Why is it called the Promised Land?

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Why is the area the children of Israel were eventually led to, after being freed from bondage, referred to as the Promised Land? God mentioned this area when he told Moses, through a burning bush, what he would accomplish through him (Exodus 3:7 - 8).

God, while the children of Israel were still in Egypt, referred to the territory they would inherit when he stated, "And it shall be when you have come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as He has promised that you shall keep this service (the Passover - Exodus 12:25).

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Several times Moses referenced promises that involved the Israelites.

Listen to them (God's laws, commandments and judgments) . . . and you will become a mighty nation and live in that rich and fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of our ancestors, has promised (Deuteronomy 6:3).

And you shall engrave upon them all the words of this law when you have passed over so that you may go in to the land . . . as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you (Deuteronomy 27:3, see also 9:23, 26 - 28).

The book of Genesis informs us the idea of a guaranteed inheritance originated with God making a covenant with the patriarch Abraham. He promised the father of the faithful, "I will give to you and to your descendants this land in which you are now a foreigner. The whole land of Canaan will belong to your descendants forever" (Genesis 17:8).

God told Abraham that he and his descendants would be given the area known as Canaan. Because of Abraham's faith and obedience, he and his children would be given a place to live not just as a gift, but as an inheritance! The New Testament reaffirms this promise made by the Eternal (see Hebrews 11:8 - 9).


A place of milk and honey

God told the Israelites that he would not only release them from the bondage and slavery of the Egyptians, but that he would also lead them to a Promised Land that was "flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:17).

The Promised Land was a place of milk because of the excellent grazing it offered animals, especially to those who gave milk. It was a place of honey because the fertility and the abundance of plants in the area brought with it bees. In fact, the land Israel inherited was so fertile that it produced gigantic food!

And they (the spies sent by Moses to scout the area they were to possess) came to the valley of Eshcol (in the Promised Land) and cut from there a branch with one cluster of grapes. And they carried it between two men upon a staff, and some of the pomegranates and of the figs (Numbers 13:23).

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