Israeli settlements - divine mandate, or obstacle to peace? GPO

The Collision in the Biblical Narrative

The Bible tells us to settle the Land, but also to care for and love the “other.” Which should we prefer in Judea and Samaria?


Biblical aspiration is to move into and settle the Land of Israel. The biblical threat is banishment from the country. The Bible repeatedly emphasizes that God will drive the people out of the Land when they sin. This is a central principle in the biblical text. Eretz Israel is the heart of the biblical narrative. As such, it is impossible to deny the relevance of the Land without denying the authority of the Bible. The Bible isn’t merely a collection of stories. It also legislates God’s will.

One theme that comes up again and again in the biblical laws relates to treatment foreigners. Why does God oblige Israel to care for the weak, including the foreigners among them? Because it written: “Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:19). We should be considerate of others because we too were once “others” and the minority in exile. In the biblical text, the word used for stranger or foreigner is Ger. The Ger belongs to the minority and has no political...