I've recently been exposed to the idea that the land originally promised to the Israelites encompassed a lot of territory that was never conquered by the tribes that followed Joshua into the promised land. On the map, I think the extended territory covers all of the territory between the Jordan and the Euphrates rivers, extending to present day Basra. It's huge compared to the maps of Israel that I've seen in study Bibles.

Is there some place in the Bible where the extent of the promised land is made explicit? How much territory lies east of the Jordan? Does it include territory that was never under Solomon's rule? If so, why was it never conquered?

Are there extrabiblical sources for the same idea?

1 Answer 1


The Promised Land.

God promised to give Abraham's seed the land from the river in Egypt, to the river Euphrates. The Promised Land was fully under the control of the Israelites, only under the reigns of King David and Solomon.

1 Kings 4:20-21 (NASB)

20 "Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing.

21 Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life."

Genesis 15:18 (NASB)

18 "On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying,“To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates."

Exodus 23:31 (NASB)

31" I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you."

Deuteronomy 1:7-8 (NASB)

7 "Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the [a]Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their [b]descendants after them."


  • 1
    I agree with your answer but it could be improved by quoting 1 Kings 4:20, 21 in support of the second sentence in the first paragraph.
    – user25930
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 10:59
  • @ Mac's Musings: Appreciate you constructive comments and additional scripture. Commented May 20, 2019 at 17:42
  • The NASB is one of many corrupted modern versions of the Bible. jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/NASV/…
    – GFFG
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 19:30
  • This answers my basic question. And I had overlooked the fact that the maps in my bibles showed Solomon ruling over what is today Damascus and Palmyra. That's much larger than present day Israel, but still much smaller than the map I saw that led me to ask the question. Commented May 21, 2019 at 10:28

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