Dr. Ralph Winter changed our entire missional thinking in 1975 with his famous Lausanne message on the "hidden people groups" of the world. Since then missionaries and churches are no longer asking the question, "To where are you going?" Instead the question has changed to "To Whom are you going?" Reaching all the "ethne" or people groups of the world has been seen to be the desire of God from the very beginning (Gen 12:3, Rev 7:9).
So one question we had was, "What other people groups did Israel have the chance to be a blessing to in the Old Testament?"
Let's take a look at God's original missionary family, the family of Abraham, and see how they truly had the opportunity to be a light to all the peoples of the earth.
Early Genesis and Job the oldest book of the Bible:
As a new nation Israel interacted with the following 25 peoples; the Chaldees, People of Ebla, People of Haran, and Egyptians (Gen 12), Canaanites, Perizzites (Gen 13), Rephaires, Zuzites (Gen 14), Einites, Horites, Amalekites, Amorites, Kenites (Gen 15), Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Girgashites, Jebusites, Moabites and Ammonites (Gen 19), Philistines (Gen 20, 22) Asshurites, Leushites, Leummites, and Midianites (Gen 25).
Sojourn in Egypt/Exodus
During their captivity and exodus Israel interacted with the following 25 peoples; Ishmaelites (Gen 25) Arameans (Gen 25:20), Hivites Gen 36), Edomites, Adullamites (Gen 38)
Then in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua: the encountered Midianites, Egyptians, Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites (Exo 3) Amalekites (Num 13), Nephilim, Ammonites (Num 21) and Moabites (Num 22).
During the time of the Judges in books Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel: Israel could have been a blessing of God to Canaanites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Amorites, Sidonians, Hivites, Philistines, (Phonecians), Hittites, Jebusites, Amalekites, Moabites, Ammonites, Midianites, Abiezrites (Judges 8), and Maonites (Judges 10) and other Egyptians.
2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles (Includes Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaih, Jeremiah, Lamentations):
Israel continued to interact with the Philistines, Amalekites, Ammonites, Arameans, Edomites, Moabites, Hittites, Gibeonites, Armorites, Hararite (2 Sam 23) as well as Egyptians, Phonecians (Tyre and Sidon), Assyrians and Chaldeans.
If you continue their journey in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, 2 Kings, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea through Malachi: You will find Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Egyptians, Phonecians, Moabites, and Philistines.
And even before the coming of the Messiah and their scattering as a nation in 70 A.D. the Israelites could have been God's agent to reach the Seleucites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.