There are many times in the Bible where it speaks about inheritances. There are the legal inheritances, but also the spiritual ones. For example, because of what Jesus has done for us we are now the children of God. The Kingdom of God is our inheritance because of that. Nevertheless, I still want to go over what the word inherit means in Hebrew and Greek.
All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.
What Does The Word ‘Inherit’ Mean In Hebrew?
yarash- to inherit, to impoverish.
The basic meaning of this word is to inherit. The first appearance of this word occurs in Genesis 15:3.
Yarash can also represent the status of having something as one’s permanent possession. This possession can be passed on to one’s legal descendants (Genesis 15:7).
It can sometimes mean to take something over (such as the Promised Land) as a permanent possession (Deuteronomy 28:21).
“The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.”
– Deuteronomy 28:21
There are times when people are the subject of yarash. When that is the case, it can mean to dispossess in the sense of taking away their inheritable good and putting them in a position where they cannot hold possessions or inherit them (Deuteronomy 2:12).
To causes someone to be dispossessed is to impoverish them (1 Samuel 2:7).
nachal- to inherit.
Nachal basically means in the receive something with the ability to possess, control, and direct. Also, this word doesn’t always mean to inherit something because of a will. For example, “the wise shall inherit the earth” (Proverbs 3:35).
“Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way,
He himself will fall into his own pit;
But the blameless will inherit good.“
– Proverbs 28:10
This term stresses a possession that one has received through a legal claim.
Once possession had been taken of a piece of land, then the legal process came into operation. The property had to stay within the family. This is why Naboth couldn’t give his rights over to Ahab (1 Kings 21:3-4).
Israel is said to be God’s possession.
“But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day.”
– Deuteronomy 4:20
On the other hand, it can be said that the Lord is the possession of His people. The Levites and priests had limited earthly possessions but were assured that their possession was the Lord (Deuteronomy 10:9; Numbers 18:23).
“Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God promised him.)”
– Deuteronomy 10:9
What Does The Word ‘Inherit’ Mean In Greek?
klerononeo- to be an heir to, inherit.
This word strictly means to receive by a lot. It’s made of up of two words:
- kleros meaning a lot
- nemomai which means to possess
In a more general sense, it means to receive as one’s own, to obtain, or to possess oneself of.
However, in the New Testament, the idea of inheriting expands to include all spiritual good provided through and in Christ and all that is contained in the hope grounded on the promises of God.
It’s used of the following objects:
- birthright (Galatians 4:20; Hebrews 1:4)
- that which is received by obedience (1 Peter 3:9)
- that which is received as a gift compared to that which is received as a reward of law-keeping (Hebrews 6:12)
- of the faithfulness of God during opposition (Revelation 21:7)
- the reward of acknowledging Christ (Matthew 19:29)
- the reward of turning over wrath to God and living in gentleness (Matthew 5:5)
- the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9)
- the reward of those who have shown kindness to the people of God during the tribulation (Matthew 25:34)
“Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.“
– Matthew 5:5
In conclusion, the word inherit means to come into possession of, whether in a legal way or though a spiritual way. That’s what the word inherit means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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