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by Wayne Blank
The definition of "Palestine" was first expanded when the conquering Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) used the name Syria Palaestina during the second century before Jesus Christ. They used it to designate the southern portion of the province of Syria, which then took in Roman occupied Judea, including Jerusalem.
In modern times, the popular definition of Palestine was again greatly inflated after the First World War. Britain, which then held control of the land of Israel under a mandate of the League of Nations (British control eventually made possible the birth of the modern state of Israel, thereby fulfilling a vital Biblical element of Prophecy), revived the name as an official title for practically all of the land - from Dan to Beersheba, and from The Mediterranean Sea to The Jordan River. And so it has been ever since.
Humans have been fighting over "Palestine" for a very long time. A vital, very often overlooked point of the struggle, which continues right this very minute, is that the earth belongs to God. It is His property. He created it, and He has held full ownership of it before humans ever existed.
So, who does the Owner of the land say is to be living there, not for their benefit, or out of any sort of favoritism, but to fulfill the practical, physical aspects of His plan of salvation for all people, of all nations? Let's see:
"No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you, and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:5-8 RSV)
Fact Finder: What did God warn the Israelites would happen (as it is again today with bombings and terrorist attacks committed by people living within Israel's own God-commanded borders) if they did not take complete possession of the land (from Dan to Beersheba, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, every last square inch) that God commanded them to possess?