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L1. Occupying the Land of Israel.    [Make a Comment]

We are to receive, hold, and occupy the Land of Israel.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Genesis 12:1-7
Now ADONAI said to Avram, "Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed." So Avram went, as ADONAI had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran. Avram took his wife Sarai, his brother's son Lot, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, as well as the people they had acquired in Haran; then they set out for the land of Kena'an and entered the land of Kena'an. Avram passed through the land to the place called Sh'khem, to the oak of Moreh. The Kena'ani were then in the land. ADONAI appeared to Avram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built an altar there to ADONAI, who had appeared to him.

Genesis 15:7
Then he said to him, "I am ADONAI, who brought you out from Ur-Kasdim to give you this land as your possession."

Genesis 15:18-21
That day ADONAI made a covenant with Avram: "I have given this land to your descendants - from the Vadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River - the territory of the Keni, the K'nizi, the Kadmoni, the Hitti, the P'rizi, the Refa'im, the Emori, the Kena'ani, the Girgashi and the Y'vusi."

Genesis 26:3
Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, because I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants. I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Avraham your father

Genesis 28:13
Then suddenly ADONAI was standing there next to him; and he said, "I am ADONAI, the God of Avraham your [grand]father and the God of Yitz'chak. The land on which you are lying I will give to you and to your descendants.

Exodus 6:3-4
I appeared to Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov as El Shaddai, although I did not make myself known to them by my name, Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh [ADONAI]. Also with them I established my covenant to give them the land of Kena'an, the land where they wandered about and lived as foreigners.

Exodus 6:8
I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Avraham, Yitz*#039;chak and Ya*#039;akov - I will give it to you as your inheritance. I am ADONAI.

Exodus 23:20
I am sending an angel ahead of you [Israel] to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.

Exodus 23:30-31
I will send hornets ahead of you to drive out the Hivi, Kena'ani and Hitti from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, which would cause the land to become desolate and the wild animals too many for you. I will drive them out from before you gradually, until you have grown in number and can take possession of the land. I will set your boundaries from the Sea of Suf to the sea of the P'lishtim and from the desert to the [Euphrates] River, for I will hand the inhabitants of the land over to you, and you will drive them out from before you. You are not to make a covenant with them or with their gods. They are not to live in your land; otherwise they will make you sin against me by ensnaring you to serve their gods.

Exodus 29:42-46
Through all your generations this is to be the regular burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting before ADONAI. There is where I will meet with you to speak with you. There I will meet with the people of Isra'el; and the place will be consecrated by my glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar, likewise I will consecrate Aharon and his sons to serve me in the office of cohen. Then I will live with the people of Isra'el and be their God: they will know that I am ADONAI their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order to live with them. I am ADONAI their God.

Deuteronomy 1:6-8
ADONAI spoke to us in Horev. He said, 'You have lived long enough by this mountain. Turn, get moving and go to the hill-country of the Emori and all the places near there in the 'Aravah, the hill-country, the Sh'felah, the Negev and by the seashore - the land of the Kena'ani, and the L'vanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates River. I have set the land before you! Go in, and take possession of the land ADONAI swore to give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov, and their descendants after them.'

Deuteronomy 8:1
All the mitzvot I am giving you today you are to take care to obey, so that you will live, increase your numbers, enter and take possession of the land ADONAI swore about to your ancestors.

Deuteronomy 19:8-9
If ADONAI your God expands your territory, as he swore to your ancestors that he would, and gives you all the land he promised to give to your ancestors - provided you keep and observe all these mitzvot I am giving you today, loving ADONAI your God and always following his ways - then you are to add three more cities for yourselves, besides these three

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Look! I am presenting you today with, on the one hand, life and good; and on the other, death and evil - in that I am ordering you today to love ADONAI your God, to follow his ways, and to obey his mitzvot, regulations and rulings; for if you do, you will live and increase your numbers; and ADONAI your God will bless you in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you are drawn away to prostrate yourselves before other gods and serve them; I am announcing to you today that you will certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to enter and possess. I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, loving ADONAI your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him- for that is the purpose of your life! On this depends the length of time you will live in the land ADONAI swore he would give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov."

Deuteronomy 34:4-5
ADONAI said to him [Moshe], "This is the land concerning which I swore to Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over there." So Moshe, the servant of ADONAI, died there in the land of Mo'av, as ADONAI had said.

Acts 13:18-19
For some forty years he took care of them in the desert, and after he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Kena'an he gave their land to his people as an inheritance.

Supportive Scriptures - Promise of Land

Ezekiel 37:16-21
You, human being, take one stick and write on it, 'For Y'hudah and those joined with him [among] the people of Isra'el.' Next, take another stick and write on it, 'For Yosef, the stick of Efrayim, and all the house of Isra'el who are joined with him.' Finally, bring them together into a single stick, so that they become one in your hand. When your people ask you what all this means, tell them that Adonai ELOHIM says this: 'I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Efrayim, together with the tribes of Isra'el who are joined with him, and put them together with the stick of Y'hudah and make them a single stick, so that they become one in my hand.' The sticks on which you write are to be in your hand as they watch. Then say to them that Adonai ELOHIM says: 'I will take the people of Isra'el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land.

