What does it mean that they will inherit the Earth?
Thanks, God Bless!
What does it mean that they will inherit the Earth?
Thanks, God Bless!
Excellent question! :clapping::yup:
That only 144,000 people are going to heaven and the rest of the “saved” are going to stay here.
Just kidding. That’s the answer a Jehovah’s Witness would give (may the Lord show them all the path out of neo-Arianism). I’d like to know, too.
From the Haydock Commentary:
"The land of the living, or the kingdom of heaven. The evangelist prefers calling it the land of the living in this place, to shew that the meek, the humble, and the oppressed, who are spoiled of the possession of this earth by the powerful and the proud, shall obtain the inheritance of a better land. M. — “They shall possess the land,” is the reward annexed by our Saviour to meekness, that he might not differ in any point from the old law, so well known to the persons he was addressing. David, in psalm xxxvi, had made the same promise to the meek. If temporal blessings are promised to some of the virtues in the beatitudes, it is that temporal blessings might always accompany the more solid rewards of grace. But spiritual rewards are always the principal, always ranked in the first place, all who practice these virtues are pronounced blessed. Hom. xv.
And, from the Catena Aurea:
"[ed. note, b: Verses 4 and 5 are transposed in the Vulgate.]
Ambrose, in Luc. c. v. 20: When I have learned contentment in poverty, the next lesson is to govern my heart and temper. For what good is it to me to be without worldly things, unless I have besides a meek spirit? It suitably follows therefore, “Blessed are the meek.”
Aug., Serm. in Mont. i, 2: The meek are they who resist not wrongs, and give way to evil; but overcome evil of good.
Ambrose: Soften therefore your temper that you be not angry, at least that you “be angry, and sin not.” It is a noble thing to govern passion by reason; [p. 149] nor is it a less virtue to check anger, than to be entirely without anger, since one is esteemed the sign of a weak, the other of a strong, mind.
Aug.: Let the unyielding then wrangle and quarrel about earthly and temporal things, “the meek are blessed, for they shall inherit the earth,” and not be rooted out of it; that earth of which it is said in the Psalms, “Thy lot is in the hand of the living,” [Ps 142:5] meaning the fixedness of a perpetual inheritance, in which the soul that hath good dispositions rests as in its own place, as the body does in an earthly possession, it is fed by its own food, as the body by the earth; such is the rest and the life of the saints.
Pseudo-Chrys.: This earth as some interpret, so long as it is in its present condition is the land of the dead, seeing it is “subject to vanity;” but when it is freed from corruption it becomes the land of the living, that the mortal may inherit an immortal country.
I have read another exposition of it, as if the heaven in which the saints are to dwell is meant by “the land of the living,” because compared with the regions of death it is heaven, compared with the heaven above it is earth. Others again say, that this body as long as it is subject to death is the land of the dead, when it shall be made like unto Christ’s glorious body, it will be the land of the living.
Hilary: Or, the Lord promises the inheritance of the earth to the meek, meaning of that Body, which Himself took on Him as His tabernacle; and as by the gentleness of our minds Christ dwells in us, we also shall be clothed with the glory of His renewed body.
Chrys.: Otherwise; Christ here has mixed things sensible with things spiritual. Because it is commonly supposed that he who is meek loses all that he possesses, Christ here gives a contrary promise, that he who is not forward shall possess his own in security, but that he of a contrary disposition many times loses his soul and his paternal inheritance. But because the Prophet had said, “The meek shall inherit the earth,” [Ps 36:11] He used these well known words in conveying His meaning.
Gloss. ord.: The meek, who have possessed themselves, shall possess hereafter the inheritance of the Father; to possess is more than to have, for we have many things which we lose immediately.
My take has always been that this refers to those who will be saved at the resurrection. That such will inherit the kingdom that is to come…and that kingdom will be both heavenly and earthly.
The meek will inherit - not the haughty and prideful. This is the opposite of what Jesus listeners would have seen in their world where Rome held sway through force and pride.
And indeed we continue to see this sort of thing today…
Pope Benedict XVI, in Jesus of Nazareth, makes the telling observation that the Beatitudes are all referring to the same thing: the righteous person, the one who truly follows Christ’s teachings. Such a person is poor in spirit, meek, a peacemaker, and so forth…
Now for the supporting evidence - “The meek shall inherit the land” is a quote from Psalm 37 (36 in the Vulgate numbering):
“But the meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37:11)
In its original context, the Psalm contrasts the eventual fates of the righteous and the wicked.
In the context of the Beatitudes, Christ is holding up the highest possible standard of conduct for anyone who would follow him, and affirms that those who do so are blessed indeed. We shouldn’t look for a literal fulfillment in terms of earthly government, especially given that the entire context of the Sermon on the Mount is the Kingdom of Heaven, not an earthly kingdom or territory.
Meek means teachable in the Bible. The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man because he was teachable. Moses was teachable and so the people entered the promised land.
The beatitudes are part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus sits down when he gives the Sermon on the Mount, the classic rabbinical teaching posture. Jesus was teaching. He was bringing the audiences mind to the Old Testament scriptures.
Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more;
look for them and they will not be there.
But the poor will inherit the earth,
will delight in great prosperity.
***all the land that you see I will give to you and your descendants forever. *(Genesis 13:15)
It is part of the three-fold promise made by God to Abraham; a great family, worldwide blessing, and land.
I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will find blessing in you. … The LORD appeared to Abram and said: To your descendants I will give this land. So Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:2-3,7)
I still didn’t understand the answer. Could someone simplify this and summarize it?
If the Church fathers cannot make it clear, then I see little hope of anyone here doing so.
I always assumed it had some relation to the vision of the new earth that God will create. (not to say that is the only relationship).
Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and** a new earth**. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.”
5 The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me, “They are accomplished. I [am] the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. 7 The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son.*
You will be blessed by God if you listen to what God says and do it.
Or, to use St. Matthew’s terminology, the Kingdom of heaven belongs to those who listen obediently to God and follow it. Well said, Sir.
It really is a beautiful question posed in the OP, and again, the question by ClearWater to put it simply is sublime. Sometimes we work too hard at this stuff.
I had a conversation with a Dominican Sister the other day. As we departed she said simply, “Do good things.” I thought it was so simple and so beautiful.