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God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, give us clarity regarding Israel’s claim to the land You gave as an everlasting possession.
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In determining the rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, we can find proofs of land ownership and authority in two categories: biblical covenantal promise, and historical record and international law. Both of these support overwhelmingly the Jewish people’s right to “possess their possessions” in the land called Israel (see Obadiah 17). In this post, we’ll look at the biblical covenant promises.

“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:7–8).

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“Thus says the LORD God: ‘When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God’ ”  (Ezekiel 28:25–26).

In determining the rights of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, we can find proofs of land ownership and authority in two categories: biblical covenantal promise, and historical record and international law. Both of these support overwhelmingly the Jewish people’s right to “possess their possessions” in the land called Israel (see Obadiah 17). In today’s post, we’ll look at the biblical covenant promises, and we’ll examine the record of history and international law in our next post.

Ready to Give an Account

As we witness so many college campuses now seething with anti-Israel sentiment, and while the nations continue chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” we as intercessors in America and called to be watchmen on the walls (see Isaiah 62:6), must know what God’s Word says about His covenant people and their covenantal possession of the land. If we’re ignorant of the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, we can be easily deceived by the propaganda of an ungodly media and swayed by emotional arguments. God’s Word regarding Israel is, after all, the first and last word (see Psalm 33:9–11), the only message with eternal authority.

Israel Ultimately God’s Land

The most vital revelation from God’s Word is that the land of Israel belongs to God. In several places, He tells us that the parcel of land in the Middle East called Israel is His. This is important because when something belongs to you, you can give it to whomever you like.

“The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you [Israel] are strangers and sojourners with Me” (Leviticus 25:23).

In Deuteronomy 32:43 and Ezekiel 36:28, we read that God will be merciful to His land and to His people (see also Zechariah 9:16). God spoke to the prophet Joel, declaring a time when He would be jealous for His land and pity His people, and in which He would judge the gentile nations of the earth for dividing up His land and treating His people harshly. God describes His relationship to the land as a marriage in Isaiah 62:4, saying that He Himself delights in the land of Israel, the land where He has chosen for His name to dwell (see 2 Chronicles 6:6). The land belongs first and foremost to the Creator of the universe (Ps.24:1-2).

The Land Given to Israel Forever

The second important truth from the Scriptures is that God gave the title deed to that land to Abraham and His descendants forever (see Genesis 17:7–8). Like Adam in the garden, Abraham and his family would steward the land of Israel, as a light to the nations. God calls Abram, who becomes Abraham, out of Ur of the Chaldees to follow Him, and through an eternal covenant he is promised the land called Canaan. This transaction, commonly referred to as the Abrahamic covenant, is one of five covenants God made with people and nations in the Old Testament. The nature of this unconditional covenant is detailed in Genesis chapters 12–17 and includes a promise to bless Abraham, multiplying his descendants and giving him and his progeny a promised land (a land at that time called Canaan and now called Israel) forever. God declared this covenant while Abraham was in a deep asleep, thus requiring nothing of him, but rather swearing by Himself to fulfill all its tenets (see Genesis 15:12). This choice was sovereign and without repentance, according to Romans 11:29.

God reaffirms this covenant — both land grant and promise of care and multiplication — with subsequent generations of Abraham’s family: Isaac (see Genesis 26:2–5) and Jacob (see Genesis 28:13–15). For Jacob, Adonai foreshadows the 400 years of exile in Egypt and the subsequent return, stating: “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you” (Genesis 28:15.) No matter where this people (the Jewish people) go, God will bring them back to this land for His name’s sake.

This covenant promise is oft repeated in God’s word. In Is.60:2 the Creator reiterates, “They (Israel) shall inherit this land forever.”  God is not a man that he should lie (Num.23:19) and all of His promises are Yes and amen in Christ Jesus (2 Cor.1:20). It is beyond the scope of this article to list every place in God’s word where He reaffirms His covenantal land grant to the nation of Israel, defined as Abraham and his descendants. Our Father knew that His land would be in dispute and wanted to make certain that His purposes regarding the Jewish nation were crystal clear.

Possible Sticking Point

In the current debate regarding the Palestinians right to Gaza and other parts of the land, we have heard the argument that Ishmael was also Abraham’s offspring. While this statement is true, we read that God categorically transferred the Abrahamic covenant not to the firstborn Ishamel, son of Egyptian maidservant Hagar, but to the ‘son of the promise’ Isaac, son of Sarah. It is worth looking closely at God’s Word so that there will be no confusion. (IFA has examined this.) God loves and cares for Ishmael, and for all his descendants, but the covenant promises, which include the land now called Israel, were passed on to Isaac:

And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year” (Genesis 17:18–21).

