SOJOURNER. The following words are tr. “sojourner” or “stranger.”
1. גֵּר, H1731. This term refers to a resident alien, a non-citizen in a country where he resides more or less permanently, enjoying certain limited civic rights. This person, the sojourner, is one who actually dwells among another people in contrast to the foreigner, whose stay is temporary. The KJV generally translates גֵּר, H1731, as “stranger,” which has caused needless confusion since there are other words for “stranger.” Either the term should be transliterated or consistently tr. “sojourner” which best agrees with the verb gûr (
2. תּוֹשָׁב, H9369. In some cases this term seems almost synonymous with gēr. Its use is limited to the Pentateuch with three exceptions (
In the earlier period marriages with foreigners were common, though disliked (
In the NT the terms “foreigner,” “stranger” no longer apply to non-Jews because of the disappearance of the Jewish national and political base for the life of God’s people; all Christians are aliens on this earth (
M. Guttmann, “The Term ‘Foreigner’ (נָכְרִי, H5799) Historically Considered,” HUCA, III (1926), 1-20; L. A. Snijders, The Meaning of Zār in the (1953).