Israel’s Future Borders

Borders of Israel: Summary

The current land disputes with Israel over the so-called “occupied territories” will be relatively short-lived. Bible prophecy points to a soon-coming age (the Millennium) when the people of Israel (Abraham’s descendants, the Jews) live at peace within the boundaries promised unconditionally to Abraham. Those boundaries span from the River Jordan in the east to the Mediterranean in the west, and embrace the disputed territories of the West Bank and Gaza. It is interesting to observe that the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes (Numbers 34) correlate well with the Millennial boundaries given in Ezekiel 47.

Biblical Borders: The Future Borders of Israel According to the Bible

See also Israel’s Borders in International Law

The current borders of Israel are disputed by the international community, from the UN to the Arab leadership. But these parties insist on ignoring the true legal position, link. Even the US, Israel’s greatest ally makes misleading statements:

We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines [Barack Obama, 2011]

Obama gave US support for a future Palestinian state based on borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war. Thankfully, Israel’s border disputes will be short-lived. When this age ends and the 1,000 year ‘Millennial Age’ of earth begins, Israel’s borders will be firmly established by the God of Israel. In fact, Israel’s future borders are already clearly written in Bible prophecy (if only the world would read it).

The Promised Land: Israel’s Biblical Title Deeds

God promised that He would give all the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants. He made a covenant with Abraham:

To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (Jewish tradition: the Nile) as far as the great river, the River Euphrates (Gen 15.18)
I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines (Gaza coast), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates (Exod 23.31)

Despite Israel’s future disobedience, this promise was unconditional in that the land was to be theirs forever; no strings attached:

I will give to you and to your descendants … all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession (Gen 17.8)

borders of Israel

Fig.1: The 12 Tribes of Israel. Image: Biblical Maps. Enlarge

Where was Canaan, this “Promised Land”? Where did the twelve tribes of Israel settle? They settled mainly in the area currently referred to as Israel, including the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, although the tribes of Gad, Reuben and part of Manasseh settled east of the Jordan (Fig.1). So there we have it: Abraham’s descendants, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel are promised their own land, their own piece of real estate in the region we now call Israel.

Location of Israel’s Future Borders

Let’s try and identify the biblical geographic boundaries. As the Israelites conquered more territory the term ‘Canaan’ was gradually applied to all the lands west of the Jordan valley, and there are references to Canaanites living in the valleys and plains of this region (Num 13.29)(Josh 11.3)(Judg 1.27). In time the LORD gave more detail of the geographical boundaries. For example, in Num 34.1-12 we find the boundaries given to Moses as he was about to divide up Canaan for the twelve tribes. These are:

  • Western: the Mediterranean Sea
  • Eastern: from Kadesh-barnea, via Zin and the salt sea to Zedad and Hamath in the north
  • Southern: from Kadesh Barnea to the Brook of Egypt (Jewish tradition takes this as the Nile)
  • Northern: from the Mediterranean Sea (Mount Hor) to Hamath to Zedad

The boundaries defined in Numbers 34 are shown in Fig.2 and in Ezek 47.13-20 we find more boundary detail which confirm these boundaries. It is clearly stated that the Jordan is the eastern boundary (v18) and the western boundary (the Mediterranean Sea) goes north as far as ‘opposite Hamath’ (v20). The southern boundary is defined by a ‘brook’ in Num 34.5 and Ezek 47.19 and by a ‘river’ in Gen 15.18. As mentioned, Jewish tradition takes this to be the Nile (although some dispute this, link, link).

