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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 100

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Verse 1

Psa 100:1



This Psalm was reduced to poetry by William Kethe and was included in the Geneva Psalter. The music by Louis Bourgeois is that usually sung in "The Doxology," and it is one of the most popular hymns ever written. Many of the commentators have mentioned this. We believe that Kethe’s poetical rendition is an acceptable commentary on the five verses of this psalm, and we are including it here:


(Psalms 100:1-5)

"All people that on earth do dwell,

Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;

Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;

Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;

Without our aid He did us make;

We are his flock, He doth us feed,

And for His sheep he doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise,

Approach with joy his courts unto;

Praise, laud, and bless His name always,

For it is seemly so to do.

For why? The Lord our God is good;

His mercy is forever sure;

His truth at all times firmly stood,

And shall from age to age endure!”

Psalms 100:1

"Make a joyful noise unto Jehovah, all ye lands."

Despite the fact of Leupold’s rejection of this rendition, preferring to read it, "Shout aloud unto the Lord, all ye inhabitants of the land," there can be no doubt of the accuracy of the translation as it stands verbatim in the KJV, the ASV, and the RSV, the three most dependable versions of the Holy Bible. The trouble with Leupold’s translation is that it allows the interpreter to restrict the meaning to Israel, "the land" being understood as the land of Israel. Our marginal reference in the American Standard Version assures us that the Hebrew text here reads this passage as "all the earth."

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 100:1. Noise is not in the original but joyful is. The clause means to express joy unto the Lord for all his acts of kindness to the children of men. All ye lands means all the people of the earth, for they had all been benefited by the Lord’s favors.

Verses 2-3

Psa 100:2-3

Psalms 100:2-3

"Serve Jehovah with gladness:

Come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that Jehovah, he is God:

It is he that hath made us, and we are his;

We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."

"No more appropriate words for the call to worship were ever written. An alternative reading for "and we are his" (Psalms 100:2), is, "and not we ourselves." This meaning is reflected in the second line of the second stanza of Kethe’s poem, "Without our aid he did us make." The thought is accurate, whether or not it is justified in the text.

Furthermore, Rawlinson defended the reading as given in the KJV, "It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves," pointing out that the KJV reading is supported by both the Septuagint (LXX) and the Vulgate, and should certainly be retained, for it yields a better sense.”

The metaphor of God as the Good Shepherd, as presented in the Old Testament, became Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd in the New Testament. When Christ said, "I am the good shepherd," it was a claim of divinity as surely as anything he ever said.

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 100:2. We should not offer .service to the Lord in the spirit of necessity, or just because we think we have to. It is true that we must serve Him if we expect the reward, but it should be considered a happy privilege to render service to Him who has made us and caused us to be what we are. These remarks apply to man’s general relationship to God. The second clause of the verse refers especially to his conduct when in the religious attitude. At that time it is appropriate to honor the Lord in song, that being a part of the exercises performed in public worship.

Psalms 100:3. The distinctive meanings of Lord and God should be observed in the first clause. For the critical information on the subject see my comments at Psalms 86:12. David uses the distinction between the words as a basis of an exhortation. The thought is that the One who always existed is the one who only has the right to be the object of worship. Such a thought should have prevented the Israelites from worshiping the heathen gods. Furthermore, the Creator of our being certainly is entitled to all of our devotions. Sheep of his pasture signifies that God is able to nourish us. But that is not all; for if we are the sheep of His pasture, we have no right nor need to feed in any other pasture.

Verse 4

Psa 100:4

Psalms 100:4

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

And into his courts with praise:

Give thanks unto him and bless his name."

The mention of "gates" and "courts" here was a reference, no doubt, to those features of the Jewish Temple; but they are equally applicable to the kingdom of God. The Church of Our Lord is the current Temple of God; and the Savior himself admonished us all to "enter in" by the straight gate. He also called himself the "door of the sheep."

Yates has pointed out that a number of the factors of true worship are mentioned in this tiny psalm. "After entering the gates, the further essentials of true worship are: thanksgiving, praise, prayer, and a recognition of God’s character in such attributes as His goodness, love, and faithfulness.” He further added that, "Such essentials must be observed by worshippers in any period of time.”

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 100:4. A gate is an entrance to a city and a court is an enclosure for the vicinity of a king or other dignified person. If a human being is permitted to enter into a city of the King of Heaven, and to go even as far as into the final enclosure of hts palace. then thanksgiving and praise should be forthcoming.

Verse 5

Psa 100:5

Psalms 100:5

"For Jehovah is good; his lovingkindness endureth forever,

And his faithfulness unto all generations."

God’s goodness, his lovingkindness, and his faithfulness are among those attributes of God which were singled out by Yates. The praise and worship of God should always make mention of such blessed attributes of the Father in Heaven.

For any who might be concerned about the authorship, nothing certain in the way of an answer is available. The psalm is simply labeled, "A Psalm of Praise," or "Praise for the Sacrifice of Confession in the LXX, Vulgate, and the Ethiopic. Only the Arabic attributed it to David.”

E.M. Zerr:

Psalms 100:5. Many good men are merciful at times, but the mercy of the Lord continues. The truth of the Lord will stand the test of all time. That truth does not change, but will bless the generation that exists now and will be alive through the time of the generations yet to come and continue its blessed effects on all who accept it.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Psalms 100". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/psalms-100.html.
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