From the river to the sea in the hebrew biblical text study and anaylsis

Unearthing "From the River to the Sea" in the Bible, delving into its spiritual and historical significance.

Holy Land in the Holy Text Podcast 
With Cynthia Hannah

Episode 7: Unearthing "From the River to the Sea" in the Bible, delving into its spiritual and historical significance.


I saw in the book of Deuteronomy, which is the last book of the Torah from the five books of Moses, and it’s Moses final speech before his death and he is giving over the final rules and instructions to the Israelites, before they are going to cross into the Land of Israel. And Moses gives over this poetic instruction manual for the Jewish people and what they need to do, but more importantly how they need to behave when they go into the holy and spiritually sensitive Land of Israel. 

It’s such a beautiful instruction guide, that these verses were chosen to become the written prayer scroll located inside that black tefillin box that Jewish men wear on top of their head, every day when praying in the morning and connecting to God. I highly suggest you read the entire chapter, but for brevity’s sake, I’m going to read the finals lines of this chapter,and it’s important for context,that  keep in mind that I’m quoting Moses giving over God’s instructions to the nation of Israel right before they go into their Promised land over 3,000 years ago. 

It says the following, starting in Deuteronomy Chapter 11: 12

“If you faithfully keep all this Instruction that God  commands you, loving your God יהוה, walking in all God’s ways, and connecting to [God], God  יהוה will dislodge before you all these nations: you will drive out nations greater and more numerous than you. Every spot on which your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall extend from the wilderness to Lebanon and from the River, the River Prat to the Western Sea. No one shall stand up to you: your God יהוה will put the dread and the fear of you over the whole land in which you set foot, as promised.”

So let’s unpack this to see what it actually says.

 So God is telling the Israelites, the ancestors of the modern day Israelis, right before they are about to enter the Land of Israel originally  over 3000 years ago, that  if the Isralites faithfully follow God’s instructions, to connect and love God, to walk in His ways, then God will will help drive out all the idolatrous nations before them, no matter how numerous and greater they are.

Now this is important, and we’re going to come back to this, but now I’m going to show you what really surprised me when coming upon this text.. And that’s the thing about learning Torah, is that every time I read something, and it doesn’t matter if I had read it numerous times before, everytime I study it, I learn something new. Because I’m a new person, I’m not the same person I was yesterday, And the world has changed. And when I came to these verses. Especially with all the anti-Israel protests, anti-Jews protests which are really Anti-God, protests that are happening all over the world, it really blew my mind.  

Ok, are you ready for it,  let’s go back and take apart Deuteronomy, Chapter 11, verse 24.

It says, Every spot on which the Israelite foot treads shall be theirs; their territory shall extend from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north and from the River, the River Prat to the Western sea, which refers to the Mediterranean Sea.. No one shall stand up to the Israelites, because God יהוה will put the dread and the fear of the Israelites over the whole land in which they set foot, as promised.

Ok, It literally says, from the River to the Sea, in verse 24. The same words that the anti-Israel camp are using to call for the destruction of the Jewish people and replacing it with the Palestinians, are the same exact words that God uses in the bible to promise the land of Israel to the descendants of the Israelites, the jewish people. Isn’t that incredible? Right there before our own eyes, right under our nose. 

In moments like these, my faith is strengthened, affirming that divine intervention is at work.When faced with the illogical,  in an upside down world, where terrorists are portrayed as the victims and the victims are portrayed as terrorists., I recognize that this must be the hand of a higher power guiding these events. When thousands of GPS precision missiles are launched at Israel, but humans are able to shoot them down with remarkable precision and no human error, it serves as an unmistakable sign, a confirmation beyond doubt. And despite the odds, Israel’s ability to pinpoint targets with near-perfect accuracy, Whether it's a moving vehicle or a specific apartment amidst a sea of buildings, each strike hits the mark with improbable consistency. Yet aligning perfectly with the notion of divine protection. Everything that we are seeing today,  is a testament to the guardian of Israel. If you’re connected to light and to the teachings of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, than you can clearly     see what’s happening. 

While Deuteronomy 11 sheds light on this concept, it's not the first nor the only place where God is using the phrase from the River to the Sea as a reference to the boundary of the Land of Israel. Let's rewind to the book of Genesis, where on the same day as God seals His eternal covenant with Abraham, we see in chapter 15 verse 18 the following. quote: On that day יהוה made a covenant with Abram: “To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river prat: —end quote Now we know that the River of Egypt, refers to the Nile River, and as you may know, the Nile River ends in the Mediterranean sea. The references from the river to the sea is a precedent that echoes throughout biblical text. 

But there’s one more place that I found that specifically mentions "From the River to the Sea" as belonging to the Israelites in the biblical text. For those of you who are not familiar with the book of Joshua, it is the first book in the Hebrew bible after the five books of Moses. Most people are familiar with the first five books of Moses, the foundation of Jewish theology, which is commonly seen in Torah scrolls kept in synagogues around the world. But the book of Joshua, is the first book of Prophets in the Torah, and it deals primarily with Israel’s inheritance and conquest of the land of Canaan. 

As you may recall, the great leader Moses was not granted permission to cross the river and enter the land of Israel, due to his previous sins, so it is therefore Joshua, who was selected by Moses and received God’s blessings, to become the great Israelite spiritual and military leader that merited to fulfill God’s plan in bringing the Israelites into their ancestral Promised Land. 

