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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


WUENCH, Hans-Georg. The stranger in God's land - foreigner, stranger, guest: what can we learn from Israel's attitude towards strangers?. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.3, pp.1129-1154. ISSN 2312-3621.

This article concentrates on the Hebrew terms used for "stranger" in the OT, especially the three most used terms zar (•-), nochri (-•-•) and ger (•-). The research methodology used is based on a canonical and literary critical approach to the OT. While the term •- is more or less neutral in its meaning, the terms -•-• and •- invoke stronger emotions: the term -•-• (foreigner) denotes a more or less dangerous stranger (due to strange gods and/or strange ways of living), whereas the term •- (guest) is used very positively. The latter is by far the most common word used for "stranger" in the OT. This article looks into the relation between these three words and then asks how a •- could become a •- and avoid being a -•-•. Finally, what we can learn from this for our modern society is explored in the conclusion.

Keywords : stranger (Hebrew); guest (Hebrew); foreigner (Hebrew); canonical criticism; literary criticism; Germany.

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