Biblical Boundaries of the Land of Israel

Genesis 15:18, 17:8

 

This map features the biblical boundaries of the Land of Israel as described in Genesis 15:18 and Genesis 17:8.

  1. Dan is described in the Bible as the northernmost city of the Kingdom of Israel
  2. Be’er Sheva is described in the Bible as the southernmost city settled by the Israelites. Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov all spent time in Be’er Sheva (see map Journey of the Forefathers – Key Places).
  3. The Nile River is Egypt’s primary source of water. At the beginning of the Israelite’s slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh commanded that all baby boys be thrown into the Nile (Exodus 1:22), and baby Moshe was placed in the Nile (Exodus 2:3) and drawn from the Nile (Exodus 2:5) when he could no longer be hidden from the Egyptians.  The first two plagues the God brought upon the Egyptians also began in the Nile (Exodus 7:14-24, Exodus 7:26-8:11).
  4. The Euphrates River is the longest river of Western Asia, and is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia. According to the Bible, the Euphrates was one of four rivers whose source was a river flowing from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:14).

There are two different phrases often used to describe the biblical boundaries of the Land of Israel:

  1. From Dan (1) to Be’er Sheva (2)
  2. From the Nile (3) to the Euphrates (4)

The expression from Dan to Be’er Sheva appears nine times in the Bible (Judges 20:1, I Samuel 3:20, II Samuel 3:10, II Samuel 17:11, II Samuel 24:2, II Samuel 24:15, I Kings 5:5, I Chronicles 21:2, II Chronicles 30:5), and is used to define the area of the Israelite settlement in the Land of Israel (highlighted in yellow on the map).  These borders reflect the promise that God made to Avraham in Genesis 17:8 “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.”  Though these are the basic borders of the Land of Israel, it is possible to expand beyond these borders as seen, for example, in Numbers 32.

 

The phrase “from the Nile to the Euphrates” includes a much bigger area than Dan to Be’er Sheva (highlighted in pink on the map).  This phrase has its source in the Covenant of the Parts in which God promises Avraham “’Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18).  These two rivers mark the limits of potential expansion of the original borders of the Land of Israel.  In addition, Rabbi Menachem Leibtag explains that the Nile and the Euphrates represent the two centers of ancient civilization, Egypt and Mesopotamia.  By saying that the land in between these two bodies of water is set aside for the Children of Israel, God is implying that it is Israel’s destiny to become a blessing to all mankind by declaring His name “at the crossroads of the two great centers of civilization.”

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Comments ( 22 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Pilla Gurumurty Patrudu

    Lord Shiva, the God of Gods, the only true God, gave all his empire to me, which includes the whole of planet earth, but not limited to it, and blessed me as the King/Prince of his empire.

    The whole of Israel lies within my empire, as my God did not mention of any exclusions.

    The blessing of Jehova evaporated, along with Jehova. Why?

    Because the children of Israel placed Jehova their god as a pawn in gamble.

    Ask those fools about the truth, and you will understand why Israel and jehova are lost forever.

    Read Bible, which tells that 90 percent of the children of Israel would be put to death.

    • David L Rosenthal

      I predict you will suffer tremendous disappointment.

    • Robert dwight smith

      Shiva is a figment of your imagination. The name of the Lord is JJesus You will know the truth someday. And. hang your head in shame for believing a lie and rejecting the truth think about it .

    • RVG

      Pilla there's so much anger and hate in your post. Since you have read the Bible, read this verse: John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      Whether you like it, God Almighty chose the Jews see Deuteronomy 14:2 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
      May God give you peace.

    • Dale Williams

      Shiva is a pantheistic god. "god is the universe and the universe is god". The problem is that Einstein mathematically proved that the Universe had a beginning from a point of singularity. Therefore if there is a god he must be a causal agent outside of our time space continuum. Consequently Shiva can't be a real god. For if we are to accept pantheism it would be tantamount to saying I am my own father. Logically impossible. Einstein proved that the universe consists of time space and matter. Look at how his formula fits into Genesis 1." In the beginning (of time) God created the heavens (space) and the earth( matter)." God right from Genesis 1 establishes that he is God and there is no other. Then thousands of years later Einstein mathematically proved the veracity of this verse. This irritated Einstein to no end because he was not a particularly religious man yet he realized the implications of his formula. In the end he acknowledged some form of deism although he could not bring himself to embrace the Judeo-Christian God. Praise God for only He is worthy of our Praise.

