Is Israel today the same land as the Promised Land? (Numbers 34:1-15)


Is Israel today the same land* promised by God in Numbers 34:1-15?

[quote=“USCCB’s NABRE”]3 Your southern boundary will be at the wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom; on the east your southern boundary will begin at the end of the Salt Sea.
4 Then your boundary will turn south of the Akrabbim Pass and cross Zin. Terminating south of Kadesh-barnea, it extends to Hazar-addar and crosses to Azmon.
5 Then the boundary will turn from Azmon to the Wadi of Egypt and terminate at the Sea.
6 For your western boundary you will have the Great Sea with its coast; this will be your western boundary.
7 This will be your boundary on the north: from the Great Sea you will draw a line to Mount Hor,
8 and draw it from Mount Hor to Lebo-hamath, with the boundary terminating at Zedad.
9 Then the boundary extends to Ziphron and terminates at Hazar-enan. This will be your northern boundary.
10 For your eastern boundary you will draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham.
11 From Shepham the boundary will go down to Riblah, east of Ain, and descending further, the boundary will strike the ridge on the east side of the Sea of Chinnereth;*
12 then the boundary will descend along the Jordan and terminate with the Salt Sea. This will be your land, with the boundaries that surround it.


The problem is that these names are not on the map, and all I was ever taught in history class was “after World War 2 the [League of Nations? United Nations? Allied Powers?] gave the Jews some land, and then in the Six-Day War in 1967 they took more land, as countries do in war.”

Wikipedia’s “Edom” has a map suggesting perhaps Biblical Israel was bigger than modern Israel.

  • i.e. same land mass, same geography, same borders. I would also ask about bodies of water: Did God intend them to be common use, not part of Israel?


The promised land is the new heaven and new earth where God will dwell with man at the end of time.

Land in the Bible is also a metaphor for your heart. God promised Israel a land where their enemies would not bother them and a land where he would be their God and dwell in their midst. This is a metaphor for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, your heart where the devil cannot enter, and a metaphor for the Church.

Ancient Israel was bigger than modern Israel. That is true.



Israel today has much less land than what was promised to the Israelites by God. They don’t even own all of Palestine.


Israel has never historically possessed the full extent of the land that God prophesied, even back in the days of Joshua. This was seen as a sign that Israel was only partialy faithful to the Covenant, and therefore God held back too. God originally promised a small empire instead of a country, if you look at the extent of the land promised. (Although it would not be wrong to identify it as a similar amount of territory as the traditional grazing lands of Abraham and his relatives, I bet. But they were only using uncultivated lands that they moved through, which is why they moved around so much.)

At this point we probably will not see fulfiliment of this prophecy until time ends. But I could be wrong. Certainly nobody expected God to revive Israel as a temporal country, or for Israel to survive among so many hostile neighbors…




I agree but only in part - I agree that we await a “New Jerusalem” from heaven. However, the literal prophesies (repeated numerous times in the Hebrew scriptures) that the nation of Israel would return to the promised land (first physically, then spiritually - Ezekiel) are are “literal” as any of the other prophesies we accept as literal in the Hebrew scriptures (all of them). So we expect “Israel” to return to the land (and arguably that has begun) but only in the end times will they return spiritually - mourn for the one whom they have pierced and call on the name of the Lord (Zech 12:10 and Romans 11).

There “literally” was an exodus from Egypt, and literally will be a return to the land since scripture tells us so. But our “hope” is in the heavenly Jerusalem where all believers - Jew and Gentile, will be united in Christ.




How do you reconcile this assertion with what NABRE Joshua 21 says?

[quote=verses 43a and 45]43a And so the LORD gave Israel the entire land he had sworn to their ancestors he would give them.
45 Not a single word of the blessing that the LORD had promised to the house of Israel failed; it all came true.

The Bible appears to directly contradict you. If so, why did you write that?


While it’s not clear to me whether they obtained all the land promised to them, given the earlier passage I cited implying they did (maybe they did in the sense that they obtained ownership rights, although others remained living there and disagreed with them so they couldn’t fully occupy it), NABRE Judges 2 confirms they didn’t keep faith in God and so not all the nations were driven out.


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