Genesis 15:18 – Will Israel Once Again Possess the Promised Land?

By Wayne Jackson

In Genesis 15, Jehovah made a promise to Abraham. He declared that the patriarch’s seed would someday possess the territory between “the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (v. 18). Has the promise been fulfilled? Premillennialists contend that it has not.

Of this passage, Allan Ross, of the Dallas Theological Seminary, writes:

“Israel has never possessed this land in its entirety, but she will when Christ returns to reign as Messiah” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, I, p. 56).

The foregoing statement stands in bold contrast to the plain testimony of the Bible itself. During the reign of Solomon, the kingdom of Israel did extend from the river of Egypt (el-Arish, not the Nile) to the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia. Note the testimony of 1 Kings 4:21.

“And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River [Euphrates] unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought tribute, and served Solomon all the days of his life” (cf. 2 Chronicles 9:26).

Further, the psalmist, in describing the same historical circumstance, wrote:

“It [the nation of Israel] sent out its branches unto the sea, and its shoots unto the River” (Psalm 80:11).

Thus, in the margin of your Bible, beside Genesis 15:18, write: See 1 Kings 4:21; 2 Chronicles 9:26; Psalm 80:11.

There is no land promise awaiting the Jewish people in the future. The Hebrew people lost their deed to material territory as a result of their spiritual rebellion, which was consummated by their murder of the Messiah. (see Joshua 23:15-16).

The only hope now for those of Jewish background is in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17).

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.