The Scriptures are clear: The Abrahamic covenant promising the land to Abraham and his descendants has given it to Isaac, not to Ishmael. Remember, however, that through Abraham and His descendants God has promised to bless the whole earth — no people group will be excluded from His blessings! For those calling themselves Palestinians, there is the promise of being grafted into this covenant nation through faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.

What the Land Includes

The boundaries of the land are detailed in Genesis 15:18 and Joshua 1:4. Here is an excellent resource showing the biblical boundaries of the land. Even now, Israel has yet to fully possess the land God has given them. (Our next post will discuss the historical record of what has happened to the land.)

On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates — the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites” (Genesis 15:18–21).

God brought forth the nation of Israel after their 400 years in Egypt, to be His possession. He began the process of readying them to possess the land of Canaan that had been promised them. This land was inhabited by other peoples, but God had determined that their cup of iniquity was full and that it was now time for them to be displaced by the nation of Israel (see Genesis 15:16). In the book of Joshua, God once again defines the boundaries of Israel’s inheritance: “Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates — all the Hittite country — to the Mediterranean Sea in the west” (Joshua 1:4 NIV).

God not only reaffirmed the land given to His covenant people, but He then tells Joshua how to determine who will live where within that land. He is to draw lots and give larger land allotments to larger tribes and smaller lots to the less numerous tribes: “And you shall divide the land by lot as an inheritance among your families; to the larger you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give a smaller inheritance; there everyone’s inheritance shall be whatever falls to him by lot. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers” (Numbers 33:54).

Possessing Gaza

For our purposes, let us look at who was given Gaza, a land formerly occupied by the Philistines. Joshua 15:1-12 describes the land allotted to the tribe of Judah and it includes an area that extends all the way to the Mediterranean Sea (v.12). Each tribe was to drive out the inhabitants of the land they were given. Judah failed to do this: The men of Judah captured Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, and the territory surrounding each of these cities. The Lord was with the men of Judah. They conquered the hill country, but they could not conquer the people living in the coastal plain, because they had chariots with iron-rimmed wheels (Judges 1:18–19 NET).

Judah’s inheritance included Gaza. Though its men partially obeyed God’s injunction to rid the land of its previous inhabitants, Judah did not seek God’s assistance and was thus unable to eradicate all of the Philistines in the coastal plain. This could be one of the reasons that piece of real estate is still contested today. Incomplete obedience to God’s commands has far-reaching consequences.

Covenant Discipline, Diaspora, and Return

The nation of Israel was scattered throughout the world because of disobedience to God’s commands, resulting in the presence of Jewish people in virtually every nation on earth. But God had promised even before they were dispersed that He would regather them to their land, planting them there and dealing with the enemies all around them. God says He delights in returning them, and that He is doing it faithfully and wholeheartedly:

I will certainly regather my people from all the countries where I have exiled them in my anger, fury, and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and allow them to live here in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them a single-minded purpose to live in a way that always shows respect for me. They will want to do that for their own good and the good of the children who descend from them. I will make a lasting covenant with them that I will never stop doing good to them. I will fill their hearts and minds with respect for me so that they will never again turn away from me. I will take delight in doing good to them. I will faithfully and wholeheartedly plant them firmly in the land.(Jeremiah 32:37–41 NET).

The promise of land was not annulled because of Israel’s unfaithfulness. God’s own name and reputation are on the line. He will do what He has promised.

When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will magnify myself among them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will not leave any of them in exile any longer. I will no longer hide my face from them, when I pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the sovereign” (Ezekiel 39:27–29 NET).


  1. Scripture affirms that God Himself owns the land called Israel — every part of it, including Gaza, the West Bank, and any other so-called Palestinian territories.
  2. In His sovereignty, He gave the land in a covenant promise to Abraham and his descendants forever. The covenant promise was passed on to Isaac, the promised son, and then to Jacob, who became Israel.
  3. This land covenant does not include the descendants of Ishmael. God has a beautiful but separate destiny for those descendants. Faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, will graft them into the nation of Israel, but that will not change the appropriation of the land covenant.
  4. Though God has disciplined the Jews by scattering them among the nations, He has not taken back the land promised to them. He is regathering them and bringing them back to the land. This fulfillment of covenant will vindicate His name and reveal Him to many nations.

Father, although the history of this land called Israel is complicated, Your promises are not. For Your glory, You are regathering Your people to the land You promised them, and You are planting them there, never again to be uprooted. You are promising to deal with their enemies. You are also promising that anyone from among the nations who cleaves to You and Your people will be welcome in Your land, as a part of Your Bride. Help us, Your intercessors, to articulate clearly all that Your Word says about the land of Israel. In Yeshua’s name we pray, amen.

Does this help you understand the right of Israel to the land? Perhaps you might share with someone who is uncertain about what the Bible teaches.

