Scripture Revealed

A Revelation of Jesus Christ – Revelation 1:1

God’s Land Promise to ABRAHAM – Fulfilled?

Moses and the Messengers from Canaan, painting by Giovanni Lanfranco - 1621
Moses and the Messengers from Canaan,
painting by Giovanni Lanfranco – 1621

For many years, I believed that the scriptures taught that God had never completely fulfilled the land promise that He made to Abraham. This is what I was taught to believe and what, I in turn taught others. Now we all know that God will not go back on His promises. So assuming this teaching is true, then at some point in the future, God will have to keep His promise that He made to Abraham. This “promised land” will have to be given to Abraham’s descendants. Did God fulfill His promise to Abraham? Or should we look to the future for this fulfillment? What do the scriptures reveal? Get your Bibles out! Let’s start in the book of Genesis.

Land Promise Given to Abram/Abraham

The first mention of a land promise is in the twelfth chapter of Genesis.

Genesis 12:5-7 (KJV) – And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.”

The first question we should ask is “which land”? We find the answer in the previous two verses. At that time, Abram was dwelling “in the land of Canaan”. However, where is “this land”? From the previous two verses, we find that Abram, during this time, was dwelling in “the land of Canaan.” This was the territory situated between the Great/Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. It was so named because the descendants of Canaan, who was the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:1,6), lived there. Therefore, the land of Canaan was “the promised land”.

At a later time, when Abram was living once again in Canaan, the Lord told him, “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Gen. 13:14-15). In Genesis 26:1-4 we see God repeating the land promise to Isaac and then to Jacob, his son in Genesis chapter 28.

There is a second part of the land promise that sometimes goes unnoticed. God originally promised Abraham the “land of Canaan.” Later we see that promise expanded. In Genesis 15:18 we read:

Genesis 15:18 (KJV) – “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates”.

Obviously that is a much larger area than just the land of Canaan. This portion of land goes all the way to the Euphrates River. Now please note that the “river of Egypt” was not the Nile River. It was a stream or brook that flowed near the southern border between Canaan and Egypt. You can verify this fact by referring to various Bible commentaries.

Land Promise Fulfilled – The Evidence

Is there any scriptural evidence concerning the promise to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s offspring? Yes, there are three lines of proof which clearly show that such a promise was fulfilled over 3,000 years ago! First, in the Book of Joshua there are plain statements that declare that God did, in fact, fulfill His land promise.

Joshua 21:43, 45 (KJV) – “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it . . . Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass

About 1400 B.C. Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan. According to the text just quoted, in Joshua’s lifetime the land promise was fulfilled. However, we later read that God did not drive out all of the Canaanite people. Judges 2:20-23 indicates that some of the Canaanites were still living in the land when Joshua died. Make no mistake about it: the Israelites did conquer the land. They also did divide the land among the tribes. What occurred was, when the Israelites subdued the land, they were the ones ruling over it. However, there were “pockets of resistance” that caused the Israelites to be engaged in “mop-up warfare.”

Cities of Refuge

The second bit of evidence centers around the cities of refuge. Part of God’s plan was to establish six cities of refuge for the nation of Israel (Numbers 35:13). God gave three such cities to the Israelites on the east side of Jordan after they conquered the peoples living there. The Lord then made this promise:

Deuteronomy 19:8-9 (KJV) – “Now if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as He swore to your fathers, and gives you the land which He promised to give to your fathers . . . Then you shall add three more cities for yourself besides these three.”

Thus, the addition of three additional cities inside Canaan would be proof that God had fulfilled His land promise (Deu. 19:1,2). Well were those three extra cities of refuge established? They certainly were! Joshua 20:1-7 reveals this fact. The three additional refuge cities were added, proving that the land promises was fulfilled. Why? Because the fulfillment of that promise was required before those other cities would be added.

Third, Levites of Nehemiah’s generation (444 B.C.) praised God in prayer, saying that He made a covenant with Abraham to give the land of the Canaanites and other nations to his descendants. In the clearest terms imaginable, the Levites said to Jehovah, “You have performed Your words, for You are righteous” (Nehemiah 9:8,9). Again more scriptural proof that the land promise made to Abraham was fulfilled.

What about the extended land promise? The part of the promise stating that the Israelites’ territory would include the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates? Well according to scripture it was fulfilled in the days of Solomon:

1 Kings 4:21 (KJV) – “So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt.”

Really we can stop right here! We do not have to go past the reign of Solomon (B.C. 971-931). God’s land promise was fulfilled – totally.

