The Old Testament word for gentile is often translated “nation” and comes from the transliteration of GOY or GOYIM or Nations.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
This so called gentile Samaritan woman was an Israelite. Jesus never corrected her for that. So why did the Jews have no dealings with them? Samaria was the CAPITOL CITY of Israel that God DIVORCED in Jeremiah 3:8.
It can also mean heathen depending upon the context. Gentile(s) = Nation(s) The King James translators took the word GOY and translated it to ‘nation’ or ‘gentile’. But it is the same word for gentile and nation.
From Strong’s: nation, h1471 gowy or goy
By these were the isles of the Gentiles (nations) divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. (Same word: Goyim)
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
When one gets to the New Testament portion of the Bible the word for nation comes from the Greek word ethnos or ETHNIC in english. Ethnic group pertains to a race of people. Gentiles does not mean we are not Jewish as many church preachers teach today. Many of the so called Gentiles were Hebrews of divorced Israel.