The significant point here is that many understand Ezek 47 (in fact, Ezek 40-48) to describe Millennial Israel. And it is interesting to see how the Old Testament boundaries in Num 34 align closely with Israel’s future borders in Ezek 47.

borders of Israel

Fig.2: Israel’s past and future borders. Image: Emmanuelm [CC-BY-3.0], Wikimedia Commons

Future (equal) land Division

Historically, the tribes occupied only some of this land and, as already mentioned, in addition occupied some land east of the Jordan (see also Israel’s History). Under Moses, the land was divided according to the size of each tribe (Josh 13) and so resulted in very unequal division e.g. the tribe of Manasseh took a large share. In contrast, Ezek 47 and 48 state that the land in Millennial Israel will be divided equally between the tribes, and in an east-west way (parallel sections):

The Sovereign Lord said, “These are the boundaries of the land that is to be divided among the twelve tribes … I solemnly promised your ancestors that I would give them possession of this land; now divide it equally among you. (Ezek 47.13-14)

So each tribe will have one portion, starting with Dan in the north and ending with Gad in the south, and all sections run east-west, Fig.3. There are several important points to note here.

Fig.3: Future equal land division between the 12 tribes of Israel. ENLARGE

borders of Israel

Fig.4: Future land allocation around Jerusalem according to Ezekiel 45,48 (sizes in cubits). The Holy Place denotes outer and inner courts, temple and altar. ENLARGE

The LORD’s Temple

Firstly, there will be a portion of land between the section for the tribe of Judah and the section for the tribe of Benjamin that is “set apart for the LORD” (Ezek 45.1-5, 48.8-22). Why? Recall that one day soon, in the Millennial age, the law will emanate from Zion (Mic 4.2). In the Old Testament, Zion came to mean Jerusalem, and the temple area in particular. This indicates that Christ will rule from some future temple and it’s surrounding area. In fact, Messianic Jews expect such a temple to be built in the near future, and we find a graphic description of such a temple in Ezek 40-48.

So the land “set apart” must include a holy place for the LORD’s temple or sanctuary. It’s precise dimensions are given in Ezek 45.1-5 and it is in the center of this special section of land (see Fig.4). It is the place of Christ’s throne on earth – a glorious place in the midst of the children of Israel. This is the place described as “THE LORD IS THERE” (Ezek 48.35).

Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever (Ezek 43.7)
The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious (Isa 60.13)

Israeli-Palestinian Problem Solved

We should also ask, “What of the non-Jewish population – those who currently war against the Jews?” In the coming age this conflict is resolved by the LORD. Israel is instructed by God to treat “the stranger” (non-Jews) as one of themselves and let them live in the land:

“… and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God (Ezek 47.22-23)

This of course is nothing new. Thousands of years ago God instructed Moses to tell the people of Israel how they should treat foreigners (non-Jews). They were commanded to love “strangers” and to let them live normal lives amongst them (Deut 10.19):

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong … (he) … shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself (Lev 19.33,34)

So under the new (Millennial) borders of Israel, God repeats this instruction via the prophet Ezekiel. During an interview in 1989, Arial Sharon was asked: “Do you think of Arabs as your friends, neighbours, your enemies?” He replied:

From my childhood, I have believed Jews and Arabs can live together, and I believe now they should live together. All the rights to this country, to the land of Israel – especially Judea and Samaria – are Jewish … but everyone who lives in the country should have all the rights of the country”. [Ariel Sharon, TIME, April 1989]

Unfortunately, as long as Arab countries refuse to recognize Israel and continue to attack her, such peaceful cohabitation is impossible. But it will happen in the Millennial age under Christ’s rule.

A Border Discrepancy?

At first sight it appears that there is some discrepancy in the northern boundary, since initially God told Abraham this boundary would be the River Euphrates, much further to the north (Gen 15.18). The kingdoms of David and Solomon did indeed stretch from the river of Egypt on the Sinai peninsula, across the Syrian Desert to Tiphsah on the Euphrates, but the Euphrates boundary is absent from Num 34 and Ezek 47.

A possible explanation is that God is giving boundaries for two time periods. At the Second Coming of Christ, link, there will be significant geological changes in the Middle East (Zech 14.4,10)(Isa 11.15,16) and one of these is the drying up of the Euphrates (Rev 16.12). So whilst the Euphrates served as a boundary for David and Solomon, it virtually ceases to be a landmark in the Millennium.

