What is a Proselyte?
, Matt 23:15, a name given by the Jews to such as were converted from heathenism to the Jewish faith. According to the Mosaic Law, foreigners who resided in Palestine were entitled to kind treatment, Deut 10:18-19, and the protection of the cities of refuge, Num 35:15, on the condition that they kept the Sabbath, Ex 20:10, and abstained from blasphemy and idolatry. Lev 20:2; 2 Chr 24:16. They might even partake in the celebration of the day of atonement, Lev 26:29, the feast of weeks, Deut 16:11, and that of tabernacles; but the Passover they could not eat without having been circumcised, Ex 12:48; Num 9:14- that is, without having adopted the Jewish ritual together with the Jewish faith, and become Jews. Later on, especially after the Captivity, when Jews were living in all countries, it could not fail that the heathens, especially the women, should feel attracted by this higher type of religion, and the Jews themselves were very eager to make converts. In Damascus almost all the women were converted to the Jewish faith. There were two classes of proselytes. 1. Full proselytes, called "proselytes of righteousness," who were circumcised and in full communion with the synagogue. They were usually more fanatical than the native Jews. Comp. Matt 23:15. 2. Half proselytes, called " proselytes of the gate*' (from Ex 20:10, "Thy stranger that is within thy gate"), who embraced the monotheism and Messianic hopes of the Jews without submitting to circumcision and conforming to the Jewish ritual. The latter class are called in the N.T. religious, devout. God-fearing persons. Acts 13:43, 1 Chr 6:50; Rev 16:14; Acts 17:4,Acts 17:17; Luke 18:7. They were among the first converts, and formed generally the nucleus of Paul's congregations. To these half proselytes belonged Cornelius, Lydia, Timothy, Titus. PROVERBS are sayings embodying some rule of conduct or some observation from life in a striking and catching form. In modern times collections of such proverbs have been made in almost every country, and these collections have attracted much attention, because they generally give very striking pictures of the character of a nation, its wisdom and its follies, its passions and its humors.
Bibliography Information Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'proselyte' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". bible-history.com - Schaff's