Who owns Palestine, really? Who does this blood-soaked piece of property belong to? It is an important question, because the whole world seems to realize that the last chapter of man’s troubled history on this planet will be played out on the stage of the Middle East. That’s why the whole world cares so much about what would otherwise be an irrelevant, regional conflict. And it is why so many turn to the Bible, looking at the prophecies of the end time, to see if they can tease out an answer about what is going to happen next.
The problem is that it isn’t always easy to identify the players. Who are these people, and what are their ancient claims to this ancient land? If you don’t know who the people are and where they live, reading a prophecy about them won’t help much. We know that the entire parcel of land from the Nile River to the Euphrates comprises a giant land grant given to a man named Abraham. It isn’t so easy, though, to follow the distribution of Abraham’s estate among his descendants.
There are three statements of Moses, from a speech delivered near the end of his life, that make important declarations relative to the ancient rights to the land. He rehearses the journey by which they had come to the place where they were ready to take the land of Canaan, and in the process gives evidence of the land rights of Edom, Moab, and Ammon. We’ll find this in Deuteronomy, the second chapter.