They shall inherit the earth.”
μακάριοι οἱ πραεῖς, ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσιν τὴν γῆν.
Matthew relied heavily on Psalm 37:11 here, where the psalmist said that they should be patient with Yahweh. They were not to be angry. The meek (οἱ πραεῖς), the humble ones, those who wait patiently on Yahweh, their God, would inherit the earth (ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσιν τὴν γῆν), the holy land of Israel. You have to wait a little bit, but the wicked would be no more. The meek, on the other hand, would inherit the holy land, where they would live in abundant prosperity, if only they waited. They would be the happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι).
“The salvation of the righteous is from Yahweh.
He is their refuge in times of trouble.
Yahweh helps them.
Yahweh rescues them.
Yahweh rescues them from the wicked.
Yahweh saves them
Because they take refuge in him.”
This long psalm ends with Yahweh as the savior of the righteous. In times of trouble he was their refuge. He helped them. He rescued them from the wicked ones. He saved them. He did all this for the righteous because they took refuge in him.
“Mark the blameless ones.
Behold the upright ones.
There is posterity for the peaceable.
However the transgressors shall be altogether destroyed.
The posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.”
The blameless, upright, and peaceable ones will have great descendants. However, the descendants of the transgressors and the wicked shall be destroyed. They will be cut off from the land.
“I have seen the wicked oppressing.
They were towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
Again I passed by,
And they were no more.
Though I sought them,
They could not be found.”
The wicked had been oppressing the righteous like the huge cedars of Lebanon. However, when the righteous went back, the wicked were not around anymore. They sought out the wicked but they could not find them.
“Wait for Yahweh!
Keep to his way!
He will exalt you to inherit the land.
You will look on the destruction of the wicked.”
If you wait and follow Yahweh, you will inherit the holy land. If you keep his ways, you will see the destruction of the wicked ones. Just follow Yahweh and everything will be all right for you.
“The wicked watch for the righteous.
They seek to kill them.
Yahweh will not
Abandon them to their power.
Yahweh will not
Let them be condemned,
When they are brought to trial.”
The wicked ones are out to get the righteous ones. They are watching them so that they can kill them. However, Yahweh will not abandon the righteous to the wicked ones. He will not let them be condemned in trial. Yahweh will protect the just ones against the evildoers.
“The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom.
Their tongues speak justice.
The law of their God is in their hearts.
Their steps do not slip.”
The righteous ones utter wise statements since they are wise. They speak justice with their tongues because the law of God is in their hearts. Thus their steps never slip or fail.
“The righteous shall be kept safe forever.
But the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land.
They shall live in it forever.”
The righteous will be safe forever. They and their children shall inherit the holy land. However, the children of the wicked will be cut off from the land. The children of the righteous will live forever in the holy land.
“Depart from evil!
Thus you shall abide forever.
Yahweh loves justice.
He will not forsake his faithful ones.”
Yahweh wanted his followers to avoid evil and do good. He would then stay with them forever. Is this a hint at an eternal life? Yahweh loves justice so that he would never desert his faithful followers.
“I have been young.
Now I am old.
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken.
I have not seen their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending.
Their children become a blessing.”
This is the prayer of the old man. This is somewhat reminiscent of Job. All his life he had not seen the righteous deserted. Their children were not begging for bread. They were generous in giving and lending. Their children became a blessing to them.