The Torah promises [successful] copper mining in Israel's mountains:

אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ... וּמֵהֲרָרֶיהָ תַּחְצֹב נְחֹשֶׁת׃
a land ... from whose hills you can mine copper. (Deut 8.9)

I tried to Google, but the only evidence I've found was Solomon's Mines in Timna (c.900 BC), which seems to be outside the borders of Eretz Israel.

Are there additional copper mines within the borders of the Promised Land the Torah talks about that were known from the times of the conquest (c.1500 BC)?

The real question here is not about mining, it's about whether the Torah's promises should be understood literally or metaphorically (like most of my questions probably). Once we reject the fact that it is an existing phenomenon we need to seek a metaphorical explanation.


1 Answer 1


You assume that those mines should be within the borders given in Parashat Massei, but it might be false. The promised land borders described in Brit bein Habetarim are wider.

Not just Timmna, the region of Eilat mountains is rich with copper ore, and in few places also iron. Possibly some of this region is part of Erez Yisrael.

There are evidence of copper mining in this area from the Chalcolithic era (4500 B.C)

  • So you are proposing that Moshe stood in Arvot Moav and told the people how wonderful the land will be... while they are already standing in the land he is describing? I would have thought it obvious that Moshe was describing the land on the other side of the Jordan as delineated in Masei
    – Double AA
    Aug 25, 2019 at 13:53
  • @DoubleAA Eilat mountains are part of Moav plains? how's that? Aug 25, 2019 at 13:59
  • He says כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, מְבִיאֲךָ אֶל-אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה: yet they just wandered though the Eilat mountains already for 40 years. What is he talking about??
    – Double AA
    Aug 25, 2019 at 14:02
  • @DoubleAA 1. Moav is not part of brit bein Hbetarim borders, look at the map 2. Beni Yisrael Barley moved through Eilat mountains, and they are not there when Moshe is speaking. My answer is solid. Aug 25, 2019 at 14:15

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