I’M NOT SAYING ISRAELIS should invade Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey.
I’d recommend against that, if they asked my opinion.
I’ll not wait up for the call.
What I would say is this: the anonymous writer of Genesis said God promised Abraham a plug of the Middle East that looks to me like at least four or five times larger than the State of Israel (without the Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). That Israel is about the size of New Jersey. Five Israel’s would fit into Pennsylvania and its people would eventually learn to enjoy football.
God promised Abraham and his descendants what appears to be all of today’s Israel, all of the Palestinian Territories, and parts of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey.
Here’s the promise in two passages.
“The LORD said, ‘Today I have given this land to your descendants. They own everything from the river along the border with Egypt to the great Euphrates River.’” Genesis 15:18, Casual English Bible
“You’re an immigrant in this land of Canaan. But I’m giving every bit of this land to you and your descendants. This will be a family-owned land forever.” Genesis 17:8, Casual English Bible
Only two borders are obvious. North and West.
North. The Euphrates River that runs into Turkey is the northern border.
West. God doesn’t mention the Mediterranean Sea, but it’s a fairly obvious western border for the ancient Jews who were more sea-fearers than seafarers. Give them a flock of sheep, a deep well, and a puff of dust as they plant their feet on solid ground.
South. A mysterious “river along the border with Egypt,” serves as the southern border. If only we could find a river in Egypt, other than the Nile River. Some say that’s the river God was talking about. Too bad for the Egyptians. Almost all of them live along the banks of that river. Other folks speculate that the river God had in mind is now a dry riverbank known as the Wadi El-Arish, just across Israel’s southern border, perhaps a day’s dry walk into Egypt.
East. The Eastern border seems to be the opposite of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a sprawling desert. When Joshua and the Jewish refugees invaded what is now Israel, many of them settled on the east side of the Jordan River, in what is now the Arab country of Jordan. But most of those Jews lived within a few day’s walk of the river. If they went much further east, they would find nothing much more than desert sand as far as they could see.
There was a time when Jews controlled just about all of this Promised Land.
It was during the reign of King Solomon.
Now it wasn’t all Jewish land. But Solomon seemed to serve as boss of the people living there. He collected taxes, for one.
He needed the money.
“He had seven hundred wives who were from royal families and three hundred slave women who gave birth to his children” (1 Kings 11:3).
Why not invade?
I guess if we take God’s promise to Abraham literally, we should probably be in favor of the Israelis pulling a Russia in Crimea, and stealing the land. Though in Israel’s case, they could point to the Bible for justification.
On the other hand, we might want to take into consideration that the book of Genesis was written by an anonymous writer. And we might want to remember that the version of Genesis we hold in our hands is a copy of a copy of a translation of a translation. Wouldn’t it be sad if Israel went to war over some scribe who lost a word?
Also, there’s Jesus.
I think Jesus is more of a “get along with others” kind of a guy. Not so much a “take what you think you deserve” soul.
Based on what I’ve read about Jesus, mostly from anonymous sources, I admit, he’s pretty big on telling people to treat others the way they would want to be treated themselves.
So I’m guessing he would tell the Israelis not to invade Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Turkey.
As for what to do with Palestinians living sequestered in their shrinking territories that are getting eroded by Israeli settlements, I suspect Jesus would tell the Israelis that their relationship with those folks is really messed up.
And I think he might tell them pretty much the same thing the minister told my daughter and my son-in-law when he performed their wedding. He said that when they have troubles in their marriage – and he said they would – he offered this advice: “Figure it out!”
So as far as I’m concerned, the map accompanying this article is more about history than prophecy.
So I would not recommend using a map like this with the slogan “Make Israel Great Again.”
Israel is great enough. We all are. God made each one of us. He loves us. And he wants us to get the dickens along with each other.
And that’s the Bible geography lesson for today.
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