Land, As A Divine Gift
Most Relevant Verses
Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land “earth,” and He called the gathering of the water “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your offspring.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
The Call of AbramThe Lord said to Abram: Go out from your land,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.
for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.”
The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’—He will send His angel before you, and you can take a wife for my son from there.
I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates River. For I will place the inhabitants of the land under your control, and you will drive them out ahead of you.
The Lord spoke to Moses, “Command the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan, it will be allotted to you as an inheritance with these borders: Your southern side will be from the Wilderness of Zin along the boundary of Edom. Your southern border on the east will begin at the east end of the Dead Sea. read more.
Your border will turn south of the Ascent of Akrabbim, proceed to Zin, and end south of Kadesh-barnea. It will go to Hazar-addar and proceed to Azmon. The border will turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, where it will end at the Mediterranean Sea. Your western border will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea; this will be your western border. This will be your northern border: From the Mediterranean Sea draw a line to Mount Hor; from Mount Hor draw a line to the entrance of Hamath, and the border will reach Zedad. Then the border will go to Ziphron and end at Hazar-enan. This will be your northern border. For your eastern border, draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham. The border will go down from Shepham to Riblah east of Ain. It will continue down and reach the eastern slope of the Sea of Chinnereth. Then the border will go down to the Jordan and end at the Dead Sea. This will be your land defined by its borders on all sides.”
stay in this land as a foreigner, and I will be with you and bless you. For I will give all these lands to you and your offspring, and I will confirm the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky, I will give your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring,
So Ephron’s field at Machpelah near Mamre—the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the boundaries of the field—became Abraham’s possession in the presence of all the Hittites who came to the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field at Machpelah near Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. read more.
The field with its cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham as a burial place.
Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous; I will make many nations come from you, and I will give this land as an eternal possession to your future descendants.’
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will certainly come to your aid and bring you up from this land to the land He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath: “When God comes to your aid, you are to carry my bones up from here.”
Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the territory of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which He swore to your fathers that He would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you must carry out this ritual in this month.
But Moses interceded with the Lord his God: “Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people You brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘He brought them out with an evil intent to kill them in the mountains and wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from Your great anger and relent concerning this disaster planned for Your people. Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel—You swore to them by Your very self and declared, ‘I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give your offspring all this land that I have promised, and they will inherit it forever.’”read more.
So the Lord relented concerning the disaster He said He would bring on His people.
The Tent Outside the CampThe Lord spoke to Moses: “Go, leave here, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying: I will give it to your offspring. I will send an angel ahead of you and will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you because you are a stiff-necked people; otherwise, I might destroy you on the way.”
Moses heard the people, family after family, crying at the entrance of their tents. The Lord was very angry; Moses was also provoked. So Moses asked the Lord, “Why have You brought such trouble on Your servant? Why are You angry with me, and why do You burden me with all these people? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth so You should tell me, ‘Carry them at your breast, as a nursing woman carries a baby,’ to the land that You swore to give their fathers?
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Send men to scout out the land of Canaan I am giving to the Israelites. Send one man who is a leader among them from each of their ancestral tribes.”
So they went up and scouted out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob near the entrance to Hamath. They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were living. Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt. When they came to the Valley of Eshcol, they cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes, which was carried on a pole by two men. They also took some pomegranates and figs.read more.
That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut there. At the end of 40 days they returned from scouting out the land.
They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit. However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”read more.
Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it!” But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are!” So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”
Then the whole community broke into loud cries, and the people wept that night. All the Israelites complained about Moses and Aaron, and the whole community told them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”read more.
So they said to one another, “Let’s appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”
“Be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or the left. Follow the whole instruction the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live, prosper, and have a long life in the land you will possess.
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give you—a land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you eat and are satisfied, be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove, saying, “Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.” So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.
The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take the whole military force with you and go attack Ai. Look, I have handed over to you the king of Ai, his people, city, and land.
When all the kings heard about Jericho and Ai, those who were west of the Jordan in the hill country, in the Judean foothills, and all along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea toward Lebanon—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites— they formed a unified alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.
Joshua and all Israel with him crossed from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. The Lord also handed it and its king over to Israel. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, and left no survivors in it. He treated Libnah’s king as he had the king of Jericho.
This is the land that remains:All the districts of the Philistines and the Geshurites: from the Shihor east of Egypt to the border of Ekron on the north (considered to be Canaanite territory)—the five Philistine rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron, as well as the Avvites in the south; all the land of the Canaanites: from Arah of the Sidonians to Aphek and as far as the border of the Amorites; read more.
the land of the Gebalites; and all Lebanon east from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to the entrance of Hamath— all the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians.I will drive them out before the Israelites, only distribute the land as an inheritance for Israel, as I have commanded you.
Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me on that day, because you heard then that the Anakim are there, as well as large fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me and I will drive them out as the Lord promised.”
