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Promised Land

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Greater Israel map

Map showing one interpretation of the borders of the Promised Land, based on God's promise to Abraham (Genesis 15).

The Promised Land (Hebrew: הארץ המובטחת‎, translit.: ha-Aretz ha-Muvtachat) is a term used to describe the land promised by God, according to the Hebrew Bible, to the Israelites. The promise is firstly made to Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21) and then renewed to his son Isaac, and to Isaac's son Jacob (Genesis 28:13), Abraham's grandson. The promised land was given to their descendants and was described in terms of the territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates river.

Divine promise

The promise that is the basis of the term is contained in several verses of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. In Genesis 12:1 it is said:

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."

and in Genesis 12:7:

The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land."

Commentators note that it is to Abram's descendants that the land will (in the future tense) be given, not to Abram directly nor there and then. However, in Genesis 15:7 it is said:

He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."

And in Genesis 15:18-21 the boundary of the promised land is defined in terms of the territory of various ancient peoples, as follows:

On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates - the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

The verse is said to describe what are known as "borders of the Land" (Gevulot Ha-aretz).[1] In Jewish tradition, these borders define the maximum extent of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob.[2]

The promise was confirmed to Jacob at Genesis 28:12-15, though the borders are still vague and is in terms of "the land on which you are lying".

More precise geographical borders are given in Exodus 23:31 which describes borders as marked by the Red Sea, the "Sea of the Philistines" i.e the Mediterranean, and the "River," (the Euphrates) the traditional furthest extent of the Kingdom of Israel under David.[3][4]

Descendants of Abraham

Traditional Jewish interpretation, and that of most Christian commentators, define Abraham's descendants only as Abraham's seed through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] Johann Friedrich Karl Keil is less clear, as he states that the covenant is through Isaac, but notes that Ishmael's descendants have held much of that land through time.[16]

Mainstream Jewish tradition regards the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as having been given to all Jews, including converts and in turn their descendants.

Reference in the Qur'an

There is a reference to the Promised Land in the Qur'an:

Template:QuoteQuran

References

And We said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near [i.e. the Day of Resurrection or the descent of Christ ['Īsā (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) A.S. on the earth]. We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd (gathered out of various nations).[Tafsir Al-Qurtubî, Vol.] (104). ... Muhsin Khan Translation

See also

tr:Vadedilmiş Topraklar zh:应许之地

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