Love of the Land

People of The Land #6

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Love of the Land

PEOPLE OF THE LAND
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

AVRAHAM -
AVRAHAM AND THE PROMISED LAND

Four Divine promises were given to Avraham in regard to Eretz Yisrael and all are mentioned in Parshat Lech Lecha:

  1. "I shall give the land to your posterity." - Bereishet 12:7
  2. "Lift your eyes and look from where you are to the north, south, east and west, for all the land that you see will I give to you and your posterity forever." - 13:15
  3. "To your posterity I have given this land from Nahar Mitzrayim until the great river, the Euphrates." -15:18
  4. "I have given you and your posterity the land in which you dwelled, all of Eretz Canaan, for an eternal inheritance." - 17:8

In his commentary on the Torah, Ramban points out the escalation of these promises that correspond to Avraham's own growth in his relationship with Hashem. The initial promise was for the portion of the land in which Avraham had traveled before Hashem appeared to him; the second promise is of much greater territory which will belong to his posterity forever. Thirdly comes the historic covenant in which the "Greater Land of Israel" is promised along with a guarantee that even the sins of his posterity will not forfeit their claim to it. Finally, the covenant of circumcision brings with it a promise of return to the land even if their abuse of it has caused them to be exiled.


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