Project Genesis

The Land of Israel

Borders of Israel

Question: Why does the Torah provide two different accounts of the borders that are to define Israel; each border fairly different than the other? (Shemos 23:31 and Bamidbar 34:2)

Answer: Thanks for asking this question. This question is a great one because there does seem to be a contradiction. When the verses are read more carefully though, the resolution is clear. The passage in Bamidbar is speaking of the land when Yehoshua conquers it and is consistent until the time of the first Temple period. In the book of Shemos (and Genesis 15:18 & Deuteronomy 1:7) it is speaking of the land of Israel in the days of the Messiah. This is according to a commentator called the Tevuos HaAretz.

So, The biblical land of Israel that we have rights to now is consistent with the delineation in Bamidbar 34:2. However, we will move further when the time is right. (G-d willing, it should be soon).

Be Well,
Rabbi Litt

1 Follow-up »

  1. Is there a place in the Tanach where the land of Israel is called Israel? In other words, does the name “Israel” appear in reference to the country, rather than Jacob, or Bnai Israel?

    Yes – Samuel I 13:19, Ezekiel 40:2.

    Comment by ATR — August 8, 2006 @ 11:31 pm

We respond to every follow-up question submitted, but only publish selected ones. In order to be considered for publication, questions must be on-topic, polite, and address ideas rather than personalities.


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