What is the Gentile’s purpose?
The holy Zohar explains that the purpose of G-d’s creation of the physical universe is for the eternal future World to Come, when His unlimited Essence will be openly revealed in this physical world, dwelling together with human beings, both Gentiles and Jews. Many Biblical prophecies focus on the Righteous Gentiles in the Messianic Era. For example: Zechariah 14:9 – “G-d will be King over the entire world [including the Gentiles], and in that day G-d will be One and His Name One.”
The purpose of Gentiles, who are created in the “image of G-d” (Genesis 1:27) is that through them accepting upon themselves that G-d is their King and following the Seven Commandments which He gave them, that will be the main revelation of G-d’s Kingship in the creation. As the Zohar says, because G-d desired to do kindness, it arose in His thought, “I will reign,” and there is no king without subjects. Even if a king has many children (Exodus 4:22), and many ministers for the administration of his kingdom (Isaiah 6:2-3), he is not a king with out a nation of subjects who will accept him as their king and accept his decrees. This purpose for the physical creation will mainly be accomplished through the Gentiles, more so than through the Jews. This is what the Jewish prophets prophesied about the eternal Messianic Era.
All the Books of the Hebrew Prophets are full of these prophecies, and here are just a few examples:- Psalm 67: “The nations will extol You O G-d; all the nations will extol You. The nations will rejoice and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples justly and guide the nations upon the earth forever.”- Psalm 72: “Blessed is His glorious Name forever, and may the whole earth [of whom the majority are Gentiles] be filled with His glory.”- Psalm 100: “Let all the earth [of whom the majority are Gentiles] sing in jubilation to the L-rd.”- Isaiah 11:9 – “The earth [which is mainly populated by Gentiles] will be as filled with knowledge of G-d as water covering the sea bed.”- Isaiah 56:7 – “For My house [the eternal Third Temple] shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.”- Zephaniah 3:9 – “For then I [G-d] will turn the nations to pure language, so that all will call upon the Name of G-d to serve Him with one purpose.- Rosh HaShanah prayer for the Messianic Era, composed by the Talmudic Sages: “All [of whom the majority are Gentiles] will form a single band to carry out the will of G-d, blessed be He.”
As a precondition to achieve all of this in actual reality, the world first needs to be perfected, meaning that it is necessary for people to follow the path of righteousness and peace in the simple practical sense of those terms. Since the vast majority of the people in the world are Gentiles (there are 7,4 billion Gentiles living in the world at this time), this depends on them, and that is the goal and the purpose that they are assigned by G-d to accomplish.
Although when Moshiach comes his task will be to motivate all the Gentiles to reach this level in true perfection (as explained by Ramban in Laws of Kings, ch. 11), the Gentiles first have to be ready, willing and desirous on their own to reach that level of perfection. That readiness that the Gentiles need to have means getting ready in practical terms – when they have done everything they can in their power to actually accomplish it to the greatest extent that’s possible for them to achieve on their own, before the true Messiah comes. Namely, fulfilling the unified purpose of Gentiles all over the world to follow the path of righteousness and peace with acceptance of the one true G-d as their King, which can only be accomplished through the Seven Noahide Commandments. That is the goal of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Noahide Campaign.
By Rabbi Dr Michael Schulman