Gentile or Goy (from Latin gentilis, by the French gentil, feminine: gentille, meaning of or belonging to a clan or tribe) is an ethnonym that commonly means non-Jew. Other groups that claim Israelite heritage sometimes use the term to describe outsiders.

The term is used by English translators for the Hebrew גוי (goy) and נכרי (nokhri) in the Hebrew Bible and the Greek word ἔθνη (éthnē) in the New Testament. The term "gentiles" is derived from Latin, used for contextual translation, and not an original Hebrew or Greek word from the Bible. The original words goy and ethnos refer to "peoples" or "nations" and is applied to both Israelites and non-Israelites in the Bible. However, in most biblical uses, it denotes nations that are politically distinct from Israel. Since most of the nations at the time of the Bible were "heathens" , goy or gentile became synonymous with heathen although their literal translation is distinct. The term gentile thus became identical to the later term Ummot ha-olam (nations of the world). Latin and later English translators selectively used the term "gentiles" when the context for the base term "peoples" or "nations" referred to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible.

The Torah (Law of Moses written in the first five books of the Bible) exhibits a passionate intolerance of the Gentile nations; it required the Hebrews to exterminate or expel the original inhabitants of Phoenicia (Canaan) without mercy (Deuteronomy 6), and forbade the Hebrews to intermarry with them or adopt their customs. The Torah alleges the Gentiles had barbaric practices incompatible with Mosaic law, and they might "contaminate" the Hebrews.

"Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable."
Carl Sagan
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