The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth - Matt 5:5 anyone?

by punkofnice 66 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • sd-7

    I was just reading Psalm 37 awhile ago, and reading those verses in context really helps to demonstrate why this is a case of proof texting. The term 'earth' could just as easily be rendered 'land', which for the Jews was the main hope--to possess their land 'to time indefinite', which was clearly an oft-used expression of those times ('O king, live on to time indefinite' was hardly expressing a hope that the king being addressed would live forever on a paradise earth, after all). Righteous, meek people would hope to pass on their possession of land to their children, and their children, and so on, in ancient Israel. This song could easily be interpreted as an encouragement to live honorably in contrast to the wicked who would suffer the bad consequences of breaking the Law (ie. being killed and their land being handed off to someone else, maybe even someone not of their household or blood line).

    I'm not saying that there can't be a paradise earth; I'm just saying that Psalm 37 does not necessarily prove that. I've seen enough word replacement in the New World Translation to safely conclude that the use of the term 'earth' could be an intentional propping up of their doctrines about paradise. That's my take on it.


  • Nobleheart

    @ Punkofnice

    My idea on Isaiah 11 is this. I don't think it's referring to actual herbivores and carnivores both feeding on grass. The passage says " They will neither harm nor destroy.. for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD."

    Why are 'they"? I don't think animals (wolf, lamb, lion, etc), or even the infant, can in fact be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.

    I think the passage is referring to people's attitudes being changed due to their knowledge of the good news and the HS working on them inwardly (i.e. from rebellious to meek). As a result, there shall be great peace and quiet in the Kingdom of God.

    I'm pretty sure the WT itself gives a similar explanation. (Can't find the quotes right now) They also provide the other explanation that these animals will change their diet and be a part of the paradise scenery.

    The Bible does talk about hope of life in a new heavens and new earth in 2 Peter and Revelation. We don't know the details of that yet, except that God will be with manking and dwell with them forever. (Rev 21)

  • Nobleheart

    Found some quotes, from this forum actually on earlier threads.

    **w00 9/1 p. 18 "The Times of Restoration" Are at Hand!***

    An extensive campaign was undertaken to teach people of all nations to observe the things Christ had commanded his followers to do. (Matthew 28:20) How refreshing it was to see some who had formerly displayed animal-like characteristics change their outlook! They stripped off the old personality, which produces such traits as "anger," "abusive speech," and "obscene talk," and put on the new personality, "which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of [God] who created it." In a spiritual sense, the words of the prophet Isaiah are being fulfilled even now: "The wolf [a person who formerly displayed wolflike characteristics] will actually reside for a while with the male lamb [a person manifesting a meek disposition], and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together."—Colossians 3:8-10; Isaiah 11:6, 9.

    This is I think from Isaiah's Prophecy book. (on the actual Isaiah 11 passage)

    Do these words not touch the heart? Notice that the peace described here results from the knowledge of Jehovah. Hence, more is involved than mere safety from wild animals. The knowledge of Jehovah will not change animals, but it will affect people. Neither on the way home nor in their restored land will the Israelites need to fear wild beasts or beastlike men.—Ezra 8:21, 22; Isaiah 35:8-10; 65:25.

    This prophecy, however, has a larger fulfillment... "Accurate knowledge," the knowledge of Jehovah, has changed personalities. (Colossians 3:9, 10) Formerly violent people have become peaceable. (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:17-24) These developments have now affected millions because Isaiah’s prophecy has come to include a rapidly increasing number of Christians with an earthly hope. (Psalm 37:29; Isaiah 60:22) These have learned to look to the time when the whole earth will be restored as a secure, peaceful paradise, according to God’s original purpose.—Matthew 6:9, 10; 2 Peter 3:13.

    Both these quotes show the animals mentioned in Isaiah 11 are referring to humans with animal-like characteristics, being changed due to accurate knowledge.

