Today in the news we hear from the Israel side and Palestine side why Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel or Palestine. Or that Palestine is being discriminated or Israel is being discriminated. This is a major political and religious issue that has been going on for sometime.

I have studied this topic deeply like many and have come to the conclusion that Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel, not Palestine. The Torah, Book of Jasher, and the Bible gives historical accounts and also supports Israel’s rightfully claim (Even Archeological Evidence). The foundation of this support begins with the (ברית בין הבתרים) covenant between Abraham and God.

The covenant that was made between God and Abraham came with a statute for Abraham and his descendants to follow from God. In Genesis chapter 17 we read the first clear condition of the covenant between God and Abram for his descendants other than Abraham obedience to God. Which is found in Genesis chapter 12:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.
– Genesis 17:1-2

In the beginning of Chapter 17 introduces the first condition or what we would call today the first term of an agreement which is that Abram and his descendants must walk faithfully and blameless before God in order for the covenant to become into effect. This meant Abraham and his descendants had certain obligations which Genesis 17 states. More obligations added down the road with Abraham and his descendants. This covenant included Ishmael and Isaac and for their descendants.

Before Ishmael or Issac came into the picture God made a promise to Abraham and told him that he and Sarah will have a son. By the time Abraham was 85 and Sarah 75, and they had been married for 60 years without having children. Sarah selflessly decided to give her maidservant Hagar to Abraham so he could have children with her. Sarah was very concerned that her husband will not have an heir. This is how Ishmael came to be.

Abraham considered Yishma’el (Ishmael) as his first born. According to the Book of Jasher it records that Abraham reached out to his son Ishmael and was concerned for his well being as a father after he was sent away. There was reconciliation between father and son. Ishmael and his children ended up later dweling with Abraham many days until his death. So the covenant promise also belongs to Ishmael as long as he and his descendants must walk faithfully and blameless before God. That covenant is tied to the promise land. In which also the portion Abraham purchased and descendants claimed. Ishmael and his sons were part of Israel for a time. Until Ishmael descendants betrayed their kin and left the ways of God. The Torah, ten commandments, and the scriptures are all tied to the covenant.

I believe things would have been different between Ishmael and Issac descendants if it were not for the situation between Sarah and Hagar which began the seed of jealousy and hate that caused problems and still till this day. That jealousy between his mother and Sarah caused Ishmael to corrupt him. When he was about 15, he brought idols into his tent and began worshiping them, mimicking the Canaanite neighbors.

Sarah became aware of Ishmael’s ways and demanded that Abraham send away Ishmael, and Hagar who become arrogant toward her. Abraham felt conflicted about sending away Ishmael, until God intervened and commanded him to listen to his wife Sarah. So Abraham gave Hagar and Ishmael some food and a flask of water and sent them on their way.

Also down the road Ishmael repented and also made up with his brother Isaac, and when it came time to bury their father Abraham, Ishmael honored his brother by letting Isaac go first. This being recorded means that Ishmael recognized that God had chosen Issac to take their father mantle. As we read in the scriptures God usually tests and weights the hearts of man.

Origin of Palestine

The word Palestine derives from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the Philistines, who in the 12th century B.C occupied a small pocket of land on the southern coast, between modern Tel Aviv–Yafo and Gaza.

The Philistines were sea peoples, who were a confederation of tribes that, according to Egyptian and other historical sources, appears to have wreaked havoc across the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Late Bronze Age in the 13th century and early 12th century B.C. Coming from the mainland Greece, Crete, or Sardinia gathered from DNA evidence.

They were an advance technological society. The Philistines were masters at iron technology in the region compared to their surrounding neighbors. Until they were wiped out. Modern day people who call themselves Palestinians are not the original Palestinians based on DNA evidence, but most of them are the sons of Ishmael.

The Palestine name was reintroduced by the Roman Empire due to the continuous rebellion that was going on.During the time of the Romans Palestine people were not in the map. Emperor Hadrian changed the provincial administrative name of Judaea to Palestine. The Romans had enough. Henceforth up till 1948 A.D the region was mainly known as Palestine. Therefore began the Balfour Declaration and the re-establishment of Israel.

Israel Right to Claim Because of the Covenant

From Abraham, Issac, Jacob….. and the 12 tribes of Israel. They are the people who have retained their identity as a nation and most importantly their heritage and honored the laws of God since the time of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. There had been times that Israel has rebelled against God. Yet, there are many in this day continue to honor the first condition of the covenant and the promise that God gave Abraham which is to walk before Him (God) faithfully and be blameless. To honor his laws.

Without God covenant to Abraham being honored and followed no son of Abraham has any right to the land promised by God. This condition to walk before Me (God) faithfully and be blameless is not the only condition that must be followed they are other conditions. The Torah goes more into detail. Where God added more to Issac and Jacob to the covenant.

In the past because of Israel’s unfaithfulness, according to scriptures God removed Israel from the promised land and gave them to their enemies for not honoring the covenant. Just as Ishmael sons were removed because they betrayed their kin and went to their own thing and decided not to honor God’s covenant.

On May 14, 1948 A.D the day that Israel became a nation again. It upset very much the sons of Ishmael. This is why the modern Palestinian exists today because they set it up. Because many of them believe they are the rightful heirs to the land and the covenant.

According to the scripture they can reclaim the promise that was given to Abraham, but only if they acknowledge and honor the covenant. This will take minimum between two to three generations until they begin seeing the fruit and follow the ways dictated in the scriptures given by God. There are sons of Ishmael who have recognized the ways of God and their generations after them have been blessed or will be blessed if they recognize the covenant and walk in the ways of God. The heritage and blessings of the promise grow more as each generation passes.

One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.
Exodus 12:49

According the the scriptures Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel as long as they honor the covenant and the commandments given by God to them. The sons of Ishmael can also partake in the blessings only if they honor the covenant and the commandments given by God to Israel.

Summary

This post I wrote is a summary of a high level overview that I could write a book about. I just hit the high points to why I believe that Jerusalem rightfully belongs to Israel according to scripture, archeological evidence,  and heritage. I did not even touch upon in more detail the land claim of Jerusalem and other land areas.

And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.
Exodus 18:20

I believe this dispute between the Palestine State and Israel can only be solved in talks only if the covenant is brought to the negotiating table. It must also be recognized by both sides that Ishmael sons were removed because they betrayed their kin (Issac sons) and went to their own thing and decided not to honor God’s covenant. They missed out.

So what God gave to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob and their descendants Israel.  Are the the statutes and the laws that must be honored to live in the promise land and to receive the blessings of God.