Directions in the Promised Land
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God's promise to Abraham

In Genesis 13 God reaffirms the promise of the land to Abram and his offspring: “Look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.” (Gen.13:14-15). The Hebrew words used for the four directions where Abram was supposed to direct his gaze were: north (tzafonah-צָפֹנָה), south (negbah-נֶגְבָּה), east (kedmah-קֵדְמָה) and west (yamah-יָמָּה).

The real Biblical directions

The ending “ה” (sounds like “ah”), as it appears at the end of the above Hebrew words, signifies a direction (similar to English “to the south” for example). Biblical Hebrew has an intense physicality, and these words describe more than just directions:
- "Negba" -“to the south”-Literally means “to the Negev”, the desert region of southern Israel.
- "Yama" - “to the west”- Sea is "yam" in Hebrew, so it literally means “to the sea”, which lies to the west of Israel.
- "Kedma" -“to the east”- In the Hebrew Bible God planted a garden in Eden “mikedem”- in Eden to the east (Gen.2:8).
-Tzfona”- “to the north”- Connected to the mount of Zaphon in Syria. 

Direct your reading of the Bible

Hebrew will be your compass when navigating through the Holy Scriptures. By reading the Bible in its original language, you will be able to understand the deeper meanings of the text. Enroll in our upcoming online Biblical Hebrew course, taught live from Israel, and start a unique journey of understanding.