The Promised Land

Ever since the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 by the United Nations, the country has been in a permanent state of war against its neighboring countries, who refuse to accept its existence.

The confrontation against Israelites and Arabs go back a long time.  It began when God promised Israel a portion of land known as the “Promised Land”.  Throughout their history, Israel and Judah contended with enemies committed to their destruction, finding refuge only in their covenant-keeping land.

According to the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) God promised land to the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob. The Book of Genesis declares, “To your descendants (Abraham’s) I give this land—from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates.”

When the Israelites were about to invade the Promised Land, God reiterated the land promise, as recorded in Joshua, “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea in the West.”

So what land has God stated belongs to Israel? Many historians agree that all the land that modern Israel currently possesses, plus all the land of the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.  Presently, Israel possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised.

More precise geographical borders are found in Exodus 23:31 which describes borders as marked by, “from the sea of reeds (Red Sea), to the Sea of Philistines (the Mediterranean Sea), and from the desert to the Euphrates River”, though the Hebrew text of the Bible used the name, “the river” to refer to the Euphrates, the traditional further extent of the Kingdom of David.

The Promised Land was described in form of territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River (Exodus 23:31 and was given to the descendants of Jacob after Moses led the Exodus out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 1:8).

The actual land controlled by the Israelites has fluctuated considerably over time, and at times the land has been under control of various empires.  However, under Jewish tradition, even when it is not in Jewish occupation, the land has not lost its status as the “Promised Land”

If you add the ownership of the City of Jerusalem, then the water gets murkier, and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to vanish.  As you can see, we are before a formidable situation which has remained unsolved since Biblical Times.

Good Day

4 thoughts on “The Promised Land”

  1. Hola Omar,
    I worked with Israeli military when I was teaching aircraft maintenance. When they came to the USA for classes, they brought their families with them. I enjoyed getting to know them and meeting their families. They are friendly and welcoming but always guarded, probably from a constant awareness of security. They have a great pride in their country. The stress of raising a family there must be very difficult.

  2. Hola Jim y Nena,

    After all they have come through to survive as a nation and in a permanent state of war, it is understandable how they must feel about their security. Even as we speak, there are scientists working underground to build an atomic bomb to wipe Israel out of the surface of the earth. Hamas, Hesbolla, and other military factions work round the clock scheming military raids in different areas of Israel. The paranoia of being killed is beyond reason.

    Everybody is a soldier, and everybody is a potential killer. How difficult it must be to live under these stressful conditions. And yet they have developed their formidable military capabilities to survive. I have a great admiration for the State of Israel. “The Chosen Few” have endured all kinds of hardships since the beginning of time. I tip my hat to these resilient people who have learned to live by the sword in order to breathe.

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