View from Mount Nebo, Jordan, where Moses was granted a view of the promised land. Source: commons.wikimedia.org
In Genesis 12, God promised Abram:
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (2–3)
God also promised Abraham a particular piece of real estate. It would be from this land God would make good on his words in Genesis 12, to multiply Abraham’s offspring “as the stars of heaven” and bless all nations of the earth (Gen 26:4).
Here are 12 Bible passages that will help you explore the location of the promised land, when it was first promised in the Bible, to whom it was given and for how long, what piece of property was promised, and who ultimately owns the land.
Where in the Bible is the land first promised to Abraham?
Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”
To whom did God confirm his land covenant, in addition to Abraham?
And the Lord appeared to [Abraham] and said . . . “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring* I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.”
And [Jacob] dreamed . . . And behold, the Lord . . . said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring.”
Genesis 35:9, 11–12
God appeared to Jacob again . . . and God said to him, . . . “The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring.”
Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’”
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
Where is the promised land?
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
Exodus 23:31 (see also Numbers 34:1–12)
And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.
How long did God give the land to Abraham and his descendants?
All the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.
1 Chronicles 16:14–18
Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as your portion for an inheritance.”
I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.
Who owns the land, ultimately?
Leviticus 25:1–2, 23
The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them . . . The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine.”
*Emphasis is the author’s throughout.