Palestinian Covenant: What Is It?
What some call the Palestinian Covenant refers to an “agreement” God made with the Hebrew people as recorded in Deuteronomy 29 and 30:1-10. The covenant was a renewal or amendment to the covenant made previously with Moses (Deuteronomy 5:3). Regarding the earlier covenant, we see that it was made with Moses and chosen Hebrew representatives who were present at Mt. Sinai, but it applied to all of the people and their succeeding generations.
In the Palestinian Covenant, the Lord directed Moses to deliver these words (Deuteronomy 29:13-15): “…to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today.” When we analyze Deuteronomy 29 and 30, we can see several points of this amended covenant:
- The people will be dispersed as a consequence of their disobedience
- Their hearts will be circumcised
- There will be a full repentance of the nation in the future
- God will bring all the Jews back to the Promised Land of Israel
- He will restore the land and bring national prosperity
- God will put curses upon Israel’s enemies and they will be judged
- The land will belong to the Jews forever, unconditionally
Palestinian Covenant: The Promised Land
The Palestinian Covenant is also called the Land Covenant. This is due to the promise given in Deuteronomy 30:1-10. This part centers on the affirmation of the Promised Land given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for all coming generations.1 God tells the Hebrew nation that wherever they have been scattered, to obey with all their heart and soul: “Then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:3-5).
Why then is it called the Palestinian Covenant by some? The Bible does not say or recognize the label of Palestinian Covenant. It is the territory (and beyond)2 covering what is now established as the nation of Israel because of God’s specific promises to Abraham and his descendants through the line of Isaac and Jacob.3
Since Ishmael, the half-brother of Isaac, was not in line for this covenant, his descendants have been relentlessly fighting for the territory since. Ishmael (and his seed) was also to receive blessings,4 but they were not to possess the land. They were promised to become a great nation. Gradually, those who do not know the Word of God (and the history of the land) have fallen for the propaganda presented by the enemy of God and His people. Therefore, calling it Palestinian Covenant is a misnomer and by design.
This is at the root of all conflicts against the nation of Israel today. Anyone who is anti-God will do anything to corrupt the Covenant that God has made for the promised land of Israel. However, God is very adamant about the only nation on earth that He established for specific peoples. In fact, it is very dangerous to mess with the Jewish nation of Israel as God tells us in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the people on earth will be blessed through you.”
Palestinian Covenant: From History to Fulfillment
The promises of the so-called Palestinian Covenant are coming to full fruition. In May of 1948 the statehood of the Jewish Nation of Israel was officially declared. The displaced people began to return from all over the world as God said they would. Their Aliyah (immigration process) back to their homeland has continued through current times.
The Promised Land, from the times of Deuteronomy to 1948, has been under the control of several rulers but the day is coming soon when they will never again be divided as reaffirmed in Ezekiel 37:20-23. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says, ‘I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone, I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.’”
The king referred to in that verse is the coming Messiah to whom every knee will bow (Romans 14:11). Paul tells us in Romans 11:25-26, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’”
1 Numbers 23:19-20; Hebrews 6:17-18
2 God says he will expand their territories Exodus 34:24; Deuteronomy 12:20
3 Genesis 12:1-7, Genesis 17:1-11; Genesis 17:9; Genesis 48:3-4; Exodus 19:3-6
4 Genesis 21:18
For more information, see http://www.levitt.com/essays/palestine.html, by Thomas S. McCall, Th.D.
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