  • Concerned JW
    Concerned JW

    The hebrew word used to translate "earth/land " appears in the hebrew scriptures nearly 2500 times. "'Erets". Like most hebrew words it has multiple means but it's first and formost meaning is as a reference to the whole "earth". Context like with our own languages drives the meaning. If I said "I have a board of wood" or "I am a member of the board" same word different meanings the sentence context shows us which.

    psalm 37:29 is a themed scripture of many that David uses that talk of inheriting the earth, possessing it and as such the most correct understanding of "'erets" would be "earth" in that context. Jesus was refering to David words on this common theme.

    It is dishonest to translate a word to a different meaning without taking into account the context.

  • transhuman68

    Then again, Israel was spruiked by Jehovah as being a land flowing with milk and honey, wheras in reality it was only good for growing olives and winegrapes, on the parts of it that weren't completely arid.

    I think you'd have to take these promises with a grain of salt...

  • ProdigalSon

    In 2012 the solar system crosses the ecliptic plane of the galaxy and enters a higher energy field. In this new energy, the old, selfish, dark mindset cannot survive. Since "God" (the Universal Law) is Love, the more we evolve, the closer we get to "God". The frequency of love is higher and does not tolerate the old energy (this can be proven ...plants, for example, respond to love, and even WATER does) . It's basically destruction of the wicked by the hand of "God". A New Age, a new Paradigm. Just what the Bible says. Imagine that.

    This new energy will affect the animal kingdom as well. How? I can only imagine. What lions will need their teeth for, in that new paradigm, is anybody's guess....

  • Kenneson

    Surely there were meek people in the time period the Old Testament was written. They did inherit the Promised Land. So, the passage was fulfilled.

    Jesus was the meekest person who ever lived. He did not remain on the earth forever. He went and prepared a place for those who followed him that they would be with him where he was and it is not here! See John 14. These meek people were not looking to live here on earth forever. Actually, Heb. 12:22 shows they had their sight on a city, not on earth, but in heaven.

    JW's are waiting for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven sometime in the future. Don't they know that God's love and will reigns in the hearts of His followers NOW whether they are on earth or in heaven?

  • Vanderhoven7

    PunkofNice, Let me give you my personal take on the Beatitudes.

    In the Beatitudes, Jesus was not distinguishing between different classes of Christians. In other words the spiritually poor go to heaven (v 3), but the meek go to the new earth (v 5) and the persecuted go to heaven (v10 ), but they that mourn are just comforted.

    These Beatitudes are "be attitudes" for all Christians. Jesus is outlining the soteriological progression (salvation-sanctification-glorification) that applies to all believers. Salvation/heavenly promise begins with recognition of ones utter unworthiness (forgive me a sinner attitude) that leads to mourning over ones helpless condition before the holiness of God; followed by teachableness(meekness) and a hungering and thirsting after a righteousness we do not possess in and of ourselves. Realizing we have obtained an alien righteousness and undeserved mercy, we demonstrate mercy towards others; this process works purity; we become peacemakers as children in God's family; sharing the grace of God we have experienced with others, which inevitably results in persecution from those who resent God and His Son. Blessed = marked for salvation. Blessed = spiritually enriched by God.

    Now, from my IBSA background, I do look forward to a new heaven and a new earth. The 144.000 is a symbol of perfection of the innumerable millions of Christians, called and faithful, having again and again gone through the blessed cleansing and enriching process above who cannot lose their reward, having laid all their hopes and treasures above. These inherit all things, including the new earth, where they will reign with Christ over the nations for a thousand (symbolic) years until the whole universe is perfected and ready to be offered to the Father.

    Nothing of man's inspired creativity will be lost; music, art, science, neither will any act of kindness, every smile, every act of mercy, every word of encouragement, every cup of water.....will never be lost or wasted. It's not that we act for rewards; we already have too much to think about what rewards might look like. But the fact is, we can never outgive God. We can never do more for Him than he has done for us. But knowing Him, He will multiply our efforts.

