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This is an excerpt from a book on ancient Israel:

The Geography of the
Holy Land and its Effect upon Israel’s Religion
and Politics.

by John Stembridge

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"A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it...." (Deut. 11:12).

The importance of geography on Israel’s politics was phenomenal. In possessing the land, Israel’s main objective was to capture the key strongholds. Then, after their possession, their main objective was to fortify these strongholds and to make them secure against any attack of the enemy. All of her offenses and defenses were planned and waged with this purpose in mind. For it stands to reason, that whoever controlled the strongholds, controlled the land.

In both aspects then, religiously and politically, Israel was consciously aware of her geographical surroundings. Although it may be said, in regard to her religion, that her own spiritual condition affected her geographical conditions more than they affected her religion. Israel’s politics, however, vitally depended upon her possession and control of the strongholds in the lands. Therefore, she continually adopted policies which would safeguard her continual possession of them.

When one has general knowledge of the layout of the land, its divisions and important place, he is well on the way to possessing the knowledge which will greatly help him in understanding the Bible. Although spiritual illumination and incite do not require a knowledge of the land, yet a knowledge of the land will be most beneficial for the reader’s overall understanding of God’s Word.