Bible Christianity

The Myth of the ‘Promised Land’.

Written by Andy

In May 1948, Rabbi Joseph Gedaliah Klausner, said at the American Jewish Congress:

“… I am convinced that Jews must be forced to migrate to Palestine. It is not a new program. It was used before, and most recently … The first step in such a program is the adoption of the principle that it is the conviction of the world Jewish community that these people must go to Palestine. To effect this program, it becomes necessary for the Jewish community… to make them [displaced persons] as uncomfortable as possible…”

He implies that, if they live in Iraq, then they plant bombs in Iraq so the local Jewish community have fear and move to Palestine.

When you hear about the Promised Land of the Bible, what comes to mind? Pastor Steve Wiens says we often miss out on the truth about what it means to be in the Promised Land:

“The myth is that we get to the Promised Land and it’s this place flowing with milk and honey. In today’s language, it would be retirement, we made it, and there won’t be any more problems.”

When the Israelites first entered the Promised Land, God told Joshua to be “strong and courageous.” Why did God need to tell Joshua and the Israelites to be strong and courageous if they were just going to eat honey and drink milk all day?

Here is an extract from Wikipedia biased in favour of Jewish hegemony:

The concept of the Promised Land is based on verses in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament), in which God speaks to Abraham.

The promises given to Abraham happened prior to the birth of Isaac and were given to all his offspring signified through the rite of circumcision. Johann Friedrich Karl Keil is less clear, as he states that the covenant is through Isaac, but notes that Ishmael‘s descendants have held much of that land through time.[1]

Mainstream Jewish tradition regards the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as having been given to all Jews, including proselytes and in turn their descendants.[2]

The promise that is the basis of the term is contained in several verses of Genesis in the Torah. In Genesis 12:1 it is said: The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

and in Genesis 12:7:The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land.”

and again in Genesis 15:18–21:

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates – the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

The verse is said to describe what are known as “borders of the Land” (Gevulot Ha-aretz).[3]

The promise was confirmed to Jacob at Genesis 28:13, though the borders are still vague and is in terms of “the land on which you are lying”. Other geographical borders are given in Exodus 23:31 which describes borders as marked by the Red Sea, the “Sea of the Philistines” i.e. the Mediterranean, and the “River,” (the Euphrates).

He later confirms the promise to Abraham’s son Isaac (Genesis 26:3), and then to Isaac’s son Jacob (Genesis 28:13), who is later renamed “Israel” (Genesis 32:28). The Book of Exodus describes the Promised Land in terms of the territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates river (Exodus 23:31). The Israelites conquered and occupied a smaller area of former Canaanite land and land east of the Jordan River after Moses led the Exodus out of Egypt (Numbers 34:1–12), and the Book of Deuteronomy presents this occupation as God’s fulfillment of the promise (Deuteronomy 1:8). Moses anticipated that God might subsequently give the Israelites land reflecting the boundaries of God’s original promise – if they were obedient to the covenant (Deuteronomy 19:8–9).

Giving away the land of other people does not match the philosophy of Jesus. What would we think if we were to be dispossessed by a group of foreigners who claimed that their god said it was all ok to drive us from our houses? We can’t alter history but we can make sure that this does not occur again.

The whole story is subject to doubt. The story of Moses, the Exodus, desert sojourn and entry into the Promised Land is shown to be myth. D.M. Murdock writes:

“No archaeological traces can be attributed to the early Israelites in Canaan before the early Iron Age (after 1200 B.C.E.), and there is no evidence of a distinct population of early Israelites in Egypt. The area west of the Jordan River reveals an archaeological picture quite at odds with the biblical accounts of the Israelite journey to the Promised Land, and there is little to no evidence of the Conquest, as it is described in the book of Joshua, in the archaeological record of the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.E.) Canaan.”

Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver by D.M. Murdock

The Promised Land is a beautiful dream to brighten those that are living drab lives. Rivers flow with clean water with plentiful fish. Fruit hangs within reach on trees. The land is good for farming. The weather is perfect. A good life is possible with a moderate amount of hard work. Despair and hard times are little more than memories of past times. The promise of the Promised Land is a driving force for the citizens. They may face hardships in their attempts to reach this promised land. On arrival, they will be happy for evermore. Rivers of milk and honey is a euphamism.

David Noble [99] argues in his book that in ancient times humanity had an understanding that our lives take place wholly in the earthly realm. Immortality became an attractive idea, but an ultimately destructive illusion. With the arrival of Judaism came the concept of exile — the belief that real life would come with a return to the promised land at some future day. This idea also occurs in Christianity in the form of heaven.

David Noble dismisses Marxism as another version of the promised land myth. Marxism substitutes a false socialist paradise for the capitalist paradise. Noble talks of Bakunin and Nietzsche, whom he says suggest a third way: a modern return to the wisdom of Gilgamesh, acknowledging that life is all about the here-and-now. We live for now, not some dream of paradise in the future.

Noble suggests that the current anti-globalization movement as the West’s best way to defeat the distortions of the promised land myth.


[99] Beyond the Promised Land: The Movement and the Myth by David F. Noble

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