By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)



I am trying to understand how Gentile believers "fit" with HaShem's plan for Israel. A Gentile who is interested in moving closer to HaShem is called a ger. Strongís concordance defines a ger as:


1616 ger, gare; or (fully) geyr, gare; from 1481; prop. a guest; by impl. a foreigner:-alien, sojourner, stranger. ^ gur. See 1482.


Letís begin this study by examining the verses which speak of the "alien living among you (Israel)":


Shemot (Exodus) 12:48-49 "An alien living among you who wants to celebrate HaShemís Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat of it. The same law applies to the native-born and to the alien living among you."


Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:14 "'An alien living among you who wants to celebrate HaShemís Passover must do so in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for the alien and the native-born.'"


The Gentile who was turning to HaShem was allowed to celebrate the Passover if all males in his household were circumcised. This was one of the final steps of the conversion process. As a convert, he had all the same rules that the Israelites had.


Shemot (Exodus) 12:14-20 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to HaShem--a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat--that is all you may do. "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."


In the above passage we can see that the community of Israel was composed of native born and the aliens (gerim). Eating yeast during Hag HaMatza was not optional for the community of Israel.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:29-31 "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work--whether native-born or an alien living among you-- Because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before HaShem, you will be clean from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.


The alien was required to observe the Day of Atonement. Lets see what the Torah says are some of the other requirements for these aliens who have turned to HaShem.


Shemot (Exodus) 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Sabbath to HaShem your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days HaShem made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore HaShem blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


Shemot (Exodus) 23:12 "Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:12-15 "Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as HaShem your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Sabbath to HaShem your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that HaShem your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore HaShem your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.


The alien was required to rest on Shabbat. Since the Shabbat wa given as a sign of the covenant between the Jew and HaShem, we know that the alien is a convert, he is now a part of the covenant!


Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:8-9 "Say to them: 'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice And does not bring it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to HaShem--that man must be cut off from his people.


The alien was required to bring his sacrifice to the same place an Israelite did. Since only members of the covenant were allowed in the courtyard of Israel, to make this offering, we can see that the alien is a Gentile who has accepted the Torah and entered the covenant and become a part of Israel. He is no longer a Gentile, he is now a Jew!


Yeshua is the atonement for the Gentiles (the world). In this way He plays the role of Yitzchak (Isaac) when he was bound by Avraham. In the same way that Yitzchak was an atonement for the Jews, so also was Yeshua an atonement for the Gentiles. He was the Lamb of God, He was the sacrificial offering required of all Gentiles as part of the conversion process. He is therefore a replacement for the lamb of conversion which can no longer be brought because the Temple was destroyed. Jews do not need this lamb because they converted at Mt. Sinai in the days of Moses and thus have no need of the conversion lamb.

Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:10-14 "'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood--I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood." "'Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, Because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off."


The aliens, as a part of the covenant and having the same law as the rest of Israel, was forbidden to eat blood.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:15-16 "'Anyone, whether native-born or alien, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then he will be clean. But if he does not wash his clothes and bathe himself, he will be held responsible.'"


The alien was not allowed to eat already dead animals without becoming unclean, the same law that applied to the native born Jew.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:21 Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it to an alien living in any of your towns, and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner (ger). But you are a people holy to HaShem your God. Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.


This is baffling...How do we have the same law and allow this?


Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:1-8 HaShem said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech. "'I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. "'Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am HaShem your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am HaShem, who makes you holy.


The alien was not allowed to offer his children to Molech.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:17-20 HaShem said to Moses, "Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: 'If any of you--either an Israelite or an alien living in Israel--presents a gift for a burnt offering to HaShem, either to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering, You must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf. Do not bring anything with a defect, because it will not be accepted on your behalf.


His burnt offering was the same as an Israelites'.


Vayikra (Leviticus) 24:10-23 Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) They put him in custody until the will of HaShem should be made clear to them. Then HaShem said to Moses: "Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; Anyone who blasphemes the name of HaShem must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death. "'If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone's animal must make restitution--life for life. If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: Fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. As he has injured the other, so he is to be injured. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a man must be put to death. You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am HaShem your God.'" Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as HaShem commanded Moses.


