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The Promised Land

  

[The following is a new article from my website]

The promise of land was made to Abraham, and confirmed to Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s sons. The land that was promised was a central feature in the identity of Israel as a nation, all throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. The unfolding of God’s plan primarily involved His people and their inheritance of the land. But are the events recorded in the Old Testament the complete fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant?

To understand how God’s Covenant with Abraham forms the foundation for the rest of the Bible, we must first consider exactly what land God promised to Abraham. We saw in the previous article that God promised blessings, including land, to Abraham and his seed. God was very specific about what land He would give them.

Joshua 23:
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Some commentators believe that the “the river of Egypt” refers to the Nile, while others believe it more likely refers to the Wadi El-Arish, which forms the southwestern border of Israel. Either way, the promised land was to stretch from the River of Egypt in the south to the Euphrates in the north, and include the land then inhabited by the people listed in verses 19-21.

God reiterated this designation of the land in Exodus 23:30-31. Then we read of how the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years because the older generation did not believe God nor trust Him to enable them to overcome the inhabitants and enter the Promised Land. When Moses told the new generation about God’s promises, he referred back to the land promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Numbers 32:8-13). He also reiterated the boundaries of the land God would give them (Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24). God again reiterated the extent of the land to Joshua (Joshua 1:4). Then we read a summary in chapter 21.

Joshua 21:
43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

These verses present some problems. They seem to say that the land promise to Abraham was completely fulfilled at this time, and thus there is no basis for belief in any future fulfillment. But if that were the case, then why would we read in chapter 23 that, “a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel,” Joshua still speaks of the children of Israel possessing the land in the future tense?

Joshua 23:
4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
5 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you.
6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;

Similarly, we read further on in chapter 23:

Joshua 23:
14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

Reading this verse out of context could give one the impression that all of the Abrahamic Covenant had been fulfilled. But if you read the context of Joshua’s address in chapter 23, you see that he was saying there was still more to do, and also that if the people went and served other gods, they would be driven from the land.

Through the rest of the book of Joshua we read of the Israelites fighting to possess the land and drive out the inhabitants. This struggle continued, in fact for several hundred years, as we read in the book of Judges. It is clear that there was still much to be done in order to fully possess the land, and yet Joshua 21:43-45 seems to say that they had possessed and dwelt in all the land promised to them, at that point.

What then do we make of these verses? Even Calvin said it was an apparent contradiction. There are some who claim that the book of Joshua was deliberately corrupted to make it say that Israel had conquered all the land. Reference is made to Jeremiah 8:8 (“How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain”). But this verse doesn’t mention Joshua specifically, so even if it was saying that the Book of the Law had been corrupted, it doesn’t prove this specific corruption.

Besides, Jeremiah 8:8 is talking about lying scribes who have twisted the Law and made lies out of it. It is certainly not saying that the sacred Scriptures that were copied and preserved are what was corrupted. There is no proof of any such corruption – in fact textual evidence and especially the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate an even higher degree of integrity than was previously thought.

More to the point, if the verses in Joshua had been purposely changed to say that Israel completely conquered all of the land under Joshua, it would have been caught by any number of scribes, since it flatly contradicts what we read in the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures (even in Joshua itself, as we have seen). What then, is the explanation for the apparent contradiction? I believe it lies in the fact that in many passages, God promises that the children of Israel would possess the land of Canaan, which is only a portion of the land elsewhere promised as stretching from Euphrates to the River of Egypt.

The land of Canaan was what God initially called Abraham to go into, in Genesis 11 and following (Genesis 11:31; 12:5; 13:12). The first mention of the land promise in Genesis speaks of “this land” in the context of Canaan.

Genesis 12:
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

The second mention of the land promise is also in the context of Canaan.

Genesis 13:
12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.
13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
14 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

It isn’t until chapter 15 that God extends the land promise to the Euphrates and the River of Egypt. In fact, this designation is only mentioned in four places (Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24; Joshua 1:4) while the land of Canaan is referred to by name in many verses. Is (or was) the land of Canaan identical to the land “from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates?” While it is part of that larger area, it is not identical.

Back in Genesis 10, when God separated the various nations, the land of the Canaanites was specifically described.

Genesis 10:
19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.

When the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, God specifically identified the land of Canaan as the land they would enter and inherit.

Numbers 34:
2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)

It then goes on to describe, in detail, the borders of the land of Canaan (Numbers 34:1-15).

When the land was divided among the Twelve Tribes under Joshua, it was only within the land of Canaan, not the entire land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. The borders of the Twelve Tribes are described in detail in Joshua 13-22.

It was only later, under David and Solomon, that the kingdom of Israel was extended to the Euphrates (II Samuel 8:1-3; II Chronicles 9:25-26; I Kings 4:21). So when those verses in Joshua say that all the land that was promised had been taken, it must be referring to the promised land of Canaan, not the entire land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. Thus there is no contradiction.

The children of Israel’s blessings and possession of the land were conditional, based on their keeping the Law of Moses. If they obeyed, they would be blessed, if not, they would be cursed (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28). Specifically, regarding the land, if Israel was faithful to the Mosaic Law, they would be blessed in the land, but if not they would be driven out.

Leviticus 26:
3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.

Deuteronomy 28:
8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.

Leviticus 26:
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins…

32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.

Deuteronomy 28:
63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

This is the overall picture that must be kept in mind when reading Joshua. While 23:14 speaks of the blessings that had come to pass, the next verses immediately put forth a warning.

