Goiim | Free Online Biblical Library

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GOIIM (gŏy'ĭm). The territory, perhaps of a “mixed population,” ruled by an otherwise unknown king named Tidal (Gen.14.1, Gen.14.9), who was part of the confederacy defeated by Abraham when he rescued Lot from them. Also the name of the territory of an unnamed king defeated by Joshua (Josh.12.23, “Goyim”). (See also HAROSHETH; HAGGOYIM; Heathen, Pagan)

GOIIM goi’ ĭm (גּוֹיִֽם). KJV “nations, heathen gentiles”; RSV “nations”; prob. a loanword from Akkad. gayūm, “tribe”. Geographical name associated with NE Syria.

Goiim is the name of the territory ruled by Tidal (Gen 14:1) and by an unnamed king in the Galilee region (so LXX) defeated by Joshua (Josh 12:23). The latter is prob. the same as the Galilee of the Goiim (Isa 9:1; RSV “nations”). Harosheth-hagoiim (Judg 4:2, 13) may be a specific locality within the same area of Galilee. The location of Goiim has depended usually on the proposed identification of Tidal. The common link with Gutium (Kurdistan) implies an error in the Heb. consonants and is unlikely. If Tidal is a Hitt. or Syrian name (Tudhalia) then the identification of Goiim with a region in Syria would fit the Biblical references. It would further support the view that the kings were drawn into a coalition from each of the quarters of the Babylonian empire (Hatti/Goiim representing the W, Ellasar-Assyria the N, Elam the E and Shinar/Babylonia the S). Goiim cannot be understood as a collective reference to non-Israelite peoples (cf. Gen 25:23; Isa 26:2; Zeph 2:9).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

This word, rendered in the King James Version "nations," "heathen," "Gentiles," is commonly translated simply "nations" in the Revised Version (British and American). In Ge 14:1 where the King James Version has "Tidal, king of nations," the Revised Version (British and American) retains in the text the Hebrew "Goiim" as a proper name. Some identify with Gutium. The Hebrew word is similarly retained in Jos 12:23.