Blasphemer were to be stoned by the native born and the alien. The same law applied to Israelites and aliens.

Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:14-16 For the generations to come, whenever an alien or anyone else living among you presents an offering made by fire as an aroma pleasing to HaShem, he must do exactly as you do. The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before HaShem: The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.'"


The sacrificial law applied to both the Israelite and the alien.


Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:22-31 "'Now if you unintentionally fail to keep any of these commands HaShem gave Moses-- Any of HaShemís commands to you through him, from the day HaShem gave them and continuing through the generations to come-- And if this is done unintentionally without the community being aware of it, then the whole community is to offer a young bull for a burnt offering as an aroma pleasing to HaShem, along with its prescribed grain offering and drink offering, and a male goat for a sin offering. The priest is to make atonement for the whole Israelite community, and they will be forgiven, for it was not intentional and they have brought to HaShem for their wrong an offering made by fire and a sin offering. The whole Israelite community and the aliens living among them will be forgiven, because all the people were involved in the unintentional wrong. "'But if just one person sins unintentionally, he must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest is to make atonement before HaShem for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made for him, he will be forgiven. One and the same law applies to everyone who sins unintentionally, whether he is a native-born Israelite or an alien. "'But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes HaShem, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised HaShemís word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.'"


Unintentional or intentional sin...the alien is treated like an Israelite.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:14-22 To HaShem your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet HaShem set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For HaShem your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Fear HaShem your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now HaShem your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.


Tehillim (Psalms) 146:1-10 Praise HaShem. Praise HaShem, O my soul. I will praise HaShem all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in HaShem his God, The Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them--HaShem, who remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. HaShem sets prisoners free, HaShem gives sight to the blind, HaShem lifts up those who are bowed down, HaShem loves the righteous. HaShem watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. HaShem reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise HaShem.


HaShem loves the alien (The implication is that he is chosen).


I Melakim (Kings) 8:37-43 "When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, And when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel--each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple-- Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men), So that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers. "As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name-- For men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm--when he comes and prays toward this temple, Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.


The alien was to be allotted a share of the land in which he settled:


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 47:21-23 "You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance," declares the Sovereign HaShem.


Consider also that Caleb received an inheritance and that his father was NOT a descendent of Jacob:


Bereshit (Genesis) 15:12-21 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then HaShem said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day HaShem made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-- The land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."


Bamidbar (Numbers) 32:12 Not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Yahoshua (Joshua) son of Nun, for they followed HaShem wholeheartedly.'


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 1:36 Except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed HaShem wholeheartedly."

5237 nokriy, nok-ree'; from 5235 (second form); strange, in a variety of degrees and applications (foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful):-alien, foreigner, outlandish, strange (-r, woman).


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:14-15 When you enter the land HaShem your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," Be sure to appoint over you the king HaShem your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner (ish) over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.


This stranger is different too (this is our nokree).


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:1-5 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because HaShemís time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you. However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land HaShem your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, If only you fully obey HaShem your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:19-20 Do not charge your brother interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that HaShem your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.


God Fearer


II Luqas (Acts) 10:1-8 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!" Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Tzefet (Peter). He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea." When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.


Cornelius gets baptized with the Holy Spirit.


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 8:12 Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God.


II Luqas (Acts) 2:1-13 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (Both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?" Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."


II Luqas (Acts) 13:26-31 "Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Yeshua, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, And for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.


II Luqas (Acts) 13:46-51 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.



II Luqas (Acts) 17:1-4 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, Explaining and proving that the Mashiach had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Yeshua I am proclaiming to you is the Mashiach," he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.


4576 sebomai, seb'-om-ahee; mid. of an appar. prim. verb; to revere, i.e. adore:-devout, religious, worship.


II Luqas (Acts) 17:16-17 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.




Yeshayah (Isaiah) 56:2-8 Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." Let no foreigner who has bound himself to HaShem say, "HaShem will surely exclude me from his people." And let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree." For this is what HaShem says: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant-- To them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to HaShem to serve him, to love the name of HaShem, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." The Sovereign HaShem declares--he who gathers the exiles of Israel: "I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered."


* * *


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

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