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The Earth and the Land

Studies about the Value of the Land of Israel in the Old Testament and Afterwards


Edited By Hendrik J. Koorevaar and Mart-Jan Paul

In the Bible, the land of Israel is more than a piece of ground. It is a theological symbol, because it was an essential part of Israel’s practice of its relationship with God. The land is connected to a lifestyle and to the carrying out of religious acts, like the sacrifices and the celebrations. Aspects of this are the use of the land and the enactment of ecological and humanitarian obligations. In this volume, we concentrate on the religious viewpoints, especially how the promised land can be seen from the Old and New Testament perspective. Before practical conclusions are drawn, it is important to have a good overview of the subject in the entire Bible. The chosen approach is historic-canonical and implies that we use the order of Bible books from the Hebrew canon. Two additional chapters show the Jewish and Islamic viewpoints.

This book has received the Franz Delitzsch Award 2018.

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Chapter 2 The Land in the Book of Genesis (Hendrik Koorevaar)


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Hendrik Koorevaar1

Chapter 2 The Land in the Book of Genesis

The Earth and the Land are investigated in the primal history and in the history of the covenant fathers. Subsequently, in relation to this the following will be researched: the relation between the garden of Eden, the land of Canaan and the entire earth; creation, election and eco-righteousness; the taking-up of Enoch; and the value of the funeral in the land of Canaan.

1. Methods and Approach

In the previous chapter, we looked at the subject of earth/land semantically, but there is more than semantics. What theological value does the subject have in Genesis? Methodically, we ensue the content line in Genesis from beginning to the end. This line is meant historically-chronologically, from Creation until the twelve tribal fathers of Israel. We don’t include the chronological line of presumed sources from the documentary hypothesis of the Pentateuch. This theory is in crisis.2 Furthermore, Genesis should be viewed as a separate book, and not a priori in coherency with the other books of the Pentateuch/Enneateuch.3

Neither do we examine the subject land according to possible cycles which have been proposed in the past, such as Creation, Paradise, Flood, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. These cycles overlap each other a few times, even for major parts.4 We adhere to the structure which arises from the toledot formulae. The author inserted these formulae for his structural theological goal. He...

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