What are Israel’s Future Borders?

Yesterday, the Jewish News Syndicate reported that Saudi Arabia “clarified that it will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel until there is a Palestinian state, an end to the war against Hamas and a complete military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.”

The Saudi’s response was a direct counter to comments made on Tuesday by White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby.

During his daily briefing, Kirby struck an optimistic tone regarding normalization talks between Israel and the Saudis.

Kirby said, “We certainly received positive feedback from both sides that they’re willing to continue to have those discussions.”

The Saudi foreign ministry promptly issued the following statement clarifying its position regarding any future normalization talks with Israel:

“The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the U.S. administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.”

The Saudi’s stance not only stalls the Biden administration’s efforts to establish peace between its two Middle Eastern allies, it also signals that the Saudis have aligned themselves with China and Iran against Israel and the U.S.

If Israel were to agree to Saudi Arabia’s demands it would signal the beginning of the end of the state of Israel as we now know it.

First, Israel would have to return the land it won during the Six-Day War in 1967 when it was attacked by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. At that time, Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria, Jordan’s West Bank (i.e., Judea and Samaria) which included East Jerusalem, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip. Israel later withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982 and then from Gaza in 2005. Such a withdrawal would open the floodgates for the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Authority, which are Iranian proxies, to mount an endless barrage of attacks against Israel.

Second, East Jerusalem, which includes Israel’s sacred Western Wall, would be handed over to the Palestinians and made the capital of the new Palestinian state.

Third, Israel would have to end its war against Hamas and remove its forces from Gaza. Once this happened, Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists would regroup and attempt to finish what it started on October 7, 2023, meaning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestine will be free of the Jews.

While the demands by Saudi Arabia are troubling at best and the likelihood of Israel signing off is nil, let’s be clear, the Bible declares that one day, Israel’s borders will go well beyond the Jordan River. In fact, Israel’s border will extend to another river, the Euphrates River.

In Genesis 15, God established a Grant Covenant with Abram which means God bound Himself by an unconditional, unilateral oath to give the Promised Land to Abram and his descendants forever.

In verse 18, God declared what the borders of the Promised Land would be: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.”

God later confirmed the Promised Land borders to Moses in Deuteronomy 1:6-8 and then to Joshua in Joshua 1:4.

Let’s identify the borders that God promised to Israel through His covenant with Abram.

  • The western boundary is the “Great Sea” which is the Mediterranean Sea (Joshua 1:4).
  • The southern border is the Nile River in Egypt.
  • The eastern border is the Euphrates River.
  • The northern border is Lebanon.

In today’s context, what countries would be included in the borders listed in Genesis 15?

  • First, the territory currently occupied by the Palestinians, the West Bank and Gaza, is included.
  • Second, a portion of Egypt to the south.
  • Third, some of Saudi Arabia to the southeast.
  • Fourth, all of Jordan to the east.
  • Fifth, a portion of Iraq to the east.
  • Sixth, some of Syria to the north.
  • Lebanon to the north.
  • And possibly the southeastern portion of Turkey as you follow the Euphrates River north by northwest.

Question: Has Israel ever fully occupied these boundaries?

Answer: No. Some of the regions were controlled by King David and King Solomon but they were never fully possessed or occupied by Israel.

Question: Why didn’t Israel fully occupy the Promised Land according to the borders of Genesis 15?

Answer:  Because Israel failed to obey God’s command and allowed their enemies to remain in the Land which ultimately tempted them to sin against God by worshipping idols.

Question: Will Israel’s borders ever extend to what God promised Abram in Genesis 15?

Answer: Yes. Please remember that since God bound Himself by an oath, His promise to Abram must be fulfilled and it will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom. During Christ’s 1,000-year reign, the Promised Land will experience peace, tranquility, and blessings as Jesus reigns on the throne of David from the capital city, Jerusalem.

What a glorious day that will be.

Will you please join me in praying for the return of Jesus Christ, the peace of Israel, and for the leaders of the United States?

by Dr. Matthew Dodd | February 8, 2024