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Does the Torah say that Jews should rule from the Nile to the Euphrates?

06/04/08

Dear Rabbi,
I was just wondering if its true that it says in the Torah that the Jewish people should rightfully own all the land between the nile river in Egypt and the forat? And isnt that actually what the star between the two lines on the Israeli flag represents? Thankyou
Ahmed

Dear Ahmed,

The Torah says (Genesis 15:18) that G-d promised Abraham's descendents the land between the River of Egypt and the Forat (Euphrates). The Euphrates is mentioned again as the border in Exodus 23:31 and Deuteronomy 11:24. But this does not mean Jews have the right to take this land whenever they want. It is up to G-d to decide when this promise will be fulfilled.

Historically, Jews never conquered all this land. In Biblical times, Jewish tribes lived on both banks of the Jordan but not very far to the east, and, at the height of their power, as far north as Damascus. They never came anywhere near the Euphrates.

In the Second Temple era (351 BCE-69 CE) the Jewish state was confined to the West Bank of the Jordan.

The Prophets state that Jews will be in exile until G-d redeems them. That exile is still in effect now, and no Jews have the right to end it on their own. G-d will send us Elijah the prophet and the Messiah who will tell us what to do.

The Star of David pictured on the Zionist flag was not originally a Jewish symbol and was found as a design among many Middle Eastern cultures. Around two hundred years ago it began to be used in synagogues as a standard symbol, and when the Zionist movement arose they adopted it as their symbol. The blue strips on their flag were based on the Jewish prayer shawl, called a tallith. This is a good example of Zionists stealing Jewish symbols to make themselves appear more authentic, but it has nothing to do with borders.