Archive for the ‘Canaan’ Category

Responding to Zakir Hussain’s "Land of Canaan" Argument

September 25, 2012

The second prophecy that Zakir Hussain used in his recent debate with Dr. White is the fact (in the linked mp3, see 12:40 – 13:19) that God promised to give the land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham. This was indeed a prophecy given first to Abraham (then called Abram):

Genesis 15:18-21
In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

Mr. Hussain argued that for the past 1000 years this land has been held by Muslims. First of all, this assertion is faulty. The crusaders established the kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099 and held land in the area for roughly 200 years. Moreover, at the present day there is a Jewish nation in the region.

More importantly, though, it was the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership that drove out the peoples of the land.

Joshua 24:11
And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

The expansion of Israel increased from the time of Joshua to that of David/Solomon. Thus, we read:

1 Kings 9:20-21
And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel, their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.

1 Chronicles 18:3
And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.

2 Chronicles 7:8
Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.

Of course, subsequently the area was controlled by others. For example:

2 Kings 24:6-7
So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead. And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

And we may mention the fact that after the Babylonian, Chalean, and Persian empires both the Greek and Roman empires conquered the area. So the fact that Islamic forces likewise overran the area for a time (even for a long time) does not have particular significance.

It lacks particular significance because the boundaries of Euphrates to the Nile was never the boundary of any of the Islamic empire(s). Those empires that included that region (such as the Ottoman Empire) always included additional land on the other side of the Nile or on the other side of the Euphrates or both, like all the other empires that subsequently controlled the whole region.

It also lacks particular significance because it was the Israelites who actually drove out the Canaanite nations and took their land from them. Thus, the prophecy was in the immediate sense, clearly fulfilled in Israel, particularly in the height of the kingdom under David/Solomon.

Thus, there is no reason to apply this prophecy to Mohammed, whose successors conquered the area.

– TurretinFan

N.B. It should go without saying, but this post should not be taken as in any way a criticism of Dr. White’s response during the debate. I was able to spend an unlimited amount of time preparing my response, and I am not required to fit my responses to each of Mr. Hussain’s arguments into a fixed amount of time or space. In a real debate, the debaters have to prioritize based on limited preparation time and limited response time.

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