ἐθνικοὶ [4 verses](adj pl masc nom) "Gentiles" is ethnikos, which means "national," "provincial," "foriegn," and "gentile." It was used in the same way we would describe someone as an "ethnic" or "foreigner." Foreigners, the Greeks and Romans, were the rulers of the nation in Christ's time. -- The word translated as "publicans" generally refers to everyone who is not a Jew. This is one of two similar words that often get translated as "gentiles," but this is the less common form, which more clearly means "foreigners."  Jesus uses this word in contrast with "friends" so "strangers."

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