Joshua 23:
14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

Not only did God warn the children of Israel that this could happen, He specifically told Moses that it would in Deuteronomy 31:14-21. And yet He had told the people in the previous chapter that although it would happen, if they just turned back to Him, He would gather them from where they were scattered, and restore them to the land and the blessings that go with it.

Deuteronomy 30:
1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.
9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

As we know from the rest of the history recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, the people did, in fact, turn to idolatry and wickedness, and although God patiently warned them over and over, eventually (nearly 1000 years later) He removed them from their land (Ezekiel 33:23-29; II Chronicles 36:15-21). Yet in Ezra and Nehemiah we read of the remnant of Judah being restored.

But this is still not the end of the story. We read in multiple passages in the Prophets about God’s plan to fully restore both Israel and Judah to the land, and the blessings that go with it. We also read of God’s promise to establish a New Covenant and change the hearts of His people, as well as the worldwide rule of His Messiah. And all of His promises are based on the foundation of His Covenant with Abraham, which is why those who believe are called the seed of Abraham in the New Testament.

47 Responses to “The Promised Land”

  1. on 07 Feb 2011 at 2:49 pmSean

    Mark,

    Out of curiosity, why do you prefer the KJV?

  2. on 07 Feb 2011 at 6:24 pmMark C.

    Sean,

    It’s not that I prefer it, but it’s more familiar to ex-Way people who are the primary target audience for my website. As I wrote on the Intro page:

    All Bible quotations are from the Authorized, or King James Version, except where otherwise noted. This is largely for the sake of familiarity on the part of those who are from a similar background. It in no way implies a belief in the superiority of one version over another.

  3. on 07 Feb 2011 at 7:01 pmXavier

    Sean & Mark C.

    What versions do you use?

  4. on 07 Feb 2011 at 10:52 pmSean

    Carlos,

    I think the following are good translations: NASB, ESV, NRSV, NET, and NAB. I think the following are bad translations: NIV, Message, Amplified, NLT, Living Bible, KJV, and NKJV. Of course, there are many more that I don’t have personal knowledge about.

  5. on 07 Feb 2011 at 11:09 pmXavier

    Sean

    Ok, thanks for those recommendations but what version(s) do you personally use?

  6. on 07 Feb 2011 at 11:35 pmMark C.

    I don’t think all those translations can be summarily labeled “good” and “bad.” There are good things and bad things about each of them, and no one version is “the best.”

    While the KJV may be harder for some people to understand due to its old English, people that are used to it often feel more comfortable with it than with more modern versions.

    On the other hand, versions like the Message or the NIV may communicate the heart of the Scriptures better by using more modern expressions.

    As for accuracy, no matter which you use, there are always errors in any version. I don’t think it’s wise to limit yourself to just one version. Each can offer different advantages, IMO.

  7. on 08 Feb 2011 at 12:05 amXavier

    Mark

    Ok, so which one(s) do you personally use?

  8. on 08 Feb 2011 at 1:36 amMark C.

    That depends on what I’m doing. If I’m listening to a teaching or just reading for reading’s sake, I’ll usually use the NASB, but sometimes I like The Message. If I’m studying and want to get the most accurate meaning, I usually compare several different versions. And as I mentioned, I use the KJV on my website because it would be more familiar to the majority of ex-Way people.

  9. on 08 Feb 2011 at 10:31 amXavier

    Sean & Mark C.

    What’s your opinion on GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)? Its available on Biblegateway.com in case you don’t know it.

  10. on 08 Feb 2011 at 11:01 amRon S.

    Xavier,

    I almost always use the NASB. It is by far my favorite translation and one of if not perhaps the most accurate (overall) translation available.

    Though like Mark mentions I too will go through and look at others for comparison (like ESV, RSV, NRSV, KJV, NKJV, etc.).

    I try to stay away from the NIV since it has a heavy trinity bias to it. And the modern paraphrase versions like “The Message” & the The Living Bible are really at the mercy of the interpretation (and bias) of the translator(s) as to what the correct intent of what is written. So I never use them unless I’m overly curious as to their take on a certain passage.

    BTW, the TorahofMessiah.com guy (Bruce Barham) wrote a pretty good article on Bible translations on his site many years ago. Of course he’s a Unitarian Messianic who believes Torah is still enforce (though he agrees with us on most everything else), so be aware that he interjects that viewpoint often in his comments.

    http://torahofmessiah.com/alternates.html

  11. on 08 Feb 2011 at 11:51 amSean

    Using the KJV and NKJV causes a lot of trouble in Bible study. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in an open Bible study and our time is wasted puzzling over why the KJV/NKJV differs from all modern versions and delve into the topic of Textual Criticism, which for the new people is often overwhelming and encourages doubt rather than confidence in the Bible. All of this can be avoided if modern versions are used which are based on 5,000 more manuscripts than the KJV which had only about 2 dozen late manuscripts behind it.

  12. on 08 Feb 2011 at 2:19 pmMark C.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have been in an open Bible study and our time is wasted puzzling over why the KJV/NKJV differs from all modern versions and delve into the topic of Textual Criticism, which for the new people is often overwhelming and encourages doubt rather than confidence in the Bible.

    Wouldn’t you have the same (or similar) questions over why the NIV differs from the NASB, or why any version is different from another? Such questions are not eliminated just by using modern versions, IMO.

    I find that which version is “better” depends largely on what passage you’re considering. Some passages are better rendered in the newer versions, but some in the newer ones (even NASB) are colored by Trinitarian and other wrong theological thinking, and are more accurate in the older ones, including the KJV.

  13. on 08 Feb 2011 at 2:42 pmXavier

    Mark C.

