Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)



First Advisor

Melissa Ramos

Second Advisor

Lisa Cleath


The gēr in the Hebrew Bible is a legal classification representing persons who reside outside their ancestral lands with people outside of their kin. The status of the gēr is not static in the Bible. Rather, historical and textual evidence in the respective law codes informs the socioeconomic and religious standing of the gēr in Israelite society. In Deuteronomic tradition, the gēr is among the most vulnerable groups in Israel and is therefore appended to the ancient Near Eastern widow-orphan dyad in Deuteronomy. The first section of the present thesis traces the law codes and wisdom literature of ancient Near Eastern cultures to discern their influence on Deuteronomy’s gēr laws. The second portion of this paper outlines Deuteronomy’s remarkable expansion of ancient Near Eastern precedent to deal with a large population of displaced persons in the book’s historical situation. Finally, the work explores the legislative measures taken by the Deuteronomists to incorporate the gēr into the socioeconomic and religious society of Israel.