Matthew 5:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 5:5, NIV: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5, ESV: "“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5, KJV: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5, NASB: "'Blessed are the gentle, for they will inherit the earth."

Matthew 5:5, NLT: "God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth."

Matthew 5:5, CSB: "Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth."

What does Matthew 5:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus continues to describe the Beatitudes: sayings about who is blessed and why, especially as it relates to the coming kingdom of heaven. Now Jesus declares those who are meek to be blessed because they will inherit the earth. The word meek does not mean "weak," though that's how many misinterpret it. The word is best understood as "gentleness," or a refusal to take control by brute force or manipulation. Meekness, from a Christian perspective, is about faith. It is about trusting God to win the battle in the end instead of going to extremes to win the battle on our own terms. The concept is often referred to as "strength under control," rather than "strength seeking control."

This is exactly backwards from the world's common understanding. Most believe the world to be controlled by those strong and ambitious enough to take what they want. The world belongs to the rich, the dominant, and the bold. Jesus flips that around. He declares that the true inheritors of the earth are the meek.

Once again, Jesus' meaning here is in connection to those who have faith in Him. If we belong to the Lord, and if the Lord becomes king of the earth, as the Messiah will, then all those who are His will inherit the earth with Him. "Meekness" is not a requirement for becoming a true Christian, but meekness is something which naturally comes from having a saving knowledge of Christ.

It should be said that true meekness takes courage; we must fight with ourselves to trust God's plan and His character. It's hard to be humble and patient when we cannot fully understand how good will win in the end.