Comparison with Today’s Borders

It is interesting to compare the future biblical borders and land division with the current situation in Israel. Clearly, the future borders include both the Gaza strip and the West Bank! They also include significant parts of present-day Syria i.e. up to Hamath, and probably all of Lebanon. Are the politicians listening?


  1. Well said Dwight

    Yahovah / Yeshua will soon return to Mount of Olives

    Maranatha Rex McIntosh

  2. The boundaries of Israel according to the First Testament are quite clear. What I miss above is what God wants to happen inside those borders. According to Ezekiel 47: 21-23 that is the following:
    “21 “Divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes of Israel. 22 Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. 23 These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
    Could it be that the troubles between the State of Israel and the Palestinians are due to the fact that we have only partially followed Gods orders?
    [Yes. This allotment to foreigners seems like the final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For this to happen the Palestinian leadership will have to accept national Israel. Ed]

  3. So, if they got all that land and ethnically cleansed it like they are doing Palestine….where would the tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of Arabs go? Hopefully to the neighborhoods of any “goyim” that support it.

    1. “All that land” is about the size of Wales! Compare that with all the Arab lands around Israel. Arabs can work in Israel, even be part of the Knesset. All they ask is that Israel is recognised as land covenanted by God to Abraham’s descendants.

      1. I’m a Christian believer, and I believe the Bible Scripture. If God gave the land covenantal to Israel then who can question Him or tell Him what to do, or ” That’s unfair!”? I fully believe that if the world could all read the Bible and believe All it says, there would be no conflict over the land border of Israel.

    2. Tracy… This is biblical stuff. GOD stuff… And if you read the bible (even as a believer) you would probably be modern-day-ethics troubled by the way the world used to be ran and the sometimes savage (yet reasoned) way that God deals with sin and runs this place. I know I kind of cringe at certain points. But we aren’t God. HE is God. Sovereign, Loving, Everlasting God. And what God knows in His magnificence and infinite wisdom in the spirit world is so beyond yours or mine or anybody’s ability to rationalize and conceptualize. What may seem atrocious and confusing to us is actually quite cut and dry, plain and simple to Him. Not to mention that He is the Potter, we are the clay! So how dare we propose to tell God how to run the show? Please accept Christ. All your desires that you can’t quite satisfy will be and you would feel a love that is unworldly. Peace!

  4. No One , No One ; Can Be Against or Denying GOD’s ORDER. Readers Please Remember – GOD IS TRUE. The Land Of Israel Is GOD-PROMISED LAND . Read Isaiah 42-44 . Israel Is a Light For Other Nations – Isa 42:6 . Israel Is A Witness For GOD – Isaiah 43:10. Amen

  5. Very fun like comments. We do need to stick to Holy Scripture, otherwise self gets in the way of Holy Truth . . . I believe Gog is an evil prince of darkness and Magog, Meshech and Tubal are all in Turkey. All Islam! Gog may very well be Allah. Putin may believe he is Gog, but in reality to Holy Scripture, he is just a pipsqueak.

  6. Very interesting article. Just one quick clarification Benjamin was not located east of the Jordan River along with the other tribes it was west of the Jordan River. Only Ruben Gad,and a half tribe of Manasseh were east of the Jordan. [Thankyou for your correction, Ed.]

  7. It is enough to know that Jesus will return soon and that He will rule from the throne of David ,something that has not happened yet

    1. Looking at the article. Why would G_d say from the river Nile to the Euphrates river, yet you want to make it say from some little brook to the river Jordan. Don’t sell Israel short. G_d He keeps His promises. The fact that Israel is now back in the land after 2000 years, testifies to that.
      [Thankyou. The article has now been amended, stressing the traditional Jewish interpretation. Ed:]

