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Understanding "gentile"


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I have been struggling with some of the scriptures and definitions of "Gentiles" in both LDS literature and the Bible.  I understand that it comes up mostly in "scholarly" discussions that LDS members refer to non-church members as Gentiles.  

Whereas outside of the church, it normally refers to people that are not of the Jewish faith.  

 

In the Oxford dictionary it also refers to gentiles as "not of this clan or group" or even commonly as a slur.  

 

Origin.       late Middle English: from Latin gentilis 'of a family or nation, of the same clan' (used in the Vulgate to refer to non-Jews), from gens,gent- 'family, race', from the root of gignere'beget'.

 

In Matthew 10:5-6, when Jesus is sending out 12 apostles two by two, he says:

 

These twelve Jesus asent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the bSamaritans enter ye not:

 But go rather to the alost bsheep of the house of Israel.  

 

I think I was told that it has to do with which of the 12 tribes of Israel the person comes from.

 

I mostly know it is confusing and I'd like to understand it better.  

When Jesus refers to the lost sheep, He is referring to Jewish people correct?

If anyone could help, I would appreciate it.  

I have asked some LDS friends, but they had either not heard it used this way or didn't know why.  

 

Thank you,

WB

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Book of Mormon the Gentiles most often referred to are those who immigrate to the New World and the peoples from which they came. In other words, if you are not a Lamanite you are a Gentile even though you might carry Israelite blood. In Church History many of the early Prophets referred to the saints as Israelites and everyone else as Gentiles. In the Bible Gentiles means not Jewish/Israelite. The Doctrine and Covenants generally follows the Book of Mormon usage.

 

I am an Ephraimite Gentile according to the Book of Mormon. My people lead off the Restoration and will eventually (at the end of the time of the Gentiles) be relegated to the second tier when the lamanites truly arise. If I do not repent I will be destroyed. If I do repent I will rejoice with them and aid them in building Zion. By "I" I mean me and my descendants.

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Dear Nehor,

 

 

Are the Israelites, Nephites and Lamanites all from the house of Shem?  [Noah]

 

The extra houses of Israel,- the Ephramites and Manassehites (?sp) minus the house of Esau? 13 houses of Israel?

 

Then PLUS the Lamanites and Nephites or where they descents of Joseph or another of his brothers?

 

My queston is did these 15 ?  house's descendents then keep the True church lineage and ability to eventually restore the priesthood?

From which house of Israel came the Lamanites?  And the Nephites?

 

If the Jewish nation is an Israelite nation, then do they trace their lineage back to a certain son of Jacob?  (House of David -which one?)?

 

I continue to try to figure this all out on my own from reading, but get so confused.  :(  

I've been trying to understand the pieces, and put them in order, but can't get them to make sense.  If you could help me or direct me to a timeline or article, I would greatly appreciate it.  

 

Thank you for your answers....

WB

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Are the Israelites, Nephites and Lamanites all from the house of Shem?  [Noah]

 

The extra houses of Israel,- the Ephramites and Manassehites (?sp) minus the house of Esau? 13 houses of Israel?

 

Then PLUS the Lamanites and Nephites or where they descents of Joseph or another of his brothers?

 

Pretty much everyone is descended from Shem.

 

Esau was never really a tribe. There are 13 tribes but they are often referred to as 12 because the Levites were scattered throughout the lands of the other tribes and were distinct.

 

The Nephites and Lamanites are a mixture of Ephraim (through Ishmael) and Manasseh (through Lehi) who then intermingled with the Mulekites who were refugees from the Kingdom of Judah meaning they were probably mostly from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi and possibly others. They also most likely intermingled with Jaredite survivors and other people who came to the Americas.

 

If the Jewish nation is an Israelite nation, then do they trace their lineage back to a certain son of Jacob?  (House of David -which one?)?

 

Do you mean the current Jewish nation of Israel or the ancient Kingdom of Judah?

 

The House of David is part of the tribe of Judah.

 

Short simplified timeline of the tribes:

 

After Moses led the tribes out of Egypt they settled in what is now Israel. For a time they were a loose confederation of tribes ruled by judges (basically a kind of spiritual general with judicial authority) who popped up to help them out of trouble. In the days of Samuel the people insisted on a king.

 

The first king of Israel was Saul of the tribe of Benjamin. When he sinned David was anointed to become King of Israel and eventually he took the throne. He was followed by his son Solomon who was involved in massive work projects. This was okay when it was for the temple but eventually he had Egypt-style compulsive labor going to build a house and other projects to his glory. This stirred up a lot of dissent.

 

Solomon's son Rehoboam was something of an idiot and told the people he would make them work even harder. An enemy of Solomon's from the tribe of Ephraim named Jeroboam then staged a revolt and the kingdom split. 10 tribes went to the Kingdom of Israel, usually ruled by Ephraim, the most numerous and powerful tribe. 2 tribes, Judah and Benjamin, stayed loyal to Rehoboam and formed the kingdom of Judah.

 

For many years the two kingdoms endured, Judah occasionally being ruled by good kings mixed with tyrants and Israel being ruled by a bunch of tyrants who rarely died of old age.

 

Eventually Assyria conquered the kingdom of Israel and the bulk of the Ten Tribes were scattered. The Assyrians forcefully deported most of the population and they are lost to history. A few stayed and mixed a lot with others and became the Samaritans. Some hints in the Apocrypha and other writings talk about them going north led by a prophet. In the Book of Mormon Jesus makes it clear that there were still faithful followers of the Messiah somewhere when He died as He went to visit them.

