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The Earth and the Land

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

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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 6 The Land of Israel during Israel’s Monarchy According to the Books of Samuel and Kings (Herbert H. Klement)

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Herbert H. Klement

Chapter 6 The Land of Israel during Israel’s Monarchy According to the Books of Samuel and Kings

The topic of the Land of Israel oscillates in the Books of Samuel and Kings between two extremes. Samuel delineates the maximum extent of the territory of the Davidic empire while Kings relates how the land is totally forfeited and the population deported to Mesopotamia. In order to make sense of this theologically, it is necessary to consider the continuous story of the Enneateuch (Genesis-Kings), both its narrative context but more important its theological context with the evaluation it furnishes.

1. The narrative and conceptual Context

1.1 The narrative context

The period of Israel’s political monarchy ended with the complete loss of the land, the inhabitants were either deported to Mesopotamia or fled to Egypt. The people were no longer able to live in the land of promise, and Israel had to be reconstituted in exile.

The forfeit of the land concludes a dramatic story told in the Enneateuch from Genesis to 2 Kings beginning with the promise of a homeland to Abraham. The land remains the focus of hope in the patriarchal narratives until the great change of fortunes when the people were freed from subjection and slavery in Egypt. The land of Canaan promised to the fathers was the goal of the Exodus and the wanderings in the wilderness. The conquest of the...

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