Judea and Samaria – The heart of the land of Israel


So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. (Joshua 21:43)

The book of Joshua tells us, in chapter 21,  how the sons of Israel conquered the whole of the land of Canaan.

But then in chapter 23, Joshua says:

See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you.  (Joshua 23:4-5)

This is not clear. Did Israel conquer the whole of Canaan or are there still Canaanites in the land?

In the book of Judges we get the picture: Although the whole of the land was divided between the tribes, there are still many big cities that remain to be conquered:

27 However, Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; for the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land … 29 Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer … 30 Nor did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or the inhabitants of Nahalol … 31 Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob… 33 Nor did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh or the inhabitants of Beth Anath (Joshua 1:27-36)

The map below shows the borders at the end of the book of Joshua.

The pink areas were taken by the sons of Israel, and the green is the remaining land:


Look carefully at the shape of the conquered land – Does this shape looks familiar?

Now look at the map of Israel in the years between 1948 – 1967 and compare to the map of the conquest:

The conquest of Joshua                                                 Borders of Israel between 1948-1967

compare conquests of joshua with israel

You will find, surprisingly, that the two maps are mirrors for each other!

In the time of Joshua, Judea and Samaria were the main land (in pink), while the rest (in green) is the remaining land.

But in modern Israel, the remaining land of Joshua is the state of Israel, and Judea and Samaria are the “remaining land”!

As much as Judea and Samaria are not considered part of Israel by most of the international community, It is in fact the heart of the land from which the sons of Israel started their conquest.

Anyone who supports the historical right of Israel and the Jews of their historical land, cannot take Judea ans Samaria out of it as it is the “Heart of the Country”.

Author: Ran Silberman

I am a tour guide in Israel with a passion for the Bible. For many years I work in the software industry as a software consultant. I blog in http://ransilberman.blog

3 thoughts on “Judea and Samaria – The heart of the land of Israel”

  1. Hello Ran,

    I enjoy the posts to your blog. When I was in Israel the last time, I wasn’t aware of how knowledgeable you are with your nation’s history. I hope I will be able to learn more from you while I am in Israel this next time. I will be in Kfar Saba from July 18th to October 11th. I’m so excited to get back to The Land!

    I do have a question that was asked by a friend this week. Does the Bible relate any stories or occurrences that happened in the Kfar Saba area? I understand the city of Kfar Saba is about 100 years old so I’m certain the names of locations would have been something else. Does that make sense?




    1. Hello Phyllis and thank you for your comment!
      The city of Kfar Saba is indeed about 100 years old. It was founded on an Arab village that was called Kafar Saba.
      But this Arab village is named after a Jewish village that existed in this area during the the Roman period (until ~500 AD) and was called Kfar Saba.
      The Jewish Roman historian Josephus Flavius mentions Kfar Saba in his famous book “The great Roman-Jewish war”.
      There is no Biblical site in Kfar Saba, but 7 miles to the east is the Biblical site of “Eben-Ha-Ezer”, where there was a battle between Israel and the Philistines and the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 4:1-11)

  2. I like how you “go to the Bible” consistently with relevant scripture after each puzzle to seek the answer & it clearly makes sense. After staring at these 2 maps, it’s beyond fascinating. Thanks Ran.

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