Bible with Magnifying Glass

Hidden Meaning in Psalm 100:4

Psalm 100:4 is a powerful verse that in only a few words can teach us so much about worship. On Thursdays I have been posting on the meaning of various words related to worship.

Here are the words we have already looked at:

Worship Terms

Worship – What is the meaning of the English word “Worship?”
Shachah – The primary Hebrew word for worship
Proskuneo – The primary Greek word for worship
Halal – A Hebrew word for crazy exuberant praise
Shabach – A Hebrew word for loud praise
Tehillah – A Hebrew word for song of praise
Zamar – A Hebrew word for making music accompanied by strings
Yadah – A Hebrew word for extending the hands in thanksgiving and praise
Towdah – A Hebrew word for a thanks offering
Barak – A Hebrew word for kneeling before God in humble submission

This content was originally posted in 2014. You can read the original post here.

Psalm 100:4-5

A picture taken from my personal Bible

In this post I am going to take Psalm 100:4 and rewrite it to point out the impact of the Hebrew words on this popular praise verse.  In this one verse we will see four of the words.

The English Standard Version reads:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Although this is technically correct, it is difficult for a translation to capture all the rich meaning behind each of these praise words without significantly expanding the text.  So, here is my expanded (but less elegant) translation pointing out our newly studied Hebrew praise words.

Enter His gates with a gift of thanks (towdah),
His courts with songs of praise (tehillah)!
Raise your hands in thanksgiving (yadah) to him;
Humbly kneel (barak) before his name!

Knowing the meaning of the words in Psalm 100:4 greatly enriches the verse.  Here are a few of the concepts hidden in this verse that become much more obvious when we know the Hebrew praise words:


Shachah is the primary word for worship in the Old Testament

Our praise is a gift or offering that we bring to our King as we enter into His presence.  It is common practice in some cultures to bring a gift when you visit.  Our gift is the offering of our thanksgiving for all He has done for us.

We are encouraged to offer our praise through singing.  God loves music and encourages us to praise Him in song.

We are physical beings and our praise should reflect that in our actions.  This verse specifically refers to raising hands and kneeling.

Praise involves both joyful singing and humble submission.

We “bless” God by submitting ourselves to His will.


Barak - Kneeling before God in humble submission

There is a wonderful progression in this verse as we come to God’s gate and offer our gift of thanksgiving and then walk to His court singing His praise.  As we approach His throne we lift up our hands in thanksgiving and praise.  Finally we kneel in humble submission to His will.

What a beautiful picture of worship!

Take some time today to worship God using this verse as a pattern.

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in General Worship and tagged , .