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Eretz Yisrael

Eretz Yisrael (Hebrew אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, Land of Israel) is the region which, according to the Hebrew Bible, was promised by God to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and to the Israelites, descendants of Jacob, Abraham's grandson. It constitutes the Promised Land and forms part of the Abrahamic, Jacob and Israel covenants.

The name "Israel" first appears in the Bible as the name given by God to the patriarch Jacob (Genesis 32:28), which can be translated as "struggled with God/he struggles with God". Commentators differ on the original literal meaning. Some say the name comes from the verb śarar ("to rule, be strong, have authority over"), thereby making the name mean "God rules" or "God judges". Other possible meanings include "the prince of God" (from the King James Version) or "El fights/struggles". Regardless of the precise meaning of the name, the biblical nation fathered by Jacob thus became the "Children of Israel" or the "Israelites".

The first definition of the promised land (Genesis 15:13-21) calls it "this land".

In Genesis 15, this land is promised to Abraham's "descendants", through his son Isaac, while in Deuteronomy 1:8, it is promised explicitly to the Israelites, Abraham's descendants through Jacob. A more detailed definition is given in Numbers 34:1-15 for the land explicitly allocated to nine and half of the Israelite tribes after the exodus. In this passage, the land is called "Land of Canaan". The expression "Land of Israel" is first used in a later book, Samuel 13:19. It is used often in the book of Ezekiel and also by Matthew.

The Hebrew Bible contains several descriptions of the borders of the land. The three classical passages are Genesis 15:18-21, Numbers 34:1-15 and Ezekiel 47:13-20.