Matthew 5:5 and the Old Testament Land Promises: An Inheritance of the Earth or the Land of Israel?

Nelson S. Hsieh | May 12, 2017

While many biblical-theological scholars claim that Matthew 5:5 is a straightforward expansion of the OT land promises to now encompass the whole earth, the original text of Matthew 5:5 (κληρονομήσουσιν τὴν γῆν) makes no clear indication that it is referring to the “earth” rather than to the “land” of Israel. It is possible to interpret Matthew 5:5 as referring to an inheritance of the land of Israel, but un- fortunately, such an interpretive possibility has been obscured by English translations and ruled out by supersessionist theological assumptions regarding Israel’s future. Based on careful word study and sensitivity to the Jewish-focused literary- historical context of Matthew’s Gospel, this article will argue that Matthew 5:5 reaffirms a future Jewish inheritance of the land of Israel, an inheritance that does not exclude Gentiles but complements and fits within the worldwide inheritance for all of God’s people.

Vol. 28, no. 1 (Spring 2017)

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Hsieh, Nelson S.. "Matthew 5:5 and the Old Testament Land Promises: An Inheritance of the Earth or the Land of Israel?." The Master's Seminary Journal 28, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 41–75.