Foreigner


The word “foreigner” and its equivalents was applied not only to non-Israelites residing in Pal. more or less permanently, but also to Israelites making their home for a time in other lands (Gen 23:4; 26:3; 47:4; Exod 2:22; Ruth 1:1).




Foreigners naturally suffered some disabilities. They could not take part in the deliberations of the clan, tribe, or nation. The law prohibited a foreigner from becoming a king of Israel (Deut 17:15). They had to pay interest for money they borrowed (Deut 15:3; 23:20); and when, during the Year of Jubilee the debts of Israelites were cancelled, theirs were not (Deut 15:3), and when Heb. slaves were freed, they remained in bondage (Lev 25:45, 46).

Ezekiel, however, foresaw the time in the Messianic age when they would share in all the blessings of the land with God’s own people (Ezek 47:22).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

for’-in-er" The translation of nokhri, "unknown," "foreign," frequently rendered "stranger" (De 15:3; Ob 1:11); of toshabh, "a settler," "an alien resident" (Ex 12:45; the Revised Version (British and American) "sojourner"; compare Le 25:47; Ps 39:12); of paroikos, "dwelling near," "sojourner" (Eph 2:19, the Revised Version (British and American) sojourners").

Revised Version has "foreigner" for "stranger" (De 17:15; 23:20; 29:22; Ru 2:10; 2Sa 15:19), for "alien" (De 14:21); "the hand of a foreigner" for "a stranger’s hand" (Le 22:25).

See Alien; Stranger and Sojourner.

See also

  • Stranger