Chapter 33: The Holy Covenant
Israel was dictated a very clear and comprehensive set of instructions, bound into the Holy Covenant through Moses, regarding the conquest. Should Israel have completely fulfilled their obligations to the Covenant, they would have received the full part of the blessings of the Covenant that included full possession of all the lands promised to Abraham, along with unheard- of prosperity. 6 But because Israel did not completely fulfill their Covenant obligations, they were subject to the curses from the Covenant. Israel afforded mercy to the nations they vanquished, permitting vestiges to live among them and share in the Covenant Land.
One must consider that Israel was created and then set aside from all other nations of the world. Israel was created for a specific destiny, to save humankind; held to a significantly higher criterion; and then sentenced to horrific punishments when they failed. Israel was bound into a Holy Covenant with God that demanded tough and specific requirements:
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
~ Exodus 19:4–6
The Qur’an recorded the Holy Covenant this way: “Remember when We took your pledge, and made a mountain tower high above you, and said, ‘Hold fast to what we have given you and bear its content in mind, so that you may be conscious of God.’ Even after that you turned away. Had it not been for God’s favor and mercy on you, you certainly would have been lost.” 7 “Moses said to his people, ‘My people, God’s blessing on you: how He raised prophets among you and appointed kings for you and gave you what he had not given to any other people. My people go into the holy land which God has ordained for you— do not turn back or you will be the losers.’” 8 One must always look through this lens when judging events from the conquest and in the tragic history of Israel throughout the ages.