it was because the Pharisees introduced more man-made doctrines and man-made worship brought the Northern Kingdom under the curse to begin with.

One final thought, in Leviticus and Deuteronomy there are blessings and curses listed using those terms. And so, the curse spoken of here is the punishment resulting from not observing the Commandments and Statutes of the Lord. We must remember curse defines punishment administered by the Father to those of the covenant who don’t follow the rules.

What are the rules for believers today? One would think it would be the same for all time. Hebrews says the first century Gospel message was the same one they heard at Mt. Sinai.

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Hebrews 3:16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

And so, if we look at the entire context of this passage we find the same Gospel message was preached to those who came from Egypt as those of the first century. God says He doesn’t change and apparently, neither has His Gospel.

What is the application for today? Simply, the Gentiles among the Gentiles would probably be us. We are still in the captivity and, to avoid the curse, we need to be obedient to the Gospel.

2 Responses


John 7:35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he) go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? is incorrectly translated here; it should read: “Then said the Judeans among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he) go unto the dispersed among the Greek, and teach the Greek? Check the Greek manuscripts and you will see.


We agree that “Greek” is the most accurate, but, as was pointed out at the beginning, we were quoting the King James. We frequently quote the KJV because it is one of the most commonly used translations today.

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