The Israel we know today would be a lot different from Israel in the Bible, as described by the Scriptures. If you plan to visit Israel to visit the popular biblical sites or join a Christian pilgrimage such as getting baptized in the Jordan River, understanding how Israel came to existence as described by the Bible would give you a deeper experience in visiting this sacred land.
The Promised Land
Israel was first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Genesis when God made a promise of land to Abraham and his descendants Jacob and Isaac. The place was then called the “land of Canaan” and this would be the place where the Israelites would inhabit after their Exodus from Egypt. In this passage, it would geographically describe its borders and its location. One can also find the location of Israel in the Bible in Exodus 23, details about the land of Israel are more defined wherein it describes the borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, then from the desert to the Euphrates River.
Twelve Tribes of Israel
The first mention of Israel in the bible can be found in Genesis 32:28 (ESV), “Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”. From this passage, the name “Israelites” is used to call the Hebrews from the lineage of Jacob’s twelve sons or the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
There are many passages that talk about Israel in the bible including Deuteronomy 19, 2 Samuel 24, Ezekiel 47 and others. Most of the passages define the borders of Israel or its division amongst the Twelve Tribes.