The Arabs: The land does not belong to Israel
Are the Arabs necessarily wrong when they say the land does not belong to Israel? When they say “the land” to contest its ownership, which land do they mean? Because the Arabs are not without land. Elohim blessed Ishmael the son of Avraham, made him a great nation, and gave him and his descendants a vast land rich of oil. But the contested land is not that vast land, but the small sliver of land between the sea and the Jordan — the land Israel lives in today.
So, to whom that land belongs: to Israel or to the Arabs?
The law of the land laid down in Leviticus 25, clearly and meticulously identifies the responsibilities of the people who would settle in the land.
Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall observe a Sabbath to Yehovah‘. (Lev 25:2)
“A Sabbath to YHVH” means “for the sake of YHVH”, just as is stated of the Sabbath day, “the seventh day is a Sabbath to YHVH your Elohim” (see Exo 20:10). What “a Sabbath to YHVH” means is that man ceases working the land on the seventh year, not for his own sake that he may have a rest, not for the sake of the land that it may have a rest, but for the sake of YHVH, for the land is His.
And indeed, as the nation of Israel was to keep a Sabbath of rest every seventh day of the week, so the land which they tilled was to rest a Sabbath to YHVH. Six years they were to cultivate the land and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year the land was to keep a Sabbath of rest (Shabbat shabbaton, Exo 31:15), a Sabbath set-apart to YHVH. And in this year the land was neither to be tilled nor reaped (Exo 23:10-11).
And since YHVH has set apart the land to Himself as its Creator, He has set apart a special year for observance — the Year of Jubilee, every fiftieth year.
Does the land belong to Israel?
From this, Israel, as the nation of priests to Elohim, was to learn, that although the earth was created for man and not man for the earth, as the Sabbath was created for man and not man for Sabbath (Mar 2:27-28), the land was not merely created for man to eat from it only, but also to set it apart to YHVH and to participate in His blessed rest.
Thus, what is already implied in Leviticus 25, in the laws of the land, is related to the special status quo of the land and more particularly to the observance of its rest, the purchase and sale, and the personal freedom of its inhabitants. Namely, that the land could not be alienated; the property of the land neither can be transferred nor is the ownership given to someone else.
The statement in Lev 25:23, “the land is not to be sold beyond reclaim” so as to vanish away from the owner and be forever lost to a seller, i.e., when a birthright was sold and cannot be reversed or undone (Gen 25:33), but is to be returned to the rightful keeper in the Year of Jubilee.
This legal postulate is clearly and irreversibly expressed as a rule of law and laid down forever showing the reason for it: “for the land is Mine”. The land YHVH, promised to the forefathers Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov, belongs to its solely owner, YHVH, and to no one else.
Therefore, the land does not belong to Israel and his children, nor does it belong to Ishmael, son of Avraham, and his children. It does not belong to Avraham either, to whom it was promised but never given nor to his son Yitschak. The forefathers Avraham, Yitschak, and Ya’akov were merely sojourners and settlers in the Promised Land.
And even though, Yitschak was the only one of the fathers who was born, lived, and died in the land and never left it, yet he was a mere sojourner and a settler in the land.
The Israelites, to whom the Sovereign has given it, according to Lev 25:2 and elsewhere, are not the actual owners or full possessors, so that they could do what they please with it, but “sojourners and settlers with YHVH” in His Land.
And if this is so much true for the ancient, who had never taken possession of the land, who are the current sojourners and settlers in the land to give it, exchange it, or sell it to whomever they wish, even to the sons of Ishmael (the Arabs)?
The land belongs to no one else but to the Creator only and He will require any wrongdoing from those who act as if they were the true owners.
Do Arabs deserve the land?
If the sons of Ishmael respect and recognize Mosheh (Arabic, Mussa), as they claim, the prophet of the Creator who laid down the laws of the land in the Torah, then they should also respect and recognize the right of his brothers to live in the land.
And if the sons of Ishmael recognize that Avraham (Arabic, Ibrahim) is a father of Ishmael and Yitschak, as they claim, then they should also recognize that neither of them had ever taken possession of it.
And if the sons of Ishmael recognize the Creator of the earth as the God of Avraham, as they claim, then they should also recognize the laws of the land He laid down for observance.
But do they? What do we see in that small piece of land?
One just needs to see the land from above to notice that wherever the Arabs live, the land is dry and barren, as it was before the Jews. But wherever the Jews live, the Land is green and fruitful, because of the Jews. So is it with Jerusalem: The Arab Quarter is dry, and the Jewish Quarter is green.
Therefore, if two peoples claim the possession of the Promised Land, the right belongs to the one with which the land flourishes and blossoms: a sure sign of a good stewardship and also a sign to whom YHVH has given it.
So, are the Arabs wrong to say the Land does not belong to Israel? No, they are right. The land does not belong to Israel. The land belongs to YHVH alone who gave it to Israel for the sake of the fathers.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.