Is “Forever” Forever?

However, didn’t God say that He would give the land to Abraham’s descendants forever? This is what we read earlier in Genesis 13:15. “Forever” means “forever” right? Well no, not in the context of Genesis 13:15. Under God’s covenantal system, all promises come with “strings attached”. The word “forever” simply means throughout the complete duration of a definite period. The land promise was conditional. It was dependent on obedience on the part of the children of Israel. The Lord warned them that if they did not obey Him, then He would pluck them from off the land of Canaan. The Lord would scatter them from one end of the earth to the other (Deuteronomy 28:15,63,64). Because of their rebellion against the Lord the Israelites forfeited the right to live in the land (Deuteronomy 30:17,18).

Deuteronomy 30:17-18 (KJV) – “But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.”


Yes, the Lord God kept His Word long before Jesus was born. God kept His promise that He made to Abraham. The scriptures clearly reveal that the promises were fulfilled shortly after the Lord made them. To believe that these promises were not fulfilled until the 20th century does not make sense based on the clear reading of scripture. God is a faithful God that keeps his covenants. So the land promise that God made to Abraham was fulfilled – over 3000 years ago!

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I’ve studied and taught the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom since 1985. My goal is to reveal the biblical truths I’ve come to see through prayer and study. I believe that the scriptures are revealed to those that study and rightly divide the "Word of Truth.”


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Ed Chapman
Ed Chapman
2 months ago

The promise land was a covenant given to Abraham, not the children of Israel. And there was no strings attached to that promise. Except for circumcision. So, to say that the Jews forfeited when kicked out, that’s just not accurate: Jeremiah 33:23-28 23 Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the Lord hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. 25 Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not… Read more »

Mark Stephens
4 years ago

Thanks for this fantastic summary. It shows very clearly that the Bible says God has already fulfilled his promise of physical land for Abraham’s physical descendants. Therefore, we should not insist that God is somehow obligated to reinstate a physical land for literal, physical descendants of Abraham to inherit in the future. Joshua 23:14 “You know with all your heart and being that not even one of all the faithful promises the Lord your God made to you is left unfulfilled; every one was realized – not one promise is unfulfilled! ©NET” Of course, there are many important future promises… Read more »

10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Stephens

No one can replace Israel , that’s replacement theology , if God forgets Israel we are toast! Because we have Jesus! Paul wrote in the book of Romans don’t get snooty , think you can replace ISRAEL because if God spit them out he will spit you out too! Gods covenant with Abraham was not dependant Israel keeping there’s, , he is a covenant keeping God, Israel still have a part to play in the end times , you read the Bible with a pair of scissors. 10 men will take hold of a Jew and say we want to… Read more »

8 months ago
Reply to  Amoy

“Replacement Theology” is merely an epithet thrown about by dispensationalists rebelling about the mystery mentioned in Ephesians 3 that the Kingdom of God is expanding to include Gentiles (as prophesied in the OT) and in Hebrews 8 that the old covenant is obsolete (being types and shadows, and Christ being the substance). Nobody is being replaced, instead Gentiles are being graphed into the people of God – the Bride, the very Body of Messiah – his Church. Jew and Gentile enter the Kingdom on the same grounds: Faith in Christ. Non-believing Jews are damned, just like unbelieving Gentiles (as has… Read more »

Scott Reph
5 years ago

I agree with your premise, but think there is more to be said. Hebrews 11 says, 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place rthat he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. So, Abraham… Read more »

10 months ago
Reply to  Scott Reph

There was no law at that time! Moses had not even been born ? Please read the whole Bible ! Enoch believed God Enoch had faith in God ,Enoch walked with God , he had a relationship with God , God us looking for people of faith. .

Robert McKay
Robert McKay
5 years ago

On top of all that, there are a couple of other facts. 1. In the prophets we find statements that Israel violated the covenant. This abrogated the agreement, making it null and void, and therefore we need not expect a tangible fulfillment of Israel returning to the land. 2. In apostolic times the old covenant, of which the Abrahamic covenant is a part, was already ready to disappear, being obsolete. To look for ethnic Israel to return to Canaan, therefore, is to revert to the old covenant. 3. The land, and Israel’s possession of it, were typical (as was just… Read more »

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