Zechariah 1:9-17
I asked, "What are these, my Lord?" The angel speaking with me said to me, "I will show you what these are." The man standing among the myrtles said, "These are those whom ADONAI has sent to wander throughout the earth." Then they themselves answered the angel of ADONAI standing among the myrtles, "We have been wandering throughout the earth, and the whole world is quiet and at peace." The angel of ADONAI said, "ADONAI-Tzva'ot, how long will you keep withholding mercy from Yerushalayim and the cities of Y'hudah? You've been angry with them for the past seventy years!" ADONAI replied with kind and comforting words to the angel who was speaking with me. The angel speaking with me then said to me, "Here is what ADONAI-Tzva'ot says: 'I am extremely jealous on behalf of Yerushalayim and Tziyon; and [to the same degree] I am extremely angry with the nations that are so self-satisfied; because I was only a little angry [at Yerushalayim and Tziyon], but they made the suffering worse.' Therefore ADONAI says, 'I will return to Yerushalayim with merciful deeds. My house will be rebuilt here,' says ADONAI-Tzva'ot; 'yes, a measuring line will be stretched out over Yerushalayim.' In addition, proclaim that ADONAI-Tzva'ot says, 'My cities will again overflow with prosperity.' ADONAI will again comfort Tziyon, and he will again make Yerushalayim the city of his choice."

Zechariah 2:1-13(1:18-2:9)
Then I looked up and saw four horns. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these?" He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Y'hudah, Isra'el and Yerushalayim." Next, ADONAI showed me four artisans. I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "Those horns that scattered Y'hudah so completely that no one could even raise his head - well, these men have come to terrify them, to overthrow the nations that raised their horns against the land of Y'hudah to scatter it." I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, "Where are you going?" He said to me, "To measure Yerushalayim, to determine its width and length." Here the angel who was speaking to me went forward, and another angel went out, met him and said to him, "Run and tell this young man, 'Yerushalayim will be inhabited without walls, because there will be so many people and animals; "for," says ADONAI, "I will be for her a wall of fire surrounding her; and I will be the glory within her. Up!" says ADONAI, "Move! Flee the land of the north! For I scattered you like the four winds of the sky," says ADONAI. "Move, Tziyon! You who are living with the daughter of Bavel, escape!" For ADONAI-Tzva'ot has sent me on a glorious mission to the nations that plundered you, and this is what he says: "Anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye. But I will shake my hand over them, and they will be plundered by those who were formerly their slaves." Then you will know that ADONAI-Tzva'ot sent me.

Psalm 122:6-9
Pray for shalom in Yerushalayim; may those who love you prosper. May shalom be within your ramparts, prosperity in your palaces. For the sake of my family and friends, I say, "Shalom be within you!" For the sake of the house of ADONAI our God, I will seek your well-being.

Matthew 5:5
How blessed are the meek! for they will inherit the Land!

Acts 7:2-7
... and Stephen said: "Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to Avraham avinu in Mesopotamia before he lived in Haran and said to him, 'Leave your land and your family, and go into the land that I will show you.' So he left the land of the Kasdim and lived in Haran. After his father died, God made him move to this land where you are living now. He gave him no inheritance in it, not even space for one foot; yet he promised to give it to him as a possession and to his descendants after him, even though at the time he was childless. What God said to him was, 'Your descendants will be aliens in a foreign land, where they will be in slavery and oppressed for four hundred years. But I will judge the nation that enslaves them,' God said, 'and afterwards they will leave and worship me in this place.'

Ephesians 6:2-3
"Honor your father and mother" - this is the first commandment that embodies a promise - so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land.

Hebrews 11:8-9
By trusting, Avraham obeyed, after being called to go out to a place which God would give him as a possession; indeed, he went out without knowing where he was going. By trusting, he lived as a temporary resident in the Land of the promise, as if it were not his, staying in tents with Yitz'chak and Ya'akov, who were to receive what was promised along with him.

Supportive Scriptures - Boundaries of the Promised Land

Numbers 34:1-13
ADONAI told Moshe to give this order to the people of Isra'el: "When you enter the land of Kena'an, it will become your land to pass on as an inheritance, the land of Kena'an as defined by these borders. Your southern portion will extend from the Tzin Desert close to the border of Edom. The eastern terminus of your southern border is at the end of the Dead Sea. From there your border turns, goes south of the 'Akrabbim Ascent and passes on to Tzin. From there it goes south of Kadesh-Barnea, on to Hatzar-Adar, and on to 'Atzmon. Then the border turns and goes from 'Atzmon to the Vadi of Egypt and along it to the Sea. Your western border will be the Great Sea. Your northern border will be as follows: from the Great Sea mark a line to Mount Hor, and from Mount Hor mark a line to the entrance of Hamat. The border goes out to Tz'dad. Then the border goes to Zifron and finally to Hatzar-'Einan; this is your northern border. For the eastern border mark your line from Hatzar-'Enan to Sh'fam. Then the border goes down from Sh'fam to Rivlah, on the east side of 'Ayin, then down until it hits the slope east of Lake Kinneret. From there it goes down the Yarden River till it flows into the Dead Sea. These will be the borders of your land.. Moshe gave this order to the people of Isra'el: "This is the land in which you will receive inheritances by lot, which ADONAI has ordered to give to the nine tribes and the half-tribe."