    I find that which version is “better” depends largely on what passage you’re considering.

    Me too.

  14. on 08 Feb 2011 at 9:46 pmSean

    Mark,

    The problems I am speaking about are manuscript differences not translation differences. This is why the KJV/NKJV make Bible study very difficult. They are based on late manuscripts that have additions and changes from the earlier better ones from which all modern translations (apart from NKJV) are based. Why would one want to base their study of Scripture on medieval manuscripts rather than ones from as early as the 2nd century? Sure, these differences are generally minor, but all of this comes up in Bible study when we are all using different versions. This is not some hypothetical scenario, it is something I’ve experienced dozens of times. Settling a translation difference is not difficult for me (since I use Bible Works) but getting to the bottom of a manuscript difference can be very complicated (though the NET helps as does Metzger’s commentary)

  15. on 08 Feb 2011 at 10:22 pmMark C.

    Sean,

    I agree. But as you say, many of the differences are minor. And there are still some passages that are more accurately rendered in the KJV than in the newer versions. I wouldn’t want to base my study only on later manuscripts, but neither would I want to throw out any version just because of the errors in it, since there are good and bad points to each one. None is error free, and none is without at least some merit.

    The differences between versions is something that is going to come up in a Bible study, and it seems to me that teaching people how to deal with those differences in light of the passage you’re studying is a better solution that just saying “don’t use King James.”

  16. on 09 Feb 2011 at 11:22 amSean

    Mark,

    I suppose we disagree on this matter. My position is simply that people should use the best and most accurate translations available. So far as I know these include the NASB, ESV, NRSV, NET, NAB, HCSB. There may be others to add to this. I am not trying to be dogmatic here. Obviously, the best course of action would be to learn Hebrew and Greek, but if not then we should equip people with the best.

    Of course you are right that no translation is perfect. Still, I would council people to stay away from translations based on inferior manuscripts like the KJV, NKJV, YLT, WEY, etc. Furthermore, those paraphrases masquerading as translations including the Message, NLT, Living Bible, Amplified, etc. are the most insidious of all b/c they pretend to be giving someone what the Bible says when in fact they are giving a commentary on what it says.

  17. on 09 Feb 2011 at 12:19 pmXavier

    Sean & Mark C.

    The best thing would be for any serious biblicists to learn the Semitic languages like Hebrew/Aramaic and koine Greek.

    Apart from that we have to look at ALL translations including “paraphrases” to best capture what the NT writers are trying to communicate to us.

    Its a shame that my initial query regarding which version you guys personally use has developed into another long-winded argument.

    BTW Sean you have yet to answer…

  18. on 09 Feb 2011 at 12:53 pmMark C.

    So, aside from which version of the Bible is better, does anyone have any comments on the article? It was done largely in response to a discussion a while back about the Abrahamic land promise.

  19. on 09 Feb 2011 at 1:36 pmSean

    Xavier,

    I would argue the paraphrases are not worth your time to consult. My only point was that we have enough good translations that we don’t need to use bad ones too. I use the ESV mostly, but like I said I wouldn’t insist on only one translation.

    Mark,

    Sorry to derail your post. I thought your quoting of the KJV was an oversight not something you believed in ardently.

  20. on 09 Feb 2011 at 1:37 pmXavier

    Mark C.

    …does anyone have any comments on the article?

    So to sum it all up, is it correct to say that God’s promises were completed IN PART but yet to be FULLY made?

  21. on 09 Feb 2011 at 1:44 pmXavier

    Sean

    I use the ESV mostly, but like I said I wouldn’t insist on only one translation.

    Yeah me too. Yet you still find serious errors that do not even seem to be theologically motivated. As is the case with their preference for using “the only God” at John 1.18 and commenting on it thus:

    …the earliest manuscripts say the only God (using the same word for “only” as 1:14, meaning “unique, one-of-a-kind”).

    John refers to two different persons here as “God,” as he did in v. 1. John concludes the prologue by emphasizing what he taught in v. 1:

    Jesus as the Word is God, and he has revealed and explained God to humanity.

    :/

    So, as both you and Mark suggest, a true biblicist should try and check as many sources as possible.

  22. on 09 Feb 2011 at 1:49 pmWolfgang

    Xavier,

    here’s a question for you and all: Do the Scriptures state anywhere that God fulfills something “in part” and then later “in full”? Or does Scripture rather consistently speak of something being either fulfilled or not yet fulfilled?

    My reading of the Scriptures leads me to believe that there is no “partial fulfillment” of what God promises in prophecy … Such an idea of a partial fulfillment with a later full or complete fulfillment also contradicts a necessary element of prophecy and how to discern whether a prophet is a true prophet or not. I would say that Scripture is clear that promises made prophetically are either fulfilled or they are not fulfilled and still await fulfillment.

  23. on 09 Feb 2011 at 2:27 pmMark C.

    Sean,

    Just to be clear, I’m not ardent about using the KJV per se, but about considering different resources in our study to determine which is the best rendering in a given passage, and about not labeling any version as “bad” so long as we recognize its limitations.

    Wolfgang,

    The Bible may not use the term “partial fulfillment” but there are cases in which a promise is gradually fulfilled over time. And the difference between Israel possessing the land of Canaan and them possessing all the land from Euphrates to the river of Egypt is a prime example.

    There is also the matter of a promise being fulfilled conditionally, and then things changing when the parties involved (such as Israel) don’t keep the conditions. And yet God continues to be faithful to His original covenant with Abraham, and for his sake does not completely give up on Israel.

