Maps - Early History of Israel
The land promised for an everlasting inheritance to Abraham and his seed, and the scene of the principal events recorded in Scripture, has been known by the following names:
- The Land Of Canaan; from Canaan, the youngest son of Ham, among whose eleven sons the country was divided. This name had reference only to that portion of land which lay between the Jordan on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the west.
- The Promised Land; because solemnly promised to the posterity of the patriarchs for an everlasting inheritance.
- The Lord's Land, or The Land Of God; because, in a peculiar sense, this land belonged to Jehovah. He was the sovereign; and, until the Israelites resolved to be as the surrounding nations, God himself was their king. (1 Sam. xiL 12.) This land was given to the Israelites by the Lord; and, as an acknowledgment of His sovereignty, they were commanded to bring "the first of the first-fruits of the land unto the house of the Lord their God."
- The Land Op The Hebrews; as the possession of the descendants of Abraham. To Abraham and his posterity was given the name of Hebrews (passers over), because Abraham had dwelt on the other side of the Euphrates, and had passed over it on his journey to the land of Canaan.
- The Land Of Israel; from the posterity of Jacob, who is also called Israel.
- The Land Of Judah. This name had reference, originally, to that division of the country belonging to the tribe of Judah, but was afterwards applied to the kingdom formed by the tribes of Benjamin and Judah. When the remnant of the two tribes returned from captivity, that of Judali was so pre-eminent, that the name, Land of Judah or Judea, was by degrees extended to the whole country.
- The Holy Land. This name does not seem to have been used until the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity. It was so called because it was the land chosen by God to be the inheritance of His chosen people, and the place where He was to be worshipped. This name is used in a higher sense by Christians, because this land was the scene of the incarnation, miracles, and sufferings of our Blessed Redeemer.
- Palestine; so called from the Philistines, who obtained possession of a large tract of land in the south-west part of the country, along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is more generally known by this than by any of its other names. It is also sometimes called Syria-Palestina, because it formed a part of the kingdom of Syria.
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