    So that's my take on the "Be-Attitudes" :o)

  • punkofnice

    @concernedJW. Thanks for your reply - I hear what you say but as others have noted the watchtower has a different explanation.

    w74 6/15 p. 377 par. 13 Serve with Eternity in View ***
    3 In Psalm 37:11, 29 David wrote: “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, . . . The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” In saying this he evidently drew upon what should have been the case with regard to the Promised Land in his days and in the following generations. According to God’s covenant with Abraham, the wicked pagans who had lived in the land should be cleared out. (Gen. 15:18-21; 17:8; Deut. 7:22; Josh. 21:43-45) Thus each successive generation of righteous worshipers making up the nation of Israel could have resided on the land, the portion of the earth that God gave to them. (Deut. 30:20) We know, however, that the majority of the Israelites proved unfaithful, and so they did not carry out God’s purpose in that regard. In fact, finally God let the Assyrians and Babylonians conquer and depopulate the land temporarily. for Matt 5:5 the watchtower doesn't say the 'meek' will live on Earth

    Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1 p.1201 "The anointed members of the Christian congregation are spoken of as having a heavenly inheritance, sharing Jesus' inheritance as his "brothers." (Eph 1:14; Col 1:12; 1Pe 1:4, 5) This includes the earth.-Mt 5:5."
    Watchtower 1974 June 15 pp.377-378 "? saying that the 'mild-tempered will inherit the earth.' Yes, those mild-tempered ones who are to be with Christ in his heavenly kingdom will rule over this earth."
    Watchtower 1959 August 1 p.479 "When Jesus said, as recorded at Matthew 5:5, "Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth," of whom was he speaking?-H. S., U.S.A. Jesus here applied the expression"mild-tempered" or "meek" to his disciples of that time who were in line for the heavenly kingdom.He was the chief meek one among them and their example. Hebrews 1:1, 2 and 2:5, 6 show that Jesus inherits the earth or takes over the possession of it. His disciples were made his joint heirs in the Kingdom and enter into this inheritance or possession of the earth with him. Hence Matthew 5:5 does not strictly apply to the "other sheep.""

    So, what do you make of REV 19:1?

  • Larsinger58

    SAC sed: "Heb 1 goes out of the way to demonstrate that Christ CAN'T be an angel, to read anything different is, well, ridiculous." Interesting. Others think that what is "ridiculous" is thinking the Bible could make any sense out of comparing God with an angel in the first place. Why the comparison? Thus Heb 1 proves Jesus must be some sort of an angel by the comparison with angels. That is, the comparison was to distinguish the specific distinction between Jesus and the other angels. That is, nobody compares dogs to elephants, but one might compare a poodle to a collie. Jesus, of course, per 1 Thess 4:`5 is definitely Michael, the archangel. Hebrews thus makes the distinction between Jesus and the other angels by supplementing why he is called the ONLY-BEGOTTON son of God, versus the other angels who are not directly begotten by the Creator. As the Bible says, everything was made by, for and through Christ. Thus Christ was the first being created by God, after which he was used to create all other things. The act of creation is by the "word", i.e. "let there be light", etc. Jesus Christ, if you will, was like a magic wand that God used to create all things, that is, all other things than Christ. But first God had to create the magic wand himself directly. The words he used to create Chirst was: "Today I have become your father..." etc. Those are the actual words of creation that had to be uttered by Jehovah himself in order to create Christ, the "first born of all creation." After that, it was Christ who uttered the words based on God's instructions and thus be came known as "The Word" of God. That is what makes Christ unique, an "alpha and omega" (i.e. unique creature, one of a kind, beginning and ending of his kind) like Jehovah God. Christ has the unique distinction of being created directly by God. All other things are created indirectly by God through Christ. So while some thinks Heb 1 by comparing Christ to the angels is establishing he is not an angel, a more astute observation is that he must be an angel based on the context of the comparison itself. Heb 1 is showing the distinction between Christ's angelic nature and that of the other angels. Thus, it could be said it is "ridiculous" to compare a god to angels vs comparing one type of angel to another. The comparison alone confirms Jesus must be an angel. Thus my 2.5 cents. LS

Share this