  24. on 09 Feb 2011 at 3:33 pmXavier

    Wolfgang

    Such an idea of a partial fulfillment with a later full or complete fulfillment also contradicts a necessary element of prophecy and how to discern whether a prophet is a true prophet or not.

    Has Israel been restored? Is YHWH’s Messiah currently reigning over the whole world from “Zion”? Have the patriarchs been “raised”? Have the words of Malachi 4 been fulfilled? etc. etc.

    We’re back to the same old Preterist argument we had on another thread.

  25. on 13 Feb 2011 at 9:36 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark,
    I believe that there are contradictions in the bible (even the Old Testament) that lead me to not believe in the inerrancy doctrine of the bible. Especially when it comes to the land promises. Robert recently sent me an email, which is a modification of an article that he posted a few months ago which illustrates this point.

    With your permission I will post his email below.

    “To stress the emphatic nature of parts of the land promises that Yahweh made to Israel, I have underlined certain statements. So when all of the passages I have quoted and listed are considered, we see that the prophecies included all of the following:

    Without fail, God would drive out of the land beyond the Jordan ALL of the people then possessing it. No man among these people would be able to stand before the Israelites all the days of their lives. The Israelites would drive out the nations possessing the land and utterly destroy them and the memory of their name under heaven. They were to make no covenants with the nations in this land or show mercy to them (Deut.7.2). Every place that the sole of their feet would tread upon, God would give to them. Their empire would stretch from the Red Sea unto the river Euphrates and from the great sea (Mediterranean) toward the going down of the sun.

    To circumvent obvious contradictions that result when Yahweh’s promises are compared to biblical history recorded later, inerrantists contend that the land promises made to the Israelites were conditional on their good behavior, but there is no support for that dodge in the Bible. In Deut.9.3-7, another prophetic passage relating to the land promise, specific notice was taken of the fact that the Israelites of the then present generation were themselves undeserving of the land but that it would be given to them for the sake of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:

    Know therefore this day, that Yahweh thy God is he who goeth over before thee as a devouring fire; he will destroy them, and he will bring them down before thee: so shalt thou drive them out, and make them to perish quickly, as Yahweh hath spoken unto thee.

    Speak not thou in thy heart, after that Yahweh thy God hath thrust them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness Yahweh hath brought me in to possess this land; whereas for the wickedness of these nations Yahweh doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart, dost thou go in to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these nations Yahweh thy God doth drive them out from before thee, AND THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH THE WORD WHICH YAHWEH SWARE UNTO THY FATHERS, TO ABRAHAM, TO ISAAC, AND TO JACOB. Know therefore, that Yahweh thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiff-necked people.

    So here is another clear statement. God was not giving the land to the Israelites because of their righteousness; in fact, he considered them a stiff-necked, undeserving people. (See also Ex.33.1-6) He was giving the land to them because of the unconditional promise that he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Unless he did this, he would have reneged on a promise made to the patriarchs with no strings attached, ( Gen.12:7,13:14-16).

    The unconditional nature of Yahweh’s land promise was restated in Lev.26:42-35

    Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left by them, and shall enjoy its sabbaths, while it lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected mine ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them; for I am Yahweh their God; but I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am Yahweh.

    So time and time again, it was specifically said that the Israelites would be given the land of Canaan, REGARDLESS OF THEIR OWN CONDUCT, so that Yahweh could fulfill the promise that he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Inerrantists who deny this are denying biblical statements worded just as plainly as anything ever said on the subject of creation, the resurrection, baptism, final judgment, and other important Christian doctrines.

    As proof that the land promise was dependent on the good behavior of the Israelites, inerrantists like to cite Ex.23:20-33 where a conditional suggestion was attached to the promise: “But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice (the angel that was to go before them, FT) and do all that he speak, then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” In emphasizing the if in this verse, they overlook an important point. If Yahweh said that he would fulfill the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob regardless of the wickedness of the generation that went in to possess the land, he could not turn around later and say that he would make good his promise only if the people were obedient. That would put a contradiction into the scriptures that the inerrantists would have to explain, because the land promise could not have been both conditional and unconditional at the same time. And clearly the passages cited earlier were unconditional in promising the land to the Israelites.

    So after Yahweh had unconditionally promised to the Israelites that they would be given the land beyond the Jordan, under Joshua’s leadership they went in to possess it, and initially the Bible claims that they succeeded. The claim, in fact, was that Joshua thoroughly and completely subdued the land:

    So Joshua smote ALL the land, the hill-country, and the South, and the lowland, and the slopes, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but he utterly destroyed all that breathed, AS YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, COMMANDED. And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because Yahweh, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal, Josh:10:40-43, ASV, Yahweh for Jehovah).

    In places, the Bible is almost boringly repetitious, but this writing characteristic of the “inspired” spokesmen of God often works to the advantage of those who seek to debunk the myth that God verbally inspired the writing of the Bible. In this case, it makes it easy to establish that a complete, unqualified fulfillment of the land promises was claimed by the “inspired” men who wrote the Old Testament. Consider, for example, the clearly stated claim of the following passages:

    And Yahweh said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them (the armies of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Hivites poised for battle against the Israelites, FT); for tomorrow at this time will I deliver them up ALL slain before Israel: thou shalt hock their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly, and fell upon them. And Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Israel, and they smote them, and chased them unto great Sidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining. And Joshua did unto them as Yahweh bade him: he hocked their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire. And Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor before time was the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; THERE WERE NONE LEFT THAT BREATHED: and he burnt Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and he smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded. But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn. And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any that breathed. As Yahweh commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua: and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that Yahweh commanded Moses, Josh.11:6-15, Yahweh substituted).

