Noun Gentilic


A gentilic noun is a noun that describes the ethnic identity of a person or group of people.


Biblical Hebrew expresses national, tribal, or ancestral identity using nouns that (usually) immediately follow the noun they describe. For this reason, some scholars prefer to classify gentilic nouns as gentilic adjectives, because they appear in the same position as attributive adjectives. Either classification is grammatically correct.


Example: GEN 16:1

וְלָ֛הּ שִׁפְחָ֥ה מִצְרִ֖ית

welah shifha mitsrith

And-to-her slave-girl Egyptian

but she had a female servant, an Egyptian,

Example: LEV 24:10
וַיֵּצֵא֙ בֶּן־אִשָּׁ֣ה יִשְׂרְאֵלִ֔ית וְהוּא֙ בֶּן־אִ֣ישׁ


wayyetse ben_’ishah yisre’elith wehu ben_ish mitsri

And-he-went-out son-of_woman Israelite and-he son-of_man


Now it happened that the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was

an Egyptian, went