Ezekiel 47:13-23
Adonai ELOHIM says this: "These are the borders of the land you are to distribute for inheritance by the twelve tribes of Isra'el, with Yosef receiving two portions. For inheritance you will each have equal shares. I swore to your ancestors that I would give them this land, and now it falls to you to inherit it. The borders of the land will be as follows: on the north, from the Great Sea through Hetlon to the entrance of Tz'dad, Hamat, Berotah, Sibrayim (which is between the border of Dammesek and the border of Hamat), Hatzer-Hatikhon (which is toward the border of Havran). The border from the sea will be Hatzar-'Einon (at the border of Dammesek); while on the north, northward, is the border of Hamat. This is the north side. On the east side you shall mark out the border from between Hauran and Damascus, and between Gilead and the land of Israel, along the Jordan, and along the eastern side of the sea. This is the east side. The south side, toward the South, shall be from Tamar to the waters of Meribah by Kadesh, along the brook to the Great Sea. This is the south side, toward the South. The west side shall be the Great Sea, from the southern boundary until one comes to a point opposite Hamath. This is the west side. Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance," says the Lord GOD.

Supportive Excerpts from the Qur'an

It is a prevalent belief of today's Islamic Arabs that the land of Israel is not God's (they say Allah's) appointed homeland for the Jewish people and that the Nation of Israel (and presumably the Jews in it) should therefore be blotted from existence. I have reprinted the following excerpts from an English translation of the Qur'an1 as an apologetic, in order to demonstrate that such contentions are not only contrary to the Holy Scriptures (as we already know), but also to the words of Mohammed who is revered in Islam:

Surah Al-Ma'idah "The Table Spread with Food" 5:20-21
And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people [the Children of Israel]: "O my people! Remember the Favour of Allah to you [the Children of Israel], when He made Prophets among you, made you kings, and gave you what He had not given to any other among the 'Alamin (mankind and jinns, in the past). O my people [the Children of Israel]! Enter the holy land (Palestine) which Allah has assigned to you, and turn not back (in flight) for then you will be returned as losers."

Surah Yunus "Jonah" 10:93
And indeed We [Allah] settled the Children of Israel in an honourable dwelling place (Sham and Misr), and provided them with good things, and they differed not until the knowledge came to them. Verily, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection in that in which they used to differ.

Surah Al-Isra "The Journey by Night" 17:102-104
[Musa (Moses)] said: "Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidences i.e. proofs of Allah's Oneness and His Omnipotence, etc.). And I think you are, indeed, O Fir'aun (Pharaoh) doomed to destruction (away from all good)!" So he [Pharaoh] resolved to turn them out of the land (of Egypt). But We [Allah] drowned him and all who were with him. And We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near [i.e. the Day of Resurrection or the descent of Christ ['Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) on the earth]. We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd (gathered out of various nations)."

Surah Al-Quasas "The Narration" 28:5-6
And We [Allah] wished to do a favour to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land [the Children of Israel], and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors, and to establish them in the land, and We [Allah] let Fir'aun (Pharaoh) and Haman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared.

1. Muhammed Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali & Muhsin Khan "The Noble Quran", (Dar-us Salam Publications, 1999).


The Scriptures quoted above clearly show that the Land of Israel was given to the Children of Israel (the Jewish people) as a main component of God's covenant with Abraham. Those that say otherwise (principally Islamic Arabs and their supporters) are contradicting both the Holy Scriptures and the writings of their revered "prophet" Mohammed.

Because God gave the Land of Israel to the Jews, it is sinful to deny it to them and a mitzvah to support them in the Land. There are many ways to give that support. Some Jews are called to make Aliyah (emigrate) to Israel and become part of Israeli Jewish society, while others remain among the nations (the diaspora) and contribute by donating and raising money for Israel, by visiting Israel to work on kibbutzim, by participating in humanitarian causes that benefit Israel and its citizens, and by praying in accordance with Psalm 122:6-9:

Pray for shalom in Yerushalayim; may those who love you prosper.
May shalom be within your ramparts, prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I say, "Shalom be within you!"
For the sake of the house of ADONAI our God, I will seek your well-being.

There is a caveat associated with this Mitzvah, and that is that we must distinguish between supporting Israel's right to exist and thrive on the one hand, and supporting the politics of its secular government on the other. Because God's hand is on Israel it is often right in its political decisions, but not always because it is not yet fully submitted to God and Messiah. In faith, that will come soon, but meanwhile we must seek divine discernment for how to pray and how to support.

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not addressed by any of the classical commentators.


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