Where does the word Israel come from? The word Israel, is first mentioned in the Torah, with the Jewish patriarch Jacob, when he wrestles with an Angel. Upon winning the fight, the Angel blesses him with a new name, Israel. Which means, he who wrestles with God.  The descended of Jacob “would be called Children of Israel, Beni Israel, or Israelite) and eventually also by which the “Promises Land” would be known as” (K. Speir) Whenever Jacob is referred to as Israel in the Torah, we learn that this signifies a spiritual mark, that indicates future spiritual importance.  It is important to note that the modern reference to Jews, comes from the word Yehuda, which was the only remaining tribe and partial of land of which we can directly trace our history. Referring to Jews, inherently, is referencing the connection to the land of Israel, specifically to the parcel of land known as Yehuda (where Jerusalem was based).

Now for those who remember, Joshua is originally introduced in the Torah as one of the 12 spies who were selected  to scope out what was known then as the Land of Canaan, before the Israelites went in. Joshua, along with Caleb, were the only ones that were confident and had faith in God that they could go in and conquer the people and land, the rest of the 10 spies were scared, showed no faith in God and stoked fear into the rest of the Israelites about continuing into the Land. As a result of their lack of faith, God kept the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years to learn about God and develop their faith and spirituality. So as the 40 years concluded, Moses passes away and the Book of Joshua begins with him leading the Israelites and eventually conquering the Land. But before he does, God speaks directly to Joshua and instructs him to follow the same exact boundaries of the Promised Land that God have given to Abraham and Moses, which I’m about to quote: Joshua chapter 1, verse 4:

“Your territory shall extend from the wilderness and Lebanon to the Great River, the River Prat—the whole Hittite country—and up to the Sea, that shall be your border”. End quote.

What differs in this description from previous ones, is the mention of the Hittite territory, and as you know the hittites were not only mentioned several times in the Torah, as being one of the Idolatrous nations dwelling in the land of canaan, but it was specifically mentioned that Abraham purchased the burial plot in Hebron, from Ephron the Hittite, in Genesis chapter 23, verse 10. 

 There is no confusion. This land from the River to the Sea, is the original land promised to the Jewish people. No matter how many people try to claim otherwise, or scream as loud as they can, you can see for yourself in the biblical text, which in addition to being a theological doctrine, is itself thousands of years old. 

And just like the Romans tried to erase God’s instructions and re-write the Jewish connection to their land, the same exact thing is happening today. Palestinians and the anti-Israel camp, are doing the same exact thing,  in trying to re-write history,  And worse of all, the chutzpah as they say here in Israel, they are using the same exact biblical scripture written thousands of years ago, that connects Israelites to the Land of Israel, and flipping it, and using it to discredit the Israelites from this land. 

Ladies and gentlemen, And this is exactly how the dark, evil side twists and perverts truth. If you need any more evidence that this is the battle between good and evil, then here it is. 

But now I’m going to tell you something even more important to understand, because the fight between good and evil is constant and eternal, but let me tell you what gives me hope, that all is not lost. Let’s go back to Deuteronomy  Chapter 11.

It says if Israel faithfully follows God's instructions, and follow’s God’s footsteps and walks in His ways, then God will not only remove all the enemies and nations,,but that God will provide water from heaven, provide grass for the cattle, and that God will protect the Israelites and the Land of Israel, from the year’s beginning to the year’s end.

So what are those instructions? Those instructions given from Moses to the Israelites,  are the same instructions that’s written inside the Torah, the same book that are studied and maintained by the descendants of the Israelites until this day. If we follow God’s teachings, to behave morally, to educate our children properly, to have discipline, to love our neighbors, alongside all the  other moral and ethical guidelines, then God will protect us. And it’s not a secret that today, there are more jews in Israel learning and observing Torah commandments, those same instructions given thousands of years ago, on a level that we have never seen before. I would say even greater in numbers then when the First or Second Temple was even standing. I can’t say for sure, but the amount of schools and religious seminaries teaching men and women Torah values are unprecedented…and I’m not only speaking about the orthodox religious institutions that are literally studying the Torah itself, but even in the non-religious institutions are teaching and sharing aspects of Torah values. Because after all this is a Jewish State. Not only that, but we are also living and following God’s instructions on a daily basis…whether it’s keeping Kosher, observing the Sabbath and holidays, going to the Mikvah, to observing the biblical commandment of Shmitta of letting the land lay fallow, or just the fact that every day throughout the land, and there are millions of  blessings and prayers directed to God being spoken on the lips of Israelis. It’s incredible to think that this is all happening.

Now of course evil will always try to fight good, we see that with all the attacks, not only on October 7, 2023, but throughout thousands of years, there have been consistent attacks on the Israelite people and the land of Israel. But the difference today is that we are following God’s commandments at levels we have never seen before, and   Just as we are fulfilling our end of the contract here in Israel. So too is God fulfilling His part, and keeping his word in protecting us. 

You don’t have to be a military strategist to see all the miracles that have accompanied the Jews since their prophetic return to their homeland, there have seen numerous statistically improbable victories of this small, but mighty Israel, who have fought for its existence,  against greater and outnumbered enemy armies.   God has helped Israel wherever we place our feet, from the wilderness in Lebanon, from the River to the Sea, here we will be. 

Thank you for listening. I'm including the biblical sources from this week’s podcast. If you want to download them, click here, or visit or feel free to send me a message. You can find us on instagram and facebook at Holy Land in the Holy Text.

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