  • Kitty Corbett

    The Nile river is in Egypt and is NOT the "River of Egypt" which defines one part of the promised land border. Otherwise the Israelites would have already been in the Promised Land before the Exodus. No, they crossed the Sea of Reeds, where the Suez Canal is today. No part of the Sinai Peninsula was promised to the Israelites; that remains part of Egypt.

    • Jon

      While they may have been in part of the promised land, they were not to be there yet.
      When Jesus the messiah returns to them they will get all the land promised, they have yet to reach the Great river Euphrates also.

  • Jen

    The entire land of Israel including that of Palestine, belong to Israel?

    • Aurel

      Yes

  • Michael Leavitt

    God is clear in his further explanations to Abraham that the only recipients of the covenant would come through Isaac and then through Jacob. That is why Ishmael was sent away and why the Bible says, "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated." The Edomites (descendants of Esau) were not meant to be part of the promised land and were later conquered by David.
    I believe we will see the fulfillment of this covenant in the millennial kingdom when Christ returns. We will see Christ establish his throne over the entire world in Israel and David will sit on the throne of Israel in Jerusalem.

    • Fellow

      KING JESUS will sit in His throne, not David. This will fulfill the prophecy "they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

      David is currently in heaven worshiping God the Father. "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

  • Margaret

    How can anyone not know this if they read the Tanakh? Even if they aren’t Jewish!
    When I think about the refugees of Jordan living in Gaza, I think.. But wait! Jordan was a part of Israel 🤔 How come no one talks about that?
    And when people claim Abraham was born in Iran 🤔 Maybe his birth place wasn’t Persia way back then 🤔 Because G-d set the Jewish people apart from this world! Starting with Abraham who G-d set apart from His people! And where did G-d send Abraham? To Canaan… Canaan was a descendant of Israel..
    G-d has promised to give Israel back to His people! He asked His people to have patients! And boy has it been 2000 yrs since they lost their land! But G-d never lies!
    Can it happen in our life time? We can only have faith.. Only? Faith is the best thing to own.. Faith and wisdom!
    May G-d bless ALL Jewish people xx And May He keep them safe..

    • Robert heslop

      Love it 🙂

  • Nathan

    From the above I conclude that greater Israel has been promised to the children of Abraham. The children of Abraham are Isaac and Ishmael. The children of Israel are descendants of Isaac's son Jacob (later renamed Israel by G-d). The Arab world is commonly understood to be descendants of Ishmael.

    1) Does this mean that greater Israel is to be shared by the descendants of Abraham (Isaac & Ishmael)? If this is true, modern day Israel has been on the right track, always attempting to sit side by side with the Arabs (more specifically, Palestinians) from even before Israel's independence in 1948. However, Palestinians have been delinquent in their attempt at forming a nation alongside Israel, as history accounts.

    2) Who will be Israel's partner in keeping greater Israel at peace with stability, since Palestinians have not been able to cooperate peacefully with Israel and seam to have lost their chance at forming a nation with land and borders. Are Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia or Iraq going to cooperate in any way in forming a stable nation with land in greater Israel?

    3) How do you believe history will unfold?

    • Greg

      I believe it begins to unfold before us know….with the rise of Iran and the 'children of Ishmael' beginning to align with the children of Israel/Jacob…. it only begin….much remains to be done, more is unseen, all by faith.
      From the Covenants with Moses, Davis and the new (with Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34)….all in good time….with faith.

    • Ed Barnes

      i like a Bigger Israel for Israels safety—i am Not so sure the jihadis can be trusted to be peaceful so i think a bigger israel is Better

      • Ed Barnes

        i like a Bigger Israel for Israels safety—i am Not so sure the jihadis can be trusted to be peaceful so i think a bigger israel is Better— besides i think more jews will be coming to Israel in the future

  • Russell

    See Deuteronomy 9: 1-6. God is Holy. Let us humble ourselves that we may hear His voice. Let us approach the Holy Word of God seeking to understand it accurately and not with a proud heart. His Word is alive and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing of the soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

  • Dirk

    Jerusalem Jerusalem
    Do not be afraid, I'm the Lord your God
    I am not asleep, I watch over you
    City of God, apple of Mine eye.

    Jerusalem Jerusalem
    I want to be with you, the Day of God is near
    Fire from on high, all the nations cry their hearts are full of fear
    It's Me the Lord your God, I've come to dry your tears
    And lift you up on high, apple of Mine eye.

    • Margaret

      AMEN AND AMEN

  • Jose

    Yes,what a blessing will be to see the God of Israel fulfilled His promise he gave to Abraham and his descendants.

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