  8. The prophecy you so beautifully quote “And I will give unto thee (O Abraham), the land wherein thou art a stranger, ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN (Palestine), for an ever-lasting possession, and I will be their God GENESIS 17:8. Also GENESIS 13:15 and EXODUS 32:13. Poor Abraham (pbuh) did not receive a single square foot of land FREE! (b) “And he (God Almighty) gave him (Abraham) NO inheritance in it, NO, NOT SO MUCH TO SET HIS FOOT UPON; but he (God) promised that he would ,give it to him for a possession . . .” ACTS 7:5

    1. You can own land without even setting foot in it. It was left to Abraham’s descendants (as stated in Gen 17.8) like David and Solomon to actually live in the land. And today Abraham’s descendants (the twelve tribes of Israel) are returning to the promised land as prophecy says. There has been over 7400% increase in Jews in ‘Canaan’ since 1900.

    1. It would be easier to accept the notion that we’re “nuts” if Israel weren’t a nation again. When you can logically explain how a 2,500-year-old prophecy (Ezekiel 37) came to pass on May 14, 1948 (the date of Israel’s rebirth) without sounding “nuts” yourself, I’m all ears.

      1. The rapid birth of Israel is prophesied in Isa 66:8. “Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day?” (Isa 66.8, NLT). In other words, this rapid birth was going to happen. The 20th century saw a rapid aliyah to Israel and this required a governmental framework with laws. This came to fruition in May 14, 1948. Although secular in declaration, the democratic State of Israel appears to be an ordered mechanism for the fulfillment of prophecy. More at

      2. 1948 israel was not reborn those people in Israel do not have the biblical history of the israelites they did not build the pyramids they do not look like the paintings of israelites in Egypt and they have not been taken into bondage by slave ships as prophesied in Deuteronomy

        1. Tyre DID capture Israelites after the Assyrian conquest and take them in ships and sold them to Greece as slaves. That is why Amos promises to destroy Tyre.

    2. According to Hindu belief, the world is predestined. In modern lingo, think of it as a deterministic computation. If some prophet or ascended being had the ability to skip frames and see the future, and it does come true, I think it would be foolish to ignore that just because it doesn’t make sense to you.

    3. I think you need to go and sit in the naughty corner… Unless of course you can be an adult and justify your opinion

  9. we know not the “time” nor the “season” not even the “son” only the “Father” knows. occupy til i come he says,,,dont be surprised if you find yourself here when the “man of sedition” arrives,,otherwise who would those be that is said to,,be brought up before him to be tortured and put to death for not accepting him as the messiah

    1. dalyma ….WRONG….you have succumbed to the “scribes” of whom Jesus warned us to “beware”. Turkey Day…..if you’re American you think of “Thanksgiving” because Turkey Day is a euphemism for Thanksgiving. The Jews have language euphemisms too. Jesus quoted a Jewish euphemism, twice. “Of that day and hour no man knoweth” is not to be taken literally no more than Thanksgiving is a day for literal turkeys (not a good day to be killed and eaten for any turkey). Of that day and hour no man knoweth is a Jewish euphemism for “Rosh Hashanah”. Jesus told us (through a euphemism) that his return would be on Rosh Hashanah…some year. That holiday can fall on either of 2 days because it is determined by sighting the new moon. And no one knew which day until the moon was sighted. It’s not regular because the moon is on a 27 1/2 day cycle so it could be the 27 or 28th day. No one knew until it happened. BUT the rapture WILL happen on Rosh Hashanah….some year.

      1. The return of Jesus Christ No Man Knows only the Father. the most important thing is to be ready. He could come tonight but then again there is still more work to be done. some believe that all the Jews must return to Israel. that includes the ones living in the USA! Time is unfolding before our eyes.