    So Joshua took the whole land, ac:cording to all that Yahweh spake unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land had rest from war, Josh.11:23, Yahweh substituted).

    So Yahweh gave unto Israel ALL the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And Yahweh gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; Yahweh delivered all their enemies into their hand. THERE FAILED NOT AUGHT OF ANY GOOD THING WHICH YAHWEH HAD SPOKEN UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. ALL CAME TO PASS,Josh.21:43-45, Yahweh substituted).

    These statements are fully as clear as Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38. Yahweh gave unto Israel ALL the land that he swore to give to their fathers, and the dimensions of that land were clearly laid out in such passages as Ex.23:20-33 and Josh.1:1-6 Its borders extended from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, from the wilderness, to Lebanon, and to the great river Euphrates. Furthermore, the fulfillment claims state that the Israelites left none alive to breathe and that not a man of all their enemies stood before them. Who were those enemies? Time and time again, they were named in the land prophecies: the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Jebusites, and the Perizzites. Yet after audaciously claiming in the passages noted above that every aspect of Yahweh’s land promise had been fulfilled, the writer(s) turned around and brazenly admitted that some parts of the land were not conquered and some of the peoples in these lands were not driven out:

    Now Joshua was old and well stricken in years; and Yahweh said unto him, Thou art old and well stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. This is the land that yet remaineth: all the regions of the Philistines, and all the Geshurites; from the Shihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the border of Ekron northward, which is reckoned to the Canaanites; the five lords of the Philistines; the Gazites, and the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avvim, on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongeth to the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the border of the Amorites; and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entrance of Hamath; all the inhabitants of the hill-country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, even all the Sidonians; them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only allot thou it unto Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee, Josh.13:1-6, Yahweh substituted.

    This statement flatly contradicts the claim in that Joshua “took the whole land, according to all that Yahweh spake unto Moses” so that the land had rest from war. All of the territorial regions singled out in this passage as land that remained to be possessed lay within the boundaries that were laid out in Josh.1: 1-6 to specify the scope of the land that Yahweh would give to the Israelites. So if Joshua had indeed taken “the WHOLE land, according to all that Yahweh spake unto Moses,” as claimed In Josh.13:1, how could it be said later that “very much land” remained to be possessed? Perhaps some of our inerrantist readers can answer this question. They are good at coming up with far-fetched, how-it- could-have-been scenarios to “explain” obvious contradictions in the Bible.

    Most of the rest of the book of Joshua and the better part of Judges contradict all of the fulfillment claims that I have noted above.Josh.15:63 says, “And as for the JEBUSITES, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” Yet the Jebusites were specifically named as one of the seven nations “greater and mightier than thou” that would be utterly destroyed. Josh.16:10 says, “And they drove not out the CANAANITES that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell in the midst of Ephraim unto this day, and are become servants to do taskwork.” But the Canaanites were specifically listed as one of the seven nations that would be utterly destroyed. Josh.17:12-13 says, “Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. And it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxed strong, that they put the Canaanites to taskwork, and did not utterly drive them out.” Yet the promise had clearly been that the Canaanites would be utterly driven out, that NO MAN would be able to stand before the Israelites all the days of their lives. Making servants of them can hardly be considered fulfillment of a prophecy declaring that they would be “utterly driven out.” In fact, it contradicts a restriction noted on page three that expressly prohibited the Israelites from making covenants with the inhabitants of their promised land.

    In Josh.16:10 ,17:12-13 ,Judges 1:1-5.1:9,1:21,1:27-36,3:1-6 and many other places, references are made to the people that the Israelites could not drive out of the land, and many of these were specific references to people from the “seven nations greater and mightier than thou” that Yahweh promised that he would drive out WITHOUT FAIL. But he didn’t, and so the inerrancy champions have some serious explaining to do. IF “Yahweh gave unto Israel ALL the land which he sware to give unto their fathers” Josh.21:43-45 and IF “they possessed it (the land) and dwelt therein” (same passage) and IF Yahweh “gave them rest round about, according to ALL that he sware unto their fathers” (same passage) and IF “there stood not a man of ALL their enemies before them” (same passage) and IF “Yahweh delivered all their enemies into their hand” (same passage) and IF “there failed not AUGHT of any good thing which Yahweh had spoken unto the house of Israel” (same passage) and IF “all came to pass” (same passage), how could it have been that some of the enemies of Israel were still in the land during the time of the book of Judges and how could it have been that some of the people of the “seven nations greater and mightier than thou” were still dwelling with the children of Israel “unto this day”?

    Someone has a lot of explaining to do, and it isn’t those of us who reject the inerrancy doctrine.

    It’s way past the time for the Elect to realize that MAN has had his hand in the Bible and they need to start using the gift of common sense to undo the damage that MAN has done to God’s written word.”

  26. on 14 Feb 2011 at 4:18 amMark C.

    Robert has been determined to pass this piece of “research” off as valid since he posted it the first time. But he couldn’t even admit to who wrote it, and ignored the points that were made which proved its historical and Biblical inaccuracies. Here are a few of the most glaring errors.

    Without fail, God would drive out of the land beyond the Jordan ALL of the people then possessing it. No man among these people would be able to stand before the Israelites all the days of their lives. The Israelites would drive out the nations possessing the land and utterly destroy them and the memory of their name under heaven.

    The Scriptures in my article demonstrate that God driving out the inhabitants of the land was CONDITIONAL upon Israel remaining faithful the Old Covenant Law.

