Volume 69, Issue 1 ________________________________Bible Prophecy Ministry

The Land of Israel

The Land of Israel

by: Darrell G. Young

The enclosed dissertation from the prophet Ezekiel explains in explicit detail the ages old controversy over the Land of Israel that is culminating in our day better than any human composition could ever accomplish. Read closely the historic panoramic details of God’s perspective on the Land of Israel. This land is God’s land, and HE has indicated that he will deal with the nations over this land! (Jeremiah 25:31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.) (the controversy is over Zion—see Isaiah 34:8)

(a satellite image of the land of Israel from space)

The Bible uses the phrase, “the land of Israel” thirty two times. The first mention of the land of Israel is in connection to the ancient battles between the Israelites and the Philistines. The last usage of this phrase ironically, is when the angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph to advise him to take Mary and Jesus back into the land of Israel, because they which sought to kill Jesus were now dead.

Eleven times in the Bible, speaking in reference to Israel, the Lord uses the phrase, “their own land.” On each occasion, it is an attributed statement directly from God himself through one of his prophets. (Ezekiel 37:21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:)

God himself in eleven instances describes the land of Israel as “my land” in the Bible, as indicated in one such occasion in Ezekiel chapter 36 shown below. In over 20 instances throughout the Bible God uses the phrase, “give this land” to profess that He has specifically given the designated Promised Land unto Israel.

Furthermore, God declares in Deuteronomy 32 and Acts 17 that it was he that established the boundaries of the nations. (Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;) (Deuteronomy 32:8-9 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.) (Exodus 23:31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.)

The term “Palestina” actually appears in three instances in the Bible. The term of Palestina as utilized in the Bible refers to a region called Pelesheth. Pelesheth was simply the southern portion of the empire of Syria, which engulfed the former lands of the Philistines. This region was often called Philistia. The name Palestine has come to refer to a region of the eastern Mediterranean coast from the sea to the Jordan valley and from the southern Negev desert to the Galilee Lake region in the north. Let me clarify who the "Palestinians" really are. From the fifth century BC, following the historian Herodotus, the Greeks called the eastern coast of the Mediterranean "the Philistine Syria" using the Greek language form of the name. In AD 135, after putting down the Bar Kochba revolt, the second major Jewish revolt against Rome, the Emperor Hadrian wanted to blot out the name of the Roman "Provincia Judaea" and so renamed it "Provincia Syria Palaestina", the Latin version of the Greek name and the first use of the name as an administrative unit. The name "Provincia Syria Palaestina" was later shortened to Palaestina, from which the modern, anglicized "Palestine" is derived. This remained the situation until the end of the fourth century, when in the wake of a general imperial reorganization Palestine became three Palestines: First, Second, and Third. This configuration is believed to have persisted into the seventh century, the time of the Persian and Muslim conquests. The Christian Crusaders employed the word Palestine to refer to the general region of the "three Palestines." After the fall of the crusader kingdom, Palestine was no longer an official designation. The name, however, continued to be used informally for the lands on both sides of the Jordan River. The Ottoman Turks, who were non-Arabs but religious Muslims, ruled the area for 400 years (1517-1917). Under Ottoman rule, the Palestine region was attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul. The name Palestine was revived after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and applied to the territory in this region that was placed under the British Mandate for Palestine. The name "Falastin" that Arabs today use for "Palestine" is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Roman word "Palaestina." The notion of a distinct "Palestinian people" with a language, culture and religion of its own, is a creation of Yasser Arafat and nurtured by the surrounding Arab nations, after their ignominious defeat in the 1967 war with Israel. The so-called "Palestinian people" are, in reality, Arabs whose mother tongue is Arabic, whose religion is Islam, and whose culture is shared by most of the 22 surrounding Arab countries. There simply is no distinct Palestinian ethnic entity. Also, many Jews who remained in the land of Palestine during the Diaspora became known as Palestinians as well as the local Arab populations. Thus, the name "Palestine" is just the Romanized version of the name "Philistine," which was assigned, by the Romans to the region in the first century A.D. It was renamed thusly by the Romans as a derogatory and humiliating term imposed upon the Jews, who constituted the vast majority of the people who lived there. Rome forced on the Jews and their land, not the name of Israel that God had ordained, but the name of an arch-enemy of the Jewish nation, the ancient Philistines. (exp: Goliath symbolizes that Israel has always faced a giant of an enemy over the possession of the land, likewise making Rome a symbol of Goliath, as well as today’s UN movement to divide the land) The name Palestine remained until the end of the British Mandate period in 1947. However, Jews have always considered the land their homeland and Jerusalem its capital.