 

The kingdom of Judah endured another century. Just before it fell God ordered Lehi to take his family out and run. His family was one of several to leave the Kingdom of Israel before it fell. He was of the tribe of Manasseh. His sons intermarried with the daughters of Ishmael who was of the tribe of Ephraim so they are a mixture. They crossed the sea and went to the Americas and later met the Mulekites who also fled the Kingdom of Judah as it fell and were probably a mixture of several tribes.

 

The Kingdom of Judah fell to Babylon, the temple was destroyed, and most of the people were forcibly deported to Babylon where they prospered. These survivors were called the Jews even though they are not all of the tribe of Judah. Eventually Babylon fell to the Persian-Median alliance and a king of Persia granted some of the Jews leave to return home and rebuild the temple and Jerusalem. They did so despite Samaritan interference.

 

The Jewish people (not a kingdom as there was no king) continued as a client state of Persia until it was conquered by the Greeks under Alexander the Great. When Alexander the Great died the kingdom was split and the Jews were ruled by the Ptolemies and later by the Seleucids. Eventually the Maccabean revolt gave them independence for a short time until they were conquered by Rome. The Jewish people were always revolting against Rome and eventually the Romans destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The Jews were scattered after that and suffered quite a bit due to Christian and Islamic persecution.

 

In LDS belief the tribes were scattered to spread the seed of Israel throughout the world as an aid to the world and to spare them many of the destructions visited on the central group. There are strong hints that there are many we do not know about out there. In the last days they are to be regathered to the temples of God (scattering and gathering has a lot to do with temples). This is one of the reasons in the early years of this dispensation that the Saints were always gathering to one place (the temple) and that now that we have more temples we are told to gather to more local temples instead.

 

We are told there are records of the lost 10 tribes we will receive at some point and that some spectacular miracle will bring them to Zion in a group, a miracle that will overshadow the crossing of the Red Sea. In the Last Days Ephraim will rebuild Zion and the rest of the Lost Tribes will come to him to be crowned with blessings (temple blessings). Judah has its own redemption coming in a different way when the Messiah returns to them.

 

I should stop there before I turn this into a novella. Does that help at all?

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Since no Levites came to the Americas, and the Nephites were really considered more dutiful and righteous than the Lamanites...but the Lamanites killed them all (basically) 

 

1.  Do you think Christ went to visit a group of Levites in the East since they were special to him?

 

2.  Will the Nephites have any special place in the Millenium because of their history of being more righteous?

 

3.  Since the Lamanites repented and changed their ways, but killed off the Nehites, what is revealed of their fate?

 

4.  You referred to them and your forebearers (house) becoming second tier.  Did you mean the Terrestial kingdom or something else?

 

5. Are children born into the True church and baptized and sealed in different houses of Israel  than those who convert or join the LDS church and are baptized later in life?  When people are baptized into the church they are adopted into a specific house of Israel, correct?  When baptizing in abstentia (for the dead) are they assigned a house as well?

 If one has ancestors in different houses, would a new member be given unto one of their houses?

 

Is this too many questions?

If it is, I don't mind if you don't answer.  I do not mean to be a pest.

 

Respectfully,

WB

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Since no Levites came to the Americas, and the Nephites were really considered more dutiful and righteous than the Lamanites...but the Lamanites killed them all (basically) 

 

1.  Do you think Christ went to visit a group of Levites in the East since they were special to him?

 

2.  Will the Nephites have any special place in the Millenium because of their history of being more righteous?

 

3.  Since the Lamanites repented and changed their ways, but killed off the Nehites, what is revealed of their fate?

 

4.  You referred to them and your forebearers (house) becoming second tier.  Did you mean the Terrestial kingdom or something else?

 

5. Are children born into the True church and baptized and sealed in different houses of Israel  than those who convert or join the LDS church and are baptized later in life?  When people are baptized into the church they are adopted into a specific house of Israel, correct?  When baptizing in abstentia (for the dead) are they assigned a house as well?

 If one has ancestors in different houses, would a new member be given unto one of their houses?

 

Is this too many questions?

If it is, I don't mind if you don't answer.  I do not mean to be a pest.

 

Respectfully,

WB

1. Not individually but there were probably Levites amongst the 10 tribes and he probably met many in his mortal ministry.

2. The Nephites were not more righteous. With the exception of a few centuries right after Christ came they were, on the whole, fickle about their faith with dramatic shifts and apostases cropping up regularly.

3. The Lamanites were given the promise that one day their descendants would read their record and many of ether would repent. This is still in process.

4. No, not going to a lower kingdom, just that they would be less prominent in world affairs.

5. Baptism is being initiated into the House of Israel or being recognized for it as the case may be. You only get assigned to a tribe by a patriarchal blessing which we do not do for the dead. If it is necessary I assume they can do it for themselves. It is possible to be assigned to a different tribe then your parents. We all probably carry some heritage from all the tribes. The blessing assigns you to one whose blessings and responsibilities are dominant for you.

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Thank you very much for thesr responses.  I have been studying them.  I should have remembered about the Patriarchal blessing actually assigning you to a tribe snd all that entails.

 

When and if I make covenants through the COJCOLDS, I want to be very sure of what is being asked of me and what I am promising in return.  I don't take it lightly nor want to make it ill-informed.

 

I really do appreciate your taking the time out to help me in my studies.

 

WB

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