We are continuing our series on the Beatitudes. You can go here and read about the first Beatitude called The Poor in Spirit and here to read about the second called Joy Comes in the Mourning.
Now, we will look at the third Beatitude found in Matthew 5:5.
O the blessedness of the meek! For they will inherit the earth.Matt. 5:5
Let me start off by saying, Wow! I found some cool meanings of these words in my research of ancient Hebrew, and I am really excited to show and tell you what God led me to.
I just bought a really cool book called Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff A. Benner (Yes, I am a total geek). It doesn’t just explain the Hebrew of the Bible but goes back even further to the early Hebrew when their language looked pictorial or like hieroglyphics.
Strong’s Concordance describes meek as “the idea of looking down or browbeating; to depress literally or figuratively…chasten self, deal hardly with, defile, exercise, force, gentleness, humble (self). https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=H6031&t=KJV
The Hebrew word for meek/humble is anah and we write it like this: (Remember you read right to left.)
Ayin (ע) is the first letter in the word anah, but in the early Hebrew language it looked like an eye:
So, the word anah has to do with our eyes and careful watching. In this case, it has to do both with where we place our eyes (on God, not ourselves), but also what we are watching.
What are we to watch?
What are we to watch…our heart. #ThisSideofHeaven #TheBlessednessoftheMeekTweet
Numbers 12:3 uses anah to describe Moses.
Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.Numbers 12:3 ESV
What made Moses so meek? Jennifer Ross explains on The Torah Class website.
G-d requires cleanliness… thus Moses strove to remain clean. In his heart, he knew that he must be clean in order to approach or to be approached by G-d. Simply put, Moses didn’t want to be called by G-d and be found in an unclean state and therefore unable to answer the call. Imagine that for a moment.https://www.torahclass.com/archived-articles/429-anav-by-jennifer-ross
Moses watched his heart. He kept guard over his heart and his thoughts and obeyed the Torah or Law in order to prevent anything (uncleanness) from coming between him and the Father.
Consider this, Deuteronomy 18:15 says,
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your fellow Israelites.Deut. 18:5
According to John 5:46, Jesus told the people accusing Him that Moses wrote about Him. He was/is the Prophet like Moses. He came in humility.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Phil. 2:8
Jesus is our example of humility.
Hebrew4Christians.com is another great website for information on the Hebrew language. In their explanation of this Beatitude, it says,
This word [meek] does not suggest weakness, but rather one’s recognition of one’s proper place in the universe before God. It is not self-effacing, but reality-focused. The meek inherit the earth because they are grounded in the truth of reality…
And what is that reality you might ask?
That answer goes back to my post called The Poor in Spirit based on the first Beatitude in Matthew 5:3.
O the Blessedness of the poor in spirit! For theirs is the Kingdom of God.Matthew 5:3 ESV
I explained the poor in spirit recognize their position as beggars who are in absolute dependence on the Father. We need humility to be willing to look at our hearts in comparison to a Holy and Perfect God and see we are nothing more than beggars in need of a compassionate God to take care of us.
This verse tells us the meek will inherit the Earth. What does this mean?
In the Midrash below, one rabbi said:
For it is said: Now the man Moses was very meek (Num. 12:3). Scripture states that whoever is meek ends by having the Shekhinah dwell with him ( the man) on earth…Midrash Mekhilta
The Hebrew word for inherit is yaresh and it means, to occupy (by
driving out previous tenants and possessing in their place);
by implication, to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel… http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=03423
I believe this is suggesting that God gives the meek power in the spiritual realm to drive out and take possession of the things satan has stolen.
This world is under satan’s control right now. Revelation tells us of the war between Jesus and satan while God is sorting it all out. (very simplified).
God desires us to be humble.
There are many verses about humility and what the Lord thinks about those who are proud and those who are humble. But, not only that, many verses include what the humble receive from God.
A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.Proverbs 29:23
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.James 4:10
Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 18:4
I could go on… but I think you get the message.
I hope you’re beginning to see the progression of the Beatitudes: When we know that we are nothing more than beggars who are dependent on our Lord (Matt. 5:3), we will mourn over our sins (Matt. 5:4), and keep our hearts clean so nothing can come between us and God (Matt. 5:5). Then the Kingdom of Heaven (or The Lord) is in us, the Lord will comfort us, and we will inherit (or take possession of) the earth.
And God will call us blessed, happy, and glad.
Wow that was a great and deep look into the meaning of meek. The more you search the deeper meanings of the original language, you get a better understanding of the connectiveness and cohesion of scripture. Thanks for diving deep and sharing your finding with us!
Thank you, Ben. It took a lot of time, but I enjoy that kind of thing. There is so much we can’t understand until we dig through the layers .
Have long thought the root sin of pride was the biggest deterrent to developing a meekness of heart. It’s hard to be meek towards others until you learn to accept your own reality. Wonderful post as always Ms. Stephanie. Thank you ma’am.
Thank you, J.D. I agree with you…but most don’t like that reality! We are nothing without God–we cannot make anything good happen without Him.
Great words, sister. 🙂
Thank you, Diane!
Amen and amen 🙏🏽 A broken and contrite heart, He will not refuse. Thank you for sharing
Yes, so true! Thank you for sharing that verse!
Wow…this is deep. When you really think about it all, it makes perfect sense. Thanks for this insight!
Thank you, Irene! Yes, God’s Word always makes sense when He shows it to us or we seek to understand it better. He is faithful to do it.
Love this teaching, Stephanie. Really gives clarity to “meek,” keeping our eyes on God and watching over our heart.
Thank you so much, Karen! That’s one reason I love studying the Hebrew. There is so much to learn.
The world teaches us to be proud, but God guides us to humility. Who should we listen to? Thank you for this informative, compelling and inspiring message, Stephanie.
Thank you, Katherine! Yes, I agree with you, we can not listen to the world or we will fail and our hearts will become hard.
I’m enjoying your online Bible study on The Jewels of Hebrews! And these in-depth look at the Beatitudes is extending my learning. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Candyce! I am so glad you are enjoying the study, too.
I love your teaching, Stephanie! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.
Thank you very much, LuAnn!