The descendants of Manasseh could not possess these cities, because the Canaanites were determined to stay in this land. However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they imposed forced labor on the Canaanites but did not drive them out completely. Joseph’s descendants said to Joshua, “Why did you give us only one tribal allotment as an inheritance? We have many people, because the Lord has been blessing us greatly.”read more.
“If you have so many people,” Joshua replied to them, “go to the forest and clear an area for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, because Ephraim’s hill country is too small for you.” But the descendants of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who inhabit the valley area have iron chariots, both at Beth-shean with its towns and in the Jezreel Valley.” So Joshua replied to Joseph’s family (that is, Ephraim and Manasseh), “You have many people and great strength. You will not have just one allotment, because the hill country will be yours also. It is a forest; clear it and its outlying areas will be yours. You can also drive out the Canaanites, even though they have iron chariots and are strong.”
So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the Lord handed over all their enemies to them. None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.
See, I have allotted these remaining nations to you as an inheritance for your tribes, including all the nations I have destroyed, from the Jordan westward to the Mediterranean Sea. The Lord your God will force them back on your account and drive them out before you so that you can take possession of their land, as the Lord your God promised you.
When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, their rulers marched up toward Israel. When the Israelites heard about it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. The Israelites said to Samuel, “Don’t stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, so that He will save us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a young lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on behalf of Israel, and the Lord answered him.read more.
Samuel was offering the burnt offering as the Philistines drew near to fight against Israel. The Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw them into such confusion that they fled before Israel. Then the men of Israel charged out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines striking them down all the way to a place below Beth-car. Afterward, Samuel took a stone and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, explaining, “The Lord has helped us to this point.” So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israel’s territory again. The Lord’s hand was against the Philistines all of Samuel’s life. The cities from Ekron to Gath, which they had taken from Israel, were restored; Israel even rescued their surrounding territories from Philistine control. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites.
I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I did this to test Israel and to see whether they would keep the Lord’s way by walking in it, as their fathers had.”
So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and each man fled to his tent. The slaughter was severe—30,000 of the Israelite foot soldiers fell. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three divisions. One division headed toward the Ophrah road leading to the land of Shual. The next division headed toward the Beth-horon road, and the last division headed down the border road that looks out over the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness. No blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise, the Hebrews will make swords or spears.”
The Philistines gathered their forces for war at Socoh in Judah and camped between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes-dammim. Saul and the men of Israel gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah; then they lined up in battle formation to face the Philistines.
The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the land. The Jebusites had said to David: “You will never get in here. Even the blind and lame can repel you”; thinking, “David can’t get in here.” Yet David did capture the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.
After this, David defeated the Philistines, subdued them, and took Metheg-ammah from Philistine control. He also defeated the Moabites, and after making them lie down on the ground, he measured them off with a cord. He measured every two cord lengths of those to be put to death and one length of those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David’s subjects and brought tribute. David also defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, who went to restore his control at the Euphrates River. read more.
David captured 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers from him, and he hamstrung all the horses and kept 100 chariots. When the Arameans of Damascus came to assist King Hadadezer of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 Aramean men. Then he placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Arameans became David’s subjects and brought tribute. The Lord made David victorious wherever he went.
When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they regrouped. Hadadezer sent messengers to bring the Arameans who were across the Euphrates River, and they came to Helam with Shobach, commander of Hadadezer’s army, leading them. When this was reported to David, he gathered all Israel, crossed the Jordan, and went to Helam. Then the Arameans lined up in formation to engage David in battle and fought against him. read more.
But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed 700 of their charioteers and 40,000 foot soldiers. He also struck down Shobach commander of their army, who died there. When all the kings who were Hadadezer’s subjects saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became their subjects. After this, the Arameans were afraid to ever help the Ammonites again.
Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea; they were eating, drinking, and rejoicing. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines and as far as the border of Egypt. They offered tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
Just as the Lord was glad to cause you to prosper and to multiply you, so He will also be glad to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be deported from the land you are entering to possess. Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. You will find no peace among those nations, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despondent spirit.
“The days are coming”—the Lord’s declaration—“when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other countries where I had banished them.’ They will dwell once more in their own land.”
For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.
and the redeemed of the Lord will return
and come to Zion with singing,
crowned with unending joy.
Joy and gladness will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
and gather you from the west. I will say to the north: Give them up!
and to the south: Do not hold them back!
Bring My sons from far away,
and My daughters from the ends of the earth—
When I bring you from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. And I will demonstrate My holiness through you in the sight of the nations. When I lead you into the land of Israel, the land I swore to give your fathers, you will know that I am Yahweh.
“For this is what the Lord God says: See, I Myself will search for My flock and look for them. As a shepherd looks for his sheep on the day he is among his scattered flock, so I will look for My flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy and dark day. I will bring them out from the peoples, gather them from the countries, and bring them into their own land. I will shepherd them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the land.
I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel.
They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities,
plant vineyards and drink their wine,
make gardens and eat their produce. I will plant them on their land,
and they will never again be uprooted
from the land I have given them.
Yahweh your God has spoken.