  10. Dear brethren, please also not that the GREAT sign spoken about in Revelation took place in the heavens directly above Jerusalem on the 23rd September 2017. We have also had the blood moon tetrad taking place ON God’s Holy feast days! And so many other signs, including the solar eclipse that just happened across USA and another to take place 7 years from now that will make a large CROSS over USA! There are to be 7 years of Tribulation before Jesus Christ steps foot in Jerusalem to take His throne. The Antichrist has now been revealed and those of us who are eagerly awaiting His Coming in the clouds to catch up His READY bride to meet Him in the air – the Resurrection of the dead preceding the Rapture of those who are yet alive – are ALL on the edge of our seats!!! There is no doubt as far as we can see that the Return of Jesus Christ to collect His READY bride is IMMINENT! We are told over and over again to KEEP WATCH! I am sounding the ALARM!!! Jesus is about to Come to get His READY bride! The Antichrist will try and destroy God’s children with the mark of the beast – that looks to be DNA changing RFID chip to go in the forehead or right hand according to the book of Revelation and just as we see has already started taking place!!! KEEP WATCH! And GET READY! SURRENDER ALL TO JESUS CHRIST NOW NOW NOW!!! God bless & keep & save ALL His children, bring us all to repentance and safely Home.AMEN! & I pray for His creatures too! In Jesus I pray all my prayers. AMEN🙏✝✡🕊💘💔💞💖💛❇️🙌🕊💛🌈 HalleluYah! AMEN! Humble servant of YHWH Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, the God of Israel, in Jesus Christ. 🙏✝God sent His only Begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have Everlasting Life. ~ John 3:16. PLEASE ALL BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST WHO DIED ONCE FOR ALL FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS! AMEN! DO NOT TAKE THE MARK OF THE BEAST OR YOU WILL PERISH! FOLLOW JESUS EVEN UNTO DEATH & AND ENTER INTO LIFE EVERLASTING WHERE THERE ARE NOT WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE JOY WE WILL FEEL! I LOVE YOU ALL IN JESUS! JUST COME HOME! AMEN!

    1. Amen!
      One day, very soon Christ Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem
      In Christ
      Mellany McKenzie

    2. “The Antichrist has now been revealed and those of us who are eagerly awaiting”. May I ask who has been declared the anti Christ?

      1. The Church Body is holding the Antichrist back until the Rapture. There are many anitchrist through out from the beginning to this present time. some are looking for the antichrist but I’m Looking for Jesus Christ to come in the clouds.

  11. Jesus clearly states that when the fig tree / Israel puts forth new shoots – Israel was born again in one day in 1948, just as it is Written – THAT generation would not pass until all things be fulfilled. A generation according to God’s Word is three score years and ten, 70 years. 1948 + 70 = 2018!!!

    We are clearly told that TIME would be CUT SHORT or no flesh would survive – we only have to look at how many weapons of mass destruction are on this earth to see why! Jesus rose from the grave BEFORE dawn of the THIRD DAY. A day is as a thousand years – see book of Peter for a witness, study to find the others – so He will not wait until the END of the third day, or the middle of it but BEFORE DAWN of the third millienium from when He came to earth – at the end of the fourth Millenium from Adam. If you consider that God starts His 24 hour day from sunset to sunset and His 12 hour day from 6am – Jesus died on the Cross at the 9th hour – then 5778 is surely passed the sunset of the day! And into the start of the night portion of the 7th day, 7th Millenium! Amazing! Exciting! Is Jesus about to Come to Resurrect the dead and Rapture His READY bride elect – 5 wise, 5 foolish, not all of His bride will be READY! GET READY! Jesus is about to Come for His bride!!! God bless you all and bring all His children safely Home in Jesus Christ. AMEN🙏✝✡🕊💘💔💞💖💛❇️🙌🕊💛🌈 His humble servant. Gabrielle Mary+X

      1. Global events are proving that the war between Israel and Gog (radical Islam as represented by the Iranian regime and its proxies which include Hamas and the PA) is on the horizon.

        If the boundary lines for Israel in Ezekiel is correct, then it tells me that Hezbollah (who now govern Lebanon) will be completely destroyed and Israel will put all of Lebanon under its rule.

