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Israel's Land Rights

Chapter 1

Divine Rights to the Land

Most Christians agree that God gave the ancient land called Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but because the Jewish nation rejected Jesus as their Messiah, many believe Israel eternally forfeited their right to that Land.

What Do the Scriptures Say?

This revisionist concept of Israel’s forfeiture of their Land is refuted by the prophet Jeremiah. “Thus saith the LORD…if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then will I cast away the seed of Jacob…for I will cause their captivity to return [Hebrew—return from exile] and have mercy on them” (Jeremiah 31:35-37; 33:25-26). These two prophecies in Jeremiah together devastate “Replacement Theology.”

Only when God’s laws of the universe cease to control day and night and the operation of heaven and earth, only then will God cast off the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Then Jeremiah shows, “That the city [Old Jerusalem] shall be built to the Lord” by the returned Jews and, furthermore, “It shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down anymore forever” (Jeremiah 31:38-40). The descendants of Israel (Jacob)—not Ishmael or Esau—will receive the city of Jerusalem (including East Jerusalem) forever.

Zechariah was written after the return from Babylonian captivity and during the building of the second temple. Yet Zechariah prophesied a future dispersion and final regathering of Israel to its Land—culminating in Jerusalem becoming the capital of God’s kingdom on earth. 

Zechariah 8:7-8 — “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”

Zechariah 8:13 — “And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.” 

Zechariah 8:20-23 — “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” 

Israel would be cast out of her land as a punishment for rejecting the prophets of God and finally rejecting his son. But there would be an end-time regathering which we now see. 

Jeremiah 16:13-15 — “Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” 

Zephaniah 3:19-20 — “Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.” 

“No More Pulled Up”

The Scriptures, furthermore, speak of this final regathering as culminating in joy and blessing that will never end. 

Jeremiah 31:10-12 — “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.” 

This time is yet future when Israel, restored to its Land, will experience an eternity of joy. 

Amos 9:14-15 — “And I will bring again the captivity [return from exile] of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” 

Such prophesies as these cannot be logically interpreted in any symbolical sense. Israel is to be literally planted again “upon their own land,” the Land of their fathers—Canaan. God had given them the Land by divine promise to Abraham and his seed—an “everlasting possession.” This promise is from God Himself and must eventually be fulfilled. The original promise to Abraham stands forever. 

Genesis 13:14-17; 17:8 — “Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever, ...Arise, walk through the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.... I will give it unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” 

“No more pulled up”… 
“give the Land forever”…
“an everlasting possession”

— these phrases speak of Israel’s future and eternal possession of the Land.