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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 13 The Land and the Zionist State of Israel (Kees de Vreugd)

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Kees de Vreugd

Chapter 13 The Land and the Zionist State of Israel

This article gives an outline of views that preceded the rise of political Zionism, emphasizing the choice for the land of Israel, as well as the traditional views of the land in the Talmud. Then follows a short introduction to Christian support for the State of Israel and a discussion of related theological questions. It concludes with an evaluation.

1. Zionism, overview of its origins

1.1 Introduction

In 1897, the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, convened by Theodor Herzl, proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in their own country1. Herzl had written Der Judenstaat (the Jewish state)2, in which he describes an independent state for the Jews as the solution to the Jewish Question. After the Zionist Congress, he wrote in his diary3: “Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word - which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly - it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today l would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly in fifty years, everyone will perceive it.” On May 14th, 1948, David Ben Gurion on behalf of the Jewish People’s Council declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel”. No less than “the realization of...

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