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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 7 The Future of the Land and the Earth in the Books of the Prophets (Hetty Lalleman)

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Hetty Lalleman

Chapter 7 The Future of the Land and the Earth in the Books of the Prophets

The books of Israel’s prophets make clear that possession of the land is dependent on Israel’s obedience or disobedience to the laws given in the Torah. The writing prophets announce the loss of the land because of idolatry and transgression of the social laws. Throughout the Babylonian exile, however, there are messages of hope which include a return to the land. The prophets also proclaim a peaceful future for the whole earth with Jerusalem as its center.

1. Introduction

When we consider the future of the land and the earth in the books of the (writing) prophets we must do so against the background of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. The writing prophets1 founded their message on the Torah: there God is presented as the Creator of the whole earth; He is the God of Israel in its beginnings and during its developing history. In the Torah God gives his rules and commandments, including many laws concerning the land.

Gen 1–11 makes clear that the whole earth belongs to God; He is its Maker and Creator. All the nations derive from the first human beings; all the earth is God’s earth.

After the dispersion of the people who built a tower in Babel, God starts afresh with one individual, whose name He...

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