Tuesday, October 25, 2011
“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exodus 3:8 KJV).
In today’s Scripture, the LORD in the burning bush tells Moses that He will deliver the nation Israel from Egyptian slavery and bring them into the Promised Land, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” The Bible uses this expression 20 times to describe Israel’s land (Palestine). What does it mean?
By the time of Numbers chapter 13, Israel has been delivered from Egypt and is sending 12 spies to explore Palestine. Moses instructs these spies: “And [see] what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes” (verse 20).
In verse 23, the spies arrive at the brook of Eshcol, and cut down a grape cluster (“Eshcol” is Hebrew for “grape cluster;” verse 24). This one cluster of grapes is so enormous that two men must carry it on a pole! The spies also collect figs and pomegranates.
After 40 days of scouting, the spies return to Moses and Israel’s camp and show them Canaan’s fruit: “And they told him [Moses], and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it” (verse 27). “And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey” (Numbers 14:7,8).
Deuteronomy 11:10-12 and Deuteronomy 31:20 also confirm that “flowing with milk and honey” indicated Canaan was a land of high agricultural productivity (pollination, green grass, flowering trees, water resources, abundant food, et cetera). Just think…rebellious Israel refused to go in!