In what way was the land flowing with milk and honey? (Deuteronomy 26:9)-- 9 And he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. Dt. 26:15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 27:3 And you shall write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over to enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you.
ESV - 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
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My understanding of the expression "flowing with milk and honey" is that it was intended to evoke in the minds of the Israelites (in the context of their agrarian culture) images of goats (as the source of the milk) and figs (as the source of the honey), with the associated meaning that the land was abundantly (as indicated by the word "flowing") fertile and suitable, both for the planting of crops, and for the grazing and maintaining of herds.
This phrase is a figure of speech, picture language, to illustrate God's love lavished upon his people. Milk and honey were prised possessions in the ancient world. They were a sign of great prosperity and abundant, satisfying life. Then God adds the word "flowing" to the phrase to show the extravagance of his love and blessing. This parcel of land, this promised inheritance, was a huge place. In Joshua 1:4 we read "Your territory will extend from the desert [of Egypt in the south] to Lebanon [in the north], and from the great river, the Euphrates [in the east] - all the Hittite country - to the Mediterranean Sea in the west." Look it up on a map, it is a huge tract of land. In my view, this land at that time, was God's very best place on planet earth for his nation of Israel, his people, to live forever. But sadly, we know they spoiled it by rebelling against his commandments and chasing false gods. I don't think we have any concept today of how beautiful and fertile this land was. And I think the place is much different today because of all the sin that was committed on this precious soil. God had to remove the Israelite nation for 70 years so the land could be healed from Sabboth desecrations over 490 years. But God is so merciful and faithful. Believers will again get to see how this land will flow with milk and honey when Jesus comes to set up his millennial kingdom.
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