The Promised Land (Hebrew: הארץ המובטחת, translit.: Ha'Aretz HaMuvtahat) is the land promised or given by God, according to the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), to the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob. The promise is first made to Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21) and then renewed to his son Isaac, and to Isaac's son Jacob (Genesis 28:13), Abraham's grandson. The promised land was described in terms of the territory from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates river (Exodus 23:31) and was given to their descendants after Moses led the Exodus out of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 1:8)
The term should not be confused with the expression "Land of Israel" which is first used in 1 Samuel 13:19, when the Israelite tribes were already in the Land of Canaan. The term is also used in the Book of Mormon, in which it refers to the American continent.
Divine promise 
- The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."
and in Genesis 12:7:
- The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring [or seed] I will give this land."
Commentators note that it is to Abram's descendants that the land will (in the future tense) be given, not to Abram directly nor there and then. However, in Genesis 15:7 it is said:
- He also said to him, "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it."
And in Genesis 15:18-21 the boundary of the promised land is clarified in terms of the territory of various ancient peoples, as follows:
- On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates - the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."
The verse is said to describe what are known as "borders of the Land" (Gevulot Ha-aretz). In Jewish tradition, these borders define the maximum extent of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob.
The promise was confirmed to Jacob at Genesis 28:13, though the borders are still vague and is in terms of "the land on which you are lying". Other geographical borders are given in Exodus 23:31 which describes borders as marked by the Red Sea, the "Sea of the Philistines" i.e. the Mediterranean, and the "River," (the Euphrates).
- See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.
It took a long time before the Israelites could subdue the Canaanite inhabitants of the land. The furthest extent of the Land of Israel was achieved during the time of the united Kingdom of Israel under David. The actual land controlled by the Israelites has fluctuated considerably over time and at times the land has been under the control of various empires. However, under Jewish tradition, even when it is not in Jewish occupation, the land has not lost its status as the Promised Land.
Descendants of Abraham 
Traditional Jewish interpretation, and that of most Christian commentators, define Abraham's descendants as Abraham's seed only through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, to the exclusion of Ishmael and Esau.  This may however reflect an eisegesis or reconstruction of primary verses based on the later biblical emphasis of Jacob's descendants. The promises given to Abraham happened prior to the birth of Issac and were given to all his offspring signified through the rite of circumcision. Johann Friedrich Karl Keil is less clear, as he states that the covenant is through Isaac, but notes that Ishmael's descendants have held much of that land through time.
Mainstream Jewish tradition regards the promise made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as having been given to all Jews, including proselytes and in turn their descendants. The traditional view is that a convert becomes a child of Abraham, as in the term "ben Avraham".
See also 
- Kol Torah, vol. 13, no. 9, Torah Academy of Bergen County, Nov 8, 2003
- See 6th and 7th portion commentaries by Rashi
- Stuart, Douglas K., Exodus, B&H Publishing Group, 2006, p. 549
- Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Walter A. Elwell, Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2001, p. 984
- Edersheim Bible History - Bk. 1, Ch. 10
- Edersheim Bible History - Bk. 1, Ch. 13
- Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible - Genesis 15
- Genesis - Chapter 15 - Verse 13 - The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible on StudyLight.org
- Parshah In-Depth - Lech-Lecha
- Reformed Answers: Ishmael and Esau
- The Promises to Isaac and Ishmael
- God Calls Abram Abraham
- Nigeriaworld Feature Article - The Abrahamic Covenant: Its scope and significance - A commentary on Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi’s essay
- Biblical commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 1, Carl Friedrich Keil, Franz Delitzsch, p. 224