Promised Land

The Promised Land Series covers the books in the Bible from Exodus to Judges. These books describe events from the birth of Moses to the end of the era of the judges of Israel.

In Genesis, God promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land of Canaan, so Canaan became known as The Promised Land. Modern Israel and Palestine encompass the majority of Canaan.

Abraham’s grandson was Jacob, whose name was changed to “Israel” by God. His descendants became known as the Hebrews or Israelites. During the later life of Jacob, the Hebrews moved to Egypt during a famine. The book of Exodus opens about four centuries later with the Hebrews still in Egypt, having become slaves of the Pharaoh.

The book of Exodus is primarily about Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the wilderness, their covenant with God, and the construction of the Tabernacle.

Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy tell of the Hebrews wandering in the wilderness, the laws given to the Hebrews by God, and their adventures on the way to the Promised Land. These books end with the Israelites poised to enter the Promised Land, and the death of Moses.


The First Four Judges

Judges 2-3 sets the stage for the rest of the book. God tests the generations of people who followed Joshua. The conquerors of the Promised Land did not drive out all of the original inhabitants as God had specifically instructed. God chooses to leave those surviving peoples as a test for the Israelites. The test consists of following the laws of Moses in at least two ways: will the Israelites refuse to intermarry with those peoples, and will the Israelites refuse to worship false gods?

Judges 3:6-7 summarizes how miserably the Israelites failed God’s test. The Israelites took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God.

The rest of the book of Judges is a tiring cycle of God’s merciful response. God allows the Israelites to suffer until they call out and repent, God raises a savior in the form of a “judge,” the people come back to God, and then the people fall away from God. Modern readers are surprised that the judges are not always righteous, blameless people. They are not saviors in the sense that Jesus is a savior, but in the sense that they deliver people from bondage.

Primary Scriptures:
Judges 3-5
Story Summary:
The first four judges of Israel: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar and Deborah
c. 1406 BC The Israelites enter Canaan c. 1209-1169 BC The rule of Deborah c. 1075-1055 BC The rule of Samson