What About the Land?

Not giving heed to Jewish fables…that turn from the truth.
Titus 1:14

A Dispensational Dilemma: Did God Give Abraham
and Israel the Land He Promised Them?

Scofield: “It is important to see that the nation has never possessed the whole land.”

Scripture: “So Joshua took the whole land” (Joshua 11:23). “And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein” (Joshua 21:43-45).

The Palestinian Covenant gives the conditions under which Israel entered the land of promise. It is important to see that the nation has never as yet taken the land under the unconditional Abrahamic covenant, nor has it ever possessed the whole land. (Scofield Reference Bible, page 250; New Scofield Reference Bible, page 251)

With these bold words Mr. Scofield tries to lay the foundation for his Millennial scheme of a future national restoration of physical Jews to Palestine. He reasons as follows:

1. God never gave the whole land to Israel, so there must be a time in the future when He will give them the whole land.

2. God never gave the land to Israel under his so-called unconditional Abrahamic covenant, so there must be a time in the future when He will give it to them unconditionally.

3. Since the present age is the “parenthesis” of the Church, this future restoration must occur after the Rapture – even during a 1000-year reign of Christ in Jerusalem.


I. God promised the land to Abraham personally (Genesis 13:15, 17; 17:8).

II. God promised the land to Abraham’s seed (Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:18-21; 17:8; 26:1-5; 28:13-14).

III. Abraham never received even one foot of ground in Canaan as a gift from God (Acts 7:5); he even had to buy a burial place for Sarah (Genesis 23:1-20). He was a stranger in Canaan, and he lived the life of a nomad in tents (Hebrews 11:9).

IV. Abraham knew God intended heaven by the promise of the land (Hebrews 11:13). He saw the promise of heaven afar off; he was persuaded of it; he embraced this superior fulfillment; and he acknowledged that he was a stranger and pilgrim in Canaan. He set his affection on things above rather than on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-4); He saw the day of Jesus Christ and desired it (John 8:56).

V. Abraham didn’t want the physical land of Canaan (Hebrews 11:10, 14-16). He wanted heaven. Who would want a piece of inferior ground just to grow old and die? God promised him heaven and eternal life. He looked for a city with real foundations – built by God, not some temporal city of Canaan. He desired a far better country than Canaan: he desired a heavenly country and the heavenly Jerusalem – even Mount Zion, where his Friend God dwelt (Hebrews 12:22-23).

VI. God intended the promises to Abraham spiritually. Abraham understood them spiritually; he believed them spiritually; and he preferred the infinite superiority of heaven to the earthly country of Canaan. He walked by faith (II Corinthians 4:17 – 5:8). Did God keep His promise to Abraham by giving him heaven instead of Canaan? If I promise you $10 but give you $1,000,000 instead, did I keep my promise? Of course! God fulfilled His promise infinitely better with heaven.

VII. The promises made to Abraham and his Seed are truly fulfilled in Jesus Christ, for He is the true Seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16). This fact is extremely important and conclusive in any promises to Abraham. And the true heirs of the promises are those in Jesus Christ by faith – the children of Abraham by God’s definition (Galatians 3:7, 28-29). God’s promises are not fulfilled in the fleshly descendants of Abraham, who were never the children of God (Romans 9:6-8; Revelation 3:9).

VIII. Nevertheless, national Israel did indeed receive the whole land just as promised. Not a single aspect or dimensional compromise was made. They received everything ever promised (Joshua 11:23; 21:43-45; 23:14-15; I Kings 8:34, 56; Nehemiah 9:7-8, 22-25; Exodus 23:27-31; Numbers 34:1-15; Deut 11:22-25; Psalm 44:1-3; 105:43-45; 135:10-12; Acts 7:45; Joshua 2:24; jos 3:9-11; 22:4; 24:13; II Chronicles 6:25; Jeremiah 32:21-23).

IX. The true Jew is a regenerated person of any race (Rom 2:28-29; John 1:47). Christ united Jews and Gentiles into one body and kingdom by His blood (Eph 2:11-22; I Peter 2:4-10). The tabernacle of David has been rebuilt with Gentiles (Acts 15:13-18). No longer is there any difference between Jews and Gentiles (Gal 3:28; Col 3:11). Now saved Gentiles are as Isaac, the promised sons of heaven; and fleshly Jews are as Ishmael, the rejected sons of hell (Gal 4:21-31).

X. Mr. Scofield’s scheme of a future restoration of fleshly, national Israel to world preeminence is a Jewish fable and lie that Paul condemned (Titus 1:14). God took the kingdom from the Jews and gave it to the Gentiles (Matt 21:33-46), then He miserably destroyed the Jews for their wicked rejection and crucifixion of Christ (Matt 23:31-36; 24:1-35; Acts 2:40; I Thess 2:14-16). The reformed kingdom is here permanently for believing Jews and Gentiles (Heb 12:18-29), with Jesus Christ on His throne (Acts 2:33-36; Eph 1:20-23; Rev 2:27; 7, 21; 12:5).