The Good and Spacious Land

In Parshat Shmot, God approached Moshe at the burning bush asking him to help take the Jewish people out of Egypt.


In Shmot3:7-8 we read: God said, “I have indeed seen the affliction of My people that is in Egypt and I have heard its outcry because of its taskmasters, for I have known of its sufferings. I shall descend to rescue it from the hand of Egypt and to bring it up from the land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite, the Hitite, the Amorite, the Perizite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.”


According to Ramban, the reason that “a good land” is mentioned first is because the climate is good and beautiful. The words “a large land” refer to the fact that it is a broad place including the lowlands, the valley and the plain, large and small and is not confined to mountains and valleys.


The land is then praised for being a land for cattle to have abundant milk, for healthy and good cattle with abundant milk are to be found only where the climate is good, with plenty of vegetation and good water. Since these are only found in the marsh-lands, you would usually find that the fruits wouldn’t be very good. Therefore it is stated that the fruits all over are fat and sweet, even to the extent that it all flows with the honey that comes from them.


In Jeremiah 31:11 the Land of Israel is praised for the corn and for the wine and for the oil and for the young and the flock and of the herd.


In Yechezkel 20:6 the Land of Israel is called “the beauty of all lands.”


Ramban comments that the reason that it says  “the place of the Canaanite” and not the “land of the Canaanite” is to allude to the fact that B’nai Yisrael will destroy theCanaanites and settle in their places and not dwell among them as their fathers had done.


The reason why the seventh nation, the Girgashites, are not mentioned is because either their land was the section that was not flowing with milk and honey or in the future the six nations mentioned above were conquered first or the Girgashites left the Land of their own accord and therefore did not need to be destroyed.


In Sentence 10, God tells Moshe “And now, go and I shall dispatch you to Pharaoh and you shall take my people the Children of Israel out of Egypt”.


God never made any promises about Moshe being the one to bring them into the Land of Israel.


As many tourists come to Israel at this time of year for their winter vacations, they have the opportunity to experience the fulfillment of God’s promise and see a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. In just one week one can see a farms, orchards, factories and beaches as well as Biblical and spiritual sites. Some even choose to go skiing or ice skating.


We have the chance to visit the Land of Israel that Moshe never had. Come and take advantage of this great opportunity!