      1. Gabrielle Mary+X was pointing out some end-time signs of Christ’s return. One she didn’t mention is the prophesied return of the scattered Jews to the land given to them under Abraham (Ezekiel 37.21). In just 100 years the Jewish population of Israel has increased over 7,000%. And in 1967 the Jews took full control of Jerusalem after 2500 years of Gentile rule. This is because the God of Israel will soon reign from Jerusalem (Zech 8.3, Isa 2.3, Lk 21.24). Just two major events that have happened!

  12. He will return at an hour you think not.
    All we can do is watch bible prophecy play out and keep a sharp eye on Israel and Jerusalem especially.

    1. I agree that he returns at a time we can’t know. I disagree that all we can do is watch bible prophecy play out. Numerous scriptures talk about praying for Israel & Jerusalem (such as Isaiah 62:6-7).

      Furthermore, the significant sign of Jesus coming is the gospel being preached to all nations (Matt 24:14) and as followers of Jesus he gave us a command to proclaim the Gospel to all nations in the famous great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 (note not a suggestion but a command and if we love Jesus we will obey his commands-John 14:15, 23, 15:16). We are meant to hasten the day (2 Peter 3:12). When Jesus told his disciples that they would not know the times he also said that they would be his witnesses. Every believer will stand before the judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Cor 3:10-14, Romans 14:10-12) and give account for what we did to advance the gospel to all nations. Start praying fervently that the Lord of the harvest would send out (ekballo in Greek ) laborers into the harvest field (Matt 9:37-38) so that our beloved bridegroom, the Great King, the Lord of heaven and Earth, who will come to judge the world and make all things right can return.

  13. Jeremiah 51

    1This is what the Lord says:
    “See, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer
    against Babylon and the people of Leb Kamai

    2 I will send foreigners to Babylon
    to winnow her and to devastate her land;
    they will oppose her on every side
    in the day of her disaster.

    How right God is.
    Babylon (modern Iraq) was known as a Garden (Hanging Gardens) in antiquity.
    Because of their treatment of Israel, they were destroyed by God.
    To this day, Syrians live in a desert without proper agriculture.

    Indeed it has become a den of jackals. To. This. Day. (Sic).

  14. Personally, I believe that we are AT PRESENT living in the Millenium. CHRIST IS REIGNING NOW – and has been for the past 2,000 years or more.

    1. Hi Noel – When Christ returns as King He will rule the whole earth from Jerusalem for 1000 years (Zech 14.9)(Rev 20.4,6). If we are now in the Millennium, where is He?

  15. Please keep in mind that this is the Hebrew year 5777 – that is, according to the Hebrews, 5777 years since creation – NOT 6017 years as our modern calendar would have us believe.

    In other words if we as believers think that the “Second Coming” of Jesus should be 4,000 from creation plus 2,000 since the First Advent (to make 6,000 years of a working week [6 days]) and then a Millenium (1,000 years = 1 Sabbath Day) of Jesus reigning – then the “Second Coming” would have to had taken place around about the year 2,000 AD. Clearly it didn’t.

    Perhaps we have to wait ANOTHER 233 years BEFORE the 6,000 years are complete. (6,000 -5777 =233). THINK ABOUT IT.

    1. Thank you for your comments. Yes, we accept we are in the year 5777. But the 4000 years and 2000 years are very nominal figures and not accurate to tens of years. So Christ’s exact return date is not given in scripture and no one knows it except the Father. Yes – we believe in a nominal 6000 years of human government plus 1000 years of kingdom rule making a complete 7000 years on this earth. But again, exact dates are not given or possible!
      Kind regards

    2. If we are in the Millennium, the Rapture would have been long time ago. Our bodies should have been changed and mortality swallowed by immortality…Hmmmm…Why some of us are still dying?

    3. clearly, you don’t know how to add. Did you flunk math when you were in school? Also, clearly the Hebrew calendar is wrong. The earth is just a little over 6000 years old. All you have to do is read the genealogies and add the ages when each father had a son, starting with Adam and Seth. It’s not rocket science. By the way, it’s not appropriate to identify yourself as a reverend as the Bible says reverend is His name, not yours.

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