In the OT, the term designates the whole body of Israelites who are distinct from the nations of the world (Num. 23: 9). This is the case in the NT (Luke 1: 68; Rom. 11: 1–2) but it is soon used for the new people of God, that is, the Christians (Titus 2: 14; 1 Pet. 2: 9). The ‘people of the land’ came to be a derogatory term for the ignorant and non‐observing Jews after the Return from Exile (Ezra 10: 2; John 7: 49), though earlier it had apparently referred to a more influential group in society (2 Kgs. 23: 30).