Confusion i.r.o. the word ‘Gentiles’
In trying to decipher the term ‘the Fullness of the Gentiles’, we need at this stage to reflect on a common error of Bible interpreters and translators in this regard. The Hebrew word used here, is ‘Goyim’, which is translated in various Bible versions as ‘gentiles’, ‘other nations’ and also as ‘heathen’. For this reason, interpreters generally have come to differentiate between Israelites and the ‘goyim’. Please note that both the words ‘heathen’ and ‘gentile’ stem exclusively from the same one Hebrew word used in the Tanach (O.T.) – goyim. Yet these 2 words have very diverse meanings in the English idiom.
It is important to note, that the nation of Israel is also referred to in Scripture as a ‘goy’ (sing.), thus simply ‘a nation amongst the nations’. And the promise to Abraham, ancient patriarch of the Jews (and the Arabs), was that he would be a father of many ‘goyim’ (pl. nations) (Gen. 17:4 and also verse 5).
Our first conclusion therefore, is that the use of the word ‘Gentile’ in our topic quote, does not specifically refer to non-Jewish nations, but simply to ‘nations’ – thus, ‘the blindness of one section of Israel regarding the Messiah, will last only until the full number of ‘people of the nations has come in.’
We need to find out who these nations are and how they will remove or cause the blindness to be removed for the Jews. Does this obligation rest in the Messianics, and if so, how should they fulfill this obligation?