Congregation Beth Adonai
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Yom Ha Atzmu’ta

Israel’s Independence Day

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Israel Independence Day falls on the 5th of Iyar, usually early in May.  This day has been celebrated since 1948, the date of the founding of the modern state of Israel.  In Israel the whole country celebrates with parties, performances, and military parades. The latter reminds us that there are those who would dispute Israel’s right to exist. This is a good time to be reminded of God’s promises concerning the land of Israel:

Genesis 15:7
He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”

Genesis 15:16
In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Genesis 17:8
The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Joshua 1:3
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.

Ezekiel 36:8
” ‘But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home.

Ezekiel 36:24
‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.

Ezekiel 36:28
You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:33
” ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.

Ezekiel 47:14
You are to divide it equally among them. Because I swore with uplifted hand to give it to your forefathers, this land will become your inheritance.

This promise of land is everlasting.  Although the occupation of the promised land was interrupted by exile due to Israel’s sin, the promise was never annulled.  Specific boundaries were given so that no mistake would be made about the promise of land for Israel:

Genesis 15:18-21
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates–  [19] the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,  [20] Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  [21] Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Numbers 34:1-12
The LORD said to Moses,  [2] “Command the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter Canaan, the land that will be allotted to you as an inheritance will have these boundaries:

[3] ” ‘Your southern side will include some of the Desert of Zin along the border of Edom. On the east, your southern boundary will start from the end of the Salt Sea,  [4] cross south of Scorpion Pass, continue on to Zin and go south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it will go to Hazar Addar and over to Azmon,  [5] where it will turn, join the Wadi of Egypt and end at the Sea.  [6] ” ‘Your western boundary will be the coast of the Great Sea. This will be your boundary on the west.  [7] ” ‘For your northern boundary, run a line from the Great Sea to Mount Hor  [8] and from Mount Hor to Lebo Hamath. Then the boundary will go to Zedad,  [9] continue to Ziphron and end at Hazar Enan. This will be your boundary on the north.  [10] ” ‘For your eastern boundary, run a line from Hazar Enan to Shepham.  [11] The boundary will go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain and continue along the slopes east of the Sea of Kinnereth.  [12] Then the boundary will go down along the Jordan and end at the Salt Sea. ” ‘This will be your land, with its boundaries on every side.’ ”

These borders include much more land than Israel occupies now, and more than even at the peak of it’s empire during the reign of Solomon.  From the scripture descriptions, the boundaries stretch from eastern Egypt to past Damascus, all the
way into present day Iraq.  The promise of this land will only be fulfilled in the end times.  Then we can look forward to the greatest Yom Ha Atzma’ut celebration when the Messiah returns to reign in Jerusalem!