    Every place that the sole of their feet would tread upon, God would give to them. Their empire would stretch from the Red Sea unto the river Euphrates and from the great sea (Mediterranean) toward the going down of the sun.

    It wasn’t from the Red Sea to the Euphrates, it was from the River of Egypt. (This error is repeated several times in this article.)

    To circumvent obvious contradictions that result when Yahweh’s promises are compared to biblical history recorded later, inerrantists contend that the land promises made to the Israelites were conditional on their good behavior, but there is no support for that dodge in the Bible.

    The Scriptures indicated prove otherwise.

    So time and time again, it was specifically said that the Israelites would be given the land of Canaan, REGARDLESS OF THEIR OWN CONDUCT, so that Yahweh could fulfill the promise that he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Inerrantists who deny this are denying biblical statements worded just as plainly as anything ever said on the subject of creation, the resurrection, baptism, final judgment, and other important Christian doctrines.

    The Scriptures cited tell us that God gave the land to Israel because of His promise to Abraham, but that if the Israelites continued to be disobedient and idolatrous they would be driven from the land. AND YET the land would still be given to later descendants in fulfillment of the promises to Abraham. This is the theme of the entire Old Testament, especially the Prophets.

    Most of the rest of this article tries at length to prove a contradiction between the verses that seem to say Israel entered and possessed the WHOLE land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates, and those that clearly indicate they did not. As I demonstrated in my article, understanding the difference between the promises regarding Canaan and the promises regarding the “whole land” eliminates any contradiction.

    Frankly, it’s beyond me why anyone who claims to believe in the Bible would quote the work of someone like this author who has so little regard for the inspiration of the Bible. Especially when the work is so full of obvious errors.

  27. on 14 Feb 2011 at 9:56 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    I had written

    Such an idea of a partial fulfillment with a later full or complete fulfillment also contradicts a necessary element of prophecy and how to discern whether a prophet is a true prophet or not.

    To this you replied with the following questions:

    Has Israel been restored? Is YHWH’s Messiah currently reigning over the whole world from “Zion”? Have the patriarchs been “raised”? Have the words of Malachi 4 been fulfilled? etc. etc.

    Now, pray tell, what do these questions have to do with the point of concern which I brought up about whether or not the Bible speaks of prophecies being first “partially” fulfilled and at a later time then being “completely” fulfilled? I had a passage from Deut in mind, where the fulfillment of a prophecy is said to be a decisive criteria to determine whether a prophet is a true prophet or not … and that a concept of “partial” fulfillment plus later “complete” fulfillment is not found in the Scriptures, seeing that it would violate the mentioned criteria for determining a true prophet.

  28. on 14 Feb 2011 at 10:19 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    …that a concept of “partial” fulfillment plus later “complete” fulfillment is not found in the Scriptures.

    All the Messianic prophecies can be said to have been completed in part. For example, take 2Sam 7, applied both to the OT Davidic King and Jesus.

  29. on 14 Feb 2011 at 11:24 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    All the Messianic prophecies can be said to have been completed in part.

    hmn … such an idea would make Jesus to only be partially the Messiah until now ? I personally do not want to promote such a concept …

    On the other hand, perhaps most of Christendom believes in such a concept (of course, they would not word it that way, because if they did, it would be all too obvious that there is something wrong or at least very awkward with their belief) …

    As for 2Sam 7, how does that relate to the question of “partial” / “complete” fulfillment of prophecy? Are you trying to say that the OT king David was partially the Messiah and Jesus was the rest of it to complete the Messiah?

  30. on 14 Feb 2011 at 12:31 pmXavier

    Wolfgang

    …such an idea would make Jesus to only be partially the Messiah until now ? I personally do not want to promote such a concept …

    Boy you make some very bad analogies. Prophecies CAN have past, present and future fulfillment in terms of their CONTENT. These have nothing to do with whether Solomon [the Davidic king in view of 2Sam 7] or Jesus or any other personage to which the prophecies may be referred to were partial anything!

  31. on 14 Feb 2011 at 1:23 pmMark C.

    Indeed, many prophecies about God’s anointed and about the offspring of David have both immediate and long term fulfillments. The concept of types and anti-types must also be considered. There were often short term fulfillments of prophecy that were types of the Messiah to come.

  32. on 14 Feb 2011 at 2:28 pmWolfgang

    Mark C.

    The concept of types and anti-types must also be considered.

    Indeed … I wholeheartedly agree.

    BUT that has nothing to do with “partial” / “complete” fulfillment. Prophecies are either fulfilled or not yet fulfilled. A type either exists or it doesn’t, and in like manner the anti-type either already exists or it doesn’t as of yet.

  33. on 14 Feb 2011 at 3:32 pmWolfgang

    Mark C.,

    The concept of types and anti-types must also be considered.

    Now then, in regards to the land promise … which land is the type (natural earthly prelimenary/temporary) and which is the anti-type (spiritual heavenly final/eternal) ?

    One of the places one can go to show the arrangement of type and anti-type in regards the land promise is Heb 11:14-16

    Heb 11:14-16
    For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

    In light of your article, I would see Joshua as showing fulfillment of the “type” promise, and Hebrews as showing fulfillment of the “antitype” promise.

    Included in this needs to be the understanding that “all things written” in the Law and the Prophets had a specific time and place for fulfillment. We see Jesus clearly stating this for us in Lk 21:22, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

    The “type” land promise was thereby also complete in all respects. But the land promise has a greater “anti-type” fulfillment in the New Covenant. It is “the better country, an heavenly” that Abraham and others spoken of in Heb 11 “saw”. And it is seen today in the same manner that Abraham and the other OT believers saw it … as a spiritual reality through the eyes of faith.

