The Promised Land

This paper will attempt to explore the importance of the promised land to the Hebrews as demonstrated by writings in the Old Testament. The five books of the Pentateuch tell us of the creation of the Hebrews from Abram (Abraham), God's covenant with Abram for the promised land, Abraham's sons, one of which would carry forth the Hebrews' religion (Isaac) and the other who would be expelled (Ishmael), the boundaries of the promised land and the laws that the Hebrews are to follow to receive the promised land. Further, the history revealed in Joshua, Judges, Samuel I and II, and Kings I and II tells us of the importance of faith in Yahweh in the conquering of the promised land.

WHY IS THE PROMISED LAND SO IMPORTANT?

From the beginning, it was assumed theologically that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch. It is likely, however, that there are inconsistencies with this thought, but it is generally agreed that Moses was the founder of Israel's religion. Israel's faith begins, though, much earlier with Abraham. The story of redemption is begun with Abraham and is a central theme throughout the Bible.

In the book of Genesis, a picture is painted of the personal relationship between individuals and God, and is supported by the promise of a land of "milk and honey" and great prosperity. The boundaries are spelled out (Genesis 15:18-21)as the land from the river of Egypt as far as the great river Euphrates. "And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your temporary residence, all the land of Canaan as an eternal possession and I will be a God to them." (Genesis 17:8) This promise is sealed by covenant from Yahweh. Belief in this divine promise is

believed to be an original element in the faith of Israel's nomadic ancestors. The promise was renewed over and over to Abraham in the book of Genesis (chapters 12:1-3, 15:5, 15:7-21 ,18:18, 26:2-4, 28:13-15, an

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