An updated version of this post can be found here.
I recently finished a series on these seven Hebrew words:
- Zamar, Instrumental praise
- Halal, Crazy exuberant praise
- Shabach, Loud praise
- Tehillah, Singing Praise
- Yadah, Physical praise – raising your hands in thanksgiving
- Towdah, Thank-offering
- Barak, Kneeling before God in humble submission
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 seven 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 greatly enriches the verse. Here are a few of the concepts hidden in this verse that become more obvious when we know the Hebrew praise words:
- 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.
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