The Promised Land, 3 – do Jews really believe that?

The land promised to Abraham by his god (in exchange for exclusivity of worship) was “from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates”. In modern terms this includes not just Israel/Palestine, but Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, half of Iraq, a large part of Egypt, and an undefined part of Saudi Arabia. (You could even argue that it includes the entire Arabian peninsula, as falling within the coast between the Euphrates and Egypt.)

Map of the Promised Land as defined in Deuteronomy

If you don’t think that fundamentalist Jews and Messianic Christians believe in such a massive expansion of Israel, look at this map on this website.

If you don’t think that the Arabs are aware of the fundamentalist Jewish vision, then look at this blog. This blog includes references to Jews claiming the full territory in the writings of Theodore Herzl and in 1947 testimony to the UN.

And notice that they are using the same map (misspelling ‘Caspian’, and showing Israel as including both Lebanon and the Sinai peninsula). How nice that they can agree about something.

Of course, only a very few Jews and Christians make these preposterous claims to own the whole “Promised Land”. Similarly, only a very few Muslims want to eradicate the state of Israel. Most people on both sides, as most people everywhere, simply want a better life for themselves and their children, and to feel that they are living in a fair and just world. As the bumper sticker says, “If you want peace, work for justice.”

It would be nice for Palestinian constitutions to renounce the idea of the eradication of Israel. Israel could show the way by renouncing, in its constitution, the idea of the Promised Land “from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates”.

5 comments on “The Promised Land, 3 – do Jews really believe that?

  1. Adrian says:

    Israeli’s left the idea of the “promised land” from the Nile to the Euphrat” many centuries ago.It never existed as an entity . Hertzl vision was about Palestine(west of Jordan river).
    The most extremist Israeli’s want the entire Palestine ( according to the Bristish mandate). The majority will accept the borders between 1949-1967 .
    The Chritian evangelists talk about the “biblical” Jewish state which never existed as an actual political entity, as a preliminary situation to the Armageddon war . Afterwards Jews and others will become christians .
    The muslims never talk in public about accepting the very existence of an Israeli state which is also a Jewish state . They may agree to a jewish minority in Palestine.


    • As with most human societies, what people want and what people will settle for evolves according to the opportunities available. When there was no Israel, people who wanted an Israeli state were prepared to settle for something very limited. The more they got, the more they wanted. This still continues. It is ‘The Story of the Arab and his Camel’, and it is inherent in human nature. Israelis, like almost everyone, want “just a little bit more”, and always will.

      This isn’t necessarily bad. It’s why we don’t still live in caves without fire. But it also means we need the rule of law to allow everyone to have lives of peace, freedom and justice.

      The Jewish people have been severely persecuted in history. It is ironic that they should persecute the Palestinian people so viciously. Unfortunately there is Biblical justification for it, even divine requirement, in passages like Deuteronomy 20:16-18

      “However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.”

      Ethnic cleansing by Jewish fundamentalists has a long history. That lack of tolerance is what caused the Romans to ultimately expel the entire people from Palestine.

      And the thrust of my novel is that Jesus was just such a Jewish fundamentalist, and the front man for a failed insurrection.


  2. trublu22 says:



  3. Adrian says:

    You forgot the surrounding world . Israel is still a red rag for all arab countries. In Egypt the slogans during the revolution were anti Mubarack and anti- Israel….
    Obama is looking after El Quaida more than 10 years after the Twins disaster . There are less than ten years since the second Intifada when every other day a suicider with a bomb killed dozens citizens on the streets , kids , women , old men and yes sometimes a soldier in vacation.
    Even today 2-3 quasams(rockets) a week from Gaza land fotunately in open space in the south.
    maybe some of us are extremists ( as everywhere) , but I do not see a reason to believe in any arab country regarding good will for Israel.


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