  34. on 14 Feb 2011 at 5:39 pmMark C.

    Wolfgang,

    Indeed … I wholeheartedly agree.

    BUT that has nothing to do with “partial” / “complete” fulfillment. Prophecies are either fulfilled or not yet fulfilled. A type either exists or it doesn’t, and in like manner the anti-type either already exists or it doesn’t as of yet.

    Did you read the entire comment? I said “The concept of types and anti-types must also be considered” and you respond as if it were the only thing I said. The first thing I said, which was my main point, was that many prophecies about God’s anointed and about the offspring of David have both immediate and long term fulfillments. To say that “Prophecies are either fulfilled or not yet fulfilled” is to completely miss the many prophecies which have dual fulfillments, as well as the prophecies which unfold over time.

    Now then, in regards to the land promise … which land is the type (natural earthly prelimenary/temporary) and which is the anti-type (spiritual heavenly final/eternal) ?

    This question begins with the assumption that the anti-type is a “spiritual heavenly” promise and not an physical one. But such an idea is completely foreign to the Bible, and was only incorporated into Christian beliefs many years after the New Testament was completed. The use of the word “heavenly” in Heb. 11:14-16 in no way implies that it is some ethereal, non-physical country. The word heavenly speaks of its origin, not its location. (We’ve covered this several times before.)

    The same is true of the other passages which contrast “earthly” and “spiritual.” They are dealing with characteristics based on their origin, not whether they are physical or not. Not one of them says that the land as promised to Abraham, or the unending kingdom as promised to David, has been replaced with, or is to be understood as, a non-physical, “spiritual reality.” God created the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18).

    Included in this needs to be the understanding that “all things written” in the Law and the Prophets had a specific time and place for fulfillment. We see Jesus clearly stating this for us in Lk 21:22, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

    What is the context of Luke 21:22?

    20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.
    21 “Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city;
    22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.

    When the days of vengeance comes, all things that are written WILL be fulfilled. But even if you believe that it happened in 70 AD, it still has nothing to do with whether or not the land promise was fulfilled in the time of Joshua, which is what this article was about.

    But the land promise has a greater “anti-type” fulfillment in the New Covenant. It is “the better country, an heavenly” that Abraham and others spoken of in Heb 11 “saw”. And it is seen today in the same manner that Abraham and the other OT believers saw it … as a spiritual reality through the eyes of faith.

    I’ve said this before and I guess I have to say it again. We learn of the anti-type fulfillment of certain OT types by the NT revelation of their meaning. Paul explained how many elements of the Old Covenant were types of what Christ would accomplish. But (please get this) there is no NT revelation that the land and kingdom promised in the Prophets have been replaced by a “spiritual” kingdom.

    As I have said, if you assume that the “heavenly country” spoken of in Hebrews 11 means a non-physical, ethereal existence, you have to ignore the many, many prophecies in the OT which clearly speak of God restoring His people to their land, under an anointed ruler. You also have to ignore the references to those prophecies in the NT, none of which ever changes the definition of the kingdom to a spiritual one.

    And now you’re going to claim that even Abraham and other OT believers saw it as a “spiritual reality?” There are so many Scriptures that contradict this that I wouldn’t know where to begin. In all of your arguing and contradicting you have yet to present any valid Scriptural evidence for your position, nor have you responded to or dealt with the many Scriptural references we have provided. For anyone interested in the truth, the articles on my web site have many, many references which speak for themselves.

    In any case, your original point, which started me on the study that led to this article, was that Joshua 21:43-45 appeared to say that the land promise was fulfilled in those days, and therefore no future fulfillment was to be looked for.  But I demonstrated that it was not the complete fulfillment of everything God promised, nor was the Israelites’ eventual living in the land the end of God’s dealing with His people and the land. God’s plan unfolded throughout the Old Testament and into the New.

  35. on 14 Feb 2011 at 6:04 pmXavier

    Mark C.

    To say that “Prophecies are either fulfilled or not yet fulfilled” is to completely miss the many prophecies which have dual fulfillments, as well as the prophecies which unfold over time.

    …AS WELL as trying to fit the scriptures into what we think they should say.

  36. on 14 Feb 2011 at 6:19 pmMark C.

    PS…

    Other NT passages that contrast “spiritual” with “earthly” or “carnal” show that they refer to characteristics based on their origin, and that “spiritual” in this sense does not mean ethereal, or non-corporeal:

    Rom. 7:14
    Rom. 12:1
    I Cor. 2:12-16
    I Cor. 3:1
    I Cor. 14:37
    Gal. 6:1
    James 3:14-15

  37. on 14 Feb 2011 at 6:35 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark,
    I was just reading Joshua Chapter 23 and I see what you mean. I especially found the following verse convincing. “(13) Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.”

    In your article you also said, “So when those verses in Joshua say that all the land that was promised had been taken, it must be referring to the promised land of Canaan, not the entire land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates.”

    In your message you said, “As I demonstrated in my article, understanding the difference between the promises regarding Canaan and the promises regarding the “whole land” eliminates any contradiction.”

    I see what you mean. Thank-you for your response. You have given me a lot to think and pray about…

  38. on 15 Feb 2011 at 1:13 amWolfgang

    Mark C.,

    When the days of vengeance comes, all things that are written WILL be fulfilled.

    Did Jesus not rather clearly describe WHEN “these be the days of vengeance” would be? when did they see Jerusalem surrounded by armies? when did believers flee from Jerusalem and thus did save their lives?

