Land of Israel and Jewish heritage – 24

Land of Israel and Jewish heritage

A series from the book written by Naveed Anjum

Jewish Life in the Land of Canaan, cont’d

The Promised Land

God had promised Abraham and his descendants a new home in the land of Canaan according to Genesis 12. This is the land now known as Israel, named after Abraham’s grandson Jacob, whose descendants are the Jewish people. The land is often referred to as the Promised Land because of God’s repeated promise (Genesis 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 17:8) to give the land to the descendants of Abraham (through Isaac). Also, according to the Qur’an:

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We delivered both him [Abraham] and Lot to the land that We had blessed for all beings. And in addition to that, We gave him Isaac and Jacob and made both of them righteous…” (Qur’an, 21:71-75)

In this verse, God delivered Abraham to Canaan, which was made blessed for all beings. Since God’s plan was to sustain the descendants of Isaac in the blessed land, He pulled Ishmael out of Canaan and resettled him elsewhere as Islamic traditions declare.

The Torah repeatedly describes the Promised Land as a good land and “a land flowing with milk and honey” (e.g., Exodus 3:8). This description may not seem to fit well with the desert images seen on the nightly news, but let’s keep in mind that the land was repeatedly abused by conquerors who were determined to make the land uninhabitable for the Jews. In the few decades since the Jewish people regained control of the land, we have seen a tremendous improvement in its agriculture. Israeli agriculture today has a very high yield.

(To be continued…)

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