Lori Meed is a leader on IFA’s Headline Prayer Live and an IFA contributing writer. In 2004, God moved her family from Canada to the U.S., imparting to them His heart for this country and for revival. Having walked out her own journey of freedom after being radically born again in 1992, Lori has a heart to see others set free to walk fully in their destiny. She is also passionate about teaching on aliyah (“going up,” the return of the Jews to the land of Israel), the feasts of the Lord, and the rich connections of the gentile churches to Israel.



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May 3, 2024

Israeli Genetic researchers Dr. Ariella Oppenheim (2001) and Dr. Eran Elhaik (2012) stated modern Israelis are not Jews, but Khazars converted to Judaism in the 8th century.

Writing for the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” in 2012, Ofer Aderet Wrote:

“The Khazars converted to Judaism in the eighth century and their descendants are the European or Ashkenazi Jews who live today in Israel in the diaspora. The commonly accepted narrative consider the Jews to be descended from the residents of the kingdom of Judah, who were exiled and returned to their native land the modern day state of Israel only after thousands of years of exile. In contrast, this new study (Dr. Elhaik’s published research in 2012) supports the theory that the Jews are descendants from different peoples who converted to Judaism, the dominant element of the genetic makeup is Khazar.”

May 2, 2024

thank you Lorie for the detailed, informative article! Thank you Jesus for these details you had writian for our learning. Your sovereign choice to your people for the land of Isreal and the promises will br complete in your timeing..We bless the nation of Isreal and and trust you Lord as we see them becoming to pass..Shalom..

Mary Beth
May 2, 2024

Excellent article, Lori – isn’t it exciting to see these ancient prophecies and promises coming to pass in our time. He who guards Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps! Psa 12
LORD, we acknowledge Your sovereign choice of Israel to be Your land, and Your people. We are thankful You are a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. We bless Israel, and are excited to see how You will show Yourself strong on her behalf – even as You woo her to come to her Messiah, Yeshua.

May 2, 2024

Thank you Jesus for this excellent lesson. Let Christians in this generation be used by You Lord, to heal many wounded Jewish people with love for them inspired and instilled by the truth of Your Word, handled so very well and reasoned.
Blessings on you Lori, for excellent teaching of a widely misunderstood truth, even after 2000 or so years….may this be the summer of Light and Life, from our Prince of Peace, Shalom Shalom!

May 2, 2024

Genesis 12
Leviticus 25:23!

Sally Bartnett
May 2, 2024

Thank you for sharing your With us to know Gods will and Word that We may tell others and share Gods Scripture. Shalom

Michelle Jackson
May 2, 2024

In a future article, could you please share more recent history? I.e., 20th and 21st century events regarding the nation of Israel. I do not trust most news outlets these days.

    May 2, 2024

    Read the TaNaK commonly known as the Old Testament🕊

      May 2, 2024

      I recommend this book by Derek Prince. It made things much clearer for me regarding the Biblical historical prophecies for Israel and God’s covenant with her.
      “The Key To The Middle East”

    May 2, 2024

    Michelle, great question!
    The Lord had me start doing some digging on the modern history, in the late 1800’s it started in earnest.
    Pretty much the whole world was against Israel’s birth! That snake was trying hard to ‘abort’ modern Israel even then…
    The arabs thought it would be easy, every war they have started! Found quotes…so sorry I didn’t right down all sources. Actually found some on Twitter, which lead me to google searches of old documents, newspapers, etc.
    Let me encourage you to ask Poppa G-d to lead you in a search of history, HE is a fun, great tour guide❣️

Bonita Harland
May 2, 2024

I have come to live in the Promised Land knowing that God has called all watchmen to be on the walls for His people, praying day and night. Deliver Your people, Lord, from the hands of their enemies. Yes, this article made very clear that the land belongs 1st to God and then to Isaac’s people. Thank you.

Jenn OLeary
May 1, 2024

Extremely well written, Lori. Thank you for penning His heart and His land.

May 1, 2024

This is an awesome article – I LOVE IT!!! KP

    Lori Meed
    May 1, 2024

    Thank you Kim. Coming from you especially, this means a lot to me.

Janet Wereski
May 1, 2024

Wonderful article! Very informative and helpful.

Jessica Renshaw
May 1, 2024

Lori, this article covers the subject magnificently., although there is much more you could have shared. I especially appreciate your recognition that the Land of Israel is GOD’s Land to give to whomever He chooses and He chose to give it to Abraham’s descendants through Isaac. It is even CALLED Israel throughout the Old Testament. Emperor Hadrian changed the name arbitrarily to Palestine, although, as I understand it, there was never any such country, no kings of Palestine, no Palestinian history or artifacts or currency or culture.

    Lori Meed
    May 1, 2024

    Thank you Jessica!Part 2 tomorrow! Writing short and sweet so that ;newbies’ or those wanting to defend her rights have some ‘talking points!

April 30, 2024

Very informative article, Lori. Thank you so much!


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