    But even if you believe that it happened in 70 AD, it still has nothing to do with whether or not the land promise was fulfilled in the time of Joshua, which is what this article was about.

    Jesus mentioned that “ALL THINGS WRITTEN would be fulfilled” … and certainly the promises concerning the land were written in the OT, yes? Now, as for all the land which God had promised to the forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, etc.) the book of Joshua does record when that promise was fulfilled.

    At what other time PRIOR to the days of vengeance of which Jesus spoke as marking the time when ALL things written would be fulfilled was the land promise fulfilled?

  39. on 15 Feb 2011 at 1:21 amMark C.

    Wolfgang,

    I am somewhat stunned reading what you wrote in your last post, and I don’t know what to write in reply to your post which is a reply to my various posts with certain detailed questions and detailed points … although the temptation to write certain things your reply would most likely deserve, I purposely hold back and will not detail them any further, and leave it with this one thought: From someone involved in Bible study, in writing rather extensively on various subjects… I would have expected a different kind of reply.

    Rather disappointed and disillusioned, I just about fully regret having even entered into this exchange.

  40. on 15 Feb 2011 at 3:16 amWolfgang

    Mark C.,

    oh dear … why are you displaying such a lack of recognizing the context of what has been written, not only when it comes to the Scriptures, but even when it comes to reading posts on this blog, as your attempt at trying a special pun (or whatever was intended) by quoting (without indicating that you were quoting) from a previous post of mine shows?

    I expected that you would certainly be able to answer such simple questions as I asked above, such as: At what other time PRIOR to the days of vengeance of which Jesus spoke as marking the time when ALL things written would be fulfilled was the land promise fulfilled?

  41. on 15 Feb 2011 at 7:36 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    At what other time PRIOR to the days of vengeance of which Jesus spoke as marking the time when ALL things written would be fulfilled was the land promise fulfilled?

    “So when the apostles came together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’

    Jesus told them, ‘You don’t need to know about times or periods that the Father has determined by his own authority.'” Acts 1.6-7; cp. Mart 24.36; Mat 13.32

  42. on 15 Feb 2011 at 11:04 amWolfgang

    Xavier,

    once again, you seem to just want to have to write something …
    And you don’t seem to care either how it relates to a question asked or to comments made in previous posts …

    How does the verse you quote either answer the question I asked or at least relate to it?

  43. on 15 Feb 2011 at 11:56 amXavier

    Wolfgang

    How does the verse you quote either answer the question I asked or at least relate to it?

    The restoration of ALL things is yet to be fulfilled. When? Who knows!

  44. on 15 Feb 2011 at 8:32 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark,
    I’ve been thinking and praying about what you said in your message, and in your article. It made me think of something that I read in Exodus 23:28-30;

    “And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. (29) I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. (30) ‘LITTLE BY LITTLE’ I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.” (ESV – emphasis mine.)

    From reading this verse it seems clear to me that God had no intention of giving them the entire land (that was promised), until such a time as there were enough Israelites to fully occupy the land, so that the land wouldn’t become desolate and infested with wild beasts.

    So from my point of view, what you are saying in your article seems to make more sense, then the view that they ‘had’ received the entire land that was promised while under Joshua. Like you said, “So when those verses in Joshua say that all the land that was promised had been taken, it must be referring to the promised land of Canaan, not the entire land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates.”

    I’m a far cry from being an expert, but this does seem like the most logical way to read it, at least from my perspective anywaze…

  45. on 15 Feb 2011 at 9:29 pmMark C.

    Thomas,

    Good point. I agree. It’s really simple when we just read what’s written without preconceived ideas.

  46. on 20 Feb 2011 at 6:35 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark C,
    Just a footnote to our conversation. Robert pointed out to me what it said in Joshua 13:1-4, “Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the LORD said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess. (2) This is the land that yet remains: all the regions of the Philistines, and all those of the Geshurites (3) from the Shihor, which is east of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron, ‘IT IS COUNTED AS CANAANITE’; there are five rulers of the Philistines, those of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron), and those of the Avvim, (4) in the south, ‘ALL THE LAND OF THE CANAANITES’, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the boundary of the Amorites…” (ESV -emphasis mine).

    This would seem to indicate that while under Joshua the Iraelites didn’t actually possess the ‘ENTIRE’ land of Canaan. It wasn’t until some 300 years later when they had increased in number that King David was able to conquer Jerusalem and the rest of the land of Canaan as promised by God…

  47. on 07 Jul 2013 at 6:21 pmXavier

    “Almost all scholars today would agree that when Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God, he is not referring to ‘heaven’ — in the sense of the place that your soul goes, God willing, when you die. To be sure, the Kingdom of God has some relationship to ‘heaven’ as the place where God is enthroned; but when Jesus talks about the Kingdom, he appears to refer principally to something here on earth — where God will at some point begin to rule as he already does rule up above. This is in full keeping with the Jewish background to Jesus’ life and thought. For throughout the Hebrew Bible, there is constant talk of the God of Israel being the King of all people and establishing his rule for them…

    “Moreover, when Jesus refers to this coming Kingdom, in which God will reign, he does not appear to be thinking in purely symbolic terms about God becoming the ruler of your heart. For he often describes the Kingdom with graphically tactile language. Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God ‘coming in power,’ about people ‘entering into’ the Kingdom, about people ‘eating and drinking in the Kingdom’ with the Jewish ancestors, about his disciples serving as ‘rulers’ of the Kingdom, sitting on actual ‘thrones’ in the royal court.”
    Bart Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, p. 142-43.

  

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