The Words of God to the Prophet Ezekiel About The Land

About two hundred years after the political subdivision called the 'Kingdom of Israel' was destroyed by Assyria’s Sargon II, the prophet Ezekiel, who was from the Southern Kingdom of Judah wrote from exile in Babylon. Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel, and together their writings form much of the historic background to the book of The Revelation and to Bible prophecy as a whole. Ezekiel’s homeland of Judah, from whence we derive the term of Jews, was captured and partially assimilated by the Babylonians in the mid 5th century BC. In Ezekiel's time, there was no place called 'the land of Israel', and there had not been a place called 'Israel' for 150 years, and there would not be another place called 'the land of Israel' for another 2,520 years. (1948) But Ezekiel's prophetic writings are filled with references to a future place called 'Israel', one that he describes as "the people that are gathered out of the nations" (38:12) and then further describes as "my people of Israel" (38:18)

Ezekiel 11:14-21 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is this land given in possession. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.

Ezekiel 36:1-38 Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people: Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed “my land”(God’s) into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen: Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men. Thus saith the Lord God; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations; Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord God. Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

The Palestinians Are Ready to Divide the Land

Recently (February 2004) a public opinion survey taken in the Palestinian Authority showed that fully 47% of the Palestinian population would agree to leave their so-called "homeland" in exchange for material benefits. The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) poll conducted the research and asked Palestinians, "If you were to receive a job offer, a home, and $250,000, would you be willing to emigrate to a foreign country?" Only 50% said no, while 47% replied with a definite yes. Does this remind you of something? Do you remember Esau, the progenitor of Edom and later the offshoots that are so-called Palestinians? (Genesis 25:33-34 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.) Esau despised his birthright and thus sold his birthright in order to live apart from God, thus God’s blessing went to Jacob.

This poll is very interesting to say the least. It highlights the fact that the disputed land is still really not all that important to the descendants of Esau. Many of them would just as soon have money or material possessions instead. During the 20th century as a remnant of Jewry made aliyah (return from Diaspora) back into the land of Israel, the land began to bud and blossom and to become a fertile land as in the old days. Thus, as the land of Israel sprang forth, and Jews from around the world made their homes in the land once more, a geographic and demographic problem arose. The Arab States around Israel rejected the division of the Promised Land, and launched a war of extermination (1948 and 1967) against Israel creating the refugee problem. The survival and emergence of the State of Israel on a small portion of the Promised Land (1947 UN Partitioning Plan) has rekindled the old hatred of Esau. Thus today, having failed to destroy the State of Israel and to deny the birthright of the Jews in the land, the Palestinian Authority claims that if Israel will simply withdraw to the pre-1967 borders and agree to Divide the Land, and to Divide the city of Jerusalem, they will let Israel live in peace.

The Dividing of the Land proposal (the 2-state solution by the Mid-East Peace Roadmap sponsors) reminds me of the story of the mother of the dead-child in the story told of King Solomon in I Kings 3:16-28. She and the other mother were both harlots. (as is Israel and Palestine) But as the mother of the dead-child she was more than willing to have the remaining live-child divided-in-half after failing to be able to fool the King in her attempt to steal the child outright for herself from the true mother. King Solomon was wise to the conspiracy! And God is wise to the conspiracy of the nations to divide the Land of Israel! However, Israel in her adulterous attempt to get along with the nations of this world is constantly negotiable-ready to the idea of dividing the land that God gave to her in return for peace.

Israel today does not realize that the Palestinian acceptance of the Quartet-peace-sponsoring nation’s plan of “Dividing the Land” is just another scheme instigated by Satan to steal the land of Israel, and to deny Israel its birthright, and its blessing. And so, Israel continues to bargain with the Devil. Someday soon Israel will complete a deal with the Antichrist to divide the land. But Israel will later discover that the dividing of the land carries a curse, and is in fact a covenant with Hell. (Isaiah 28:14-18)

The Land of Israel is known as the Promised Land because it is the geo-physical symbol of the promises of God! And God is readying Israel and the whole world for the climactic struggle over the land of Israel as he prepares to fulfill his promises to Israel. (Hebrews 11:8-9 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:)

Oh that Israel possessed the faith of Abraham as she clings to a sliver of the land of promise!

Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry

By: Darrell G. Young

February, 2004


Joel 3:1-2 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

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