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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary


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The act of calling to mind some supposition, pondering upon it, and correlating it to one's own life. A wicked individual meditates upon violence (Proverbs 24:1 : 2 ). The meditation of a righteous person contemplates God or His great spiritual truths (Psalm 63:6; Psalm 77:12; Psalm 119:15 , Psalm 119:23 ,Psalms 119:23,119:27 ,Psalms 119:27,119:48 ,Psalms 119:48,119:78,97,148; Psalm 143:5 ). He hopes to please God by meditation (Psalm 19:14 ). Thus meditation by God's people is a reverent act of worship. Through it they commune with God and are thereby renewed spiritually.

Most references to meditation occur in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. The Hebrew words for meditation primarily were derived from two separate roots. The first (hagah ) literally means “to utter in a low sound.” The word is used to denote the growling of a lion (Isaiah 31:4 ) or the cooing of a dove (Isaiah 38:14 ). Therefore it has been suggested that, in ancient Hebrew meditation, Scripture frequently was recited in a low murmur. The second root word (siach ) has the basic meaning of “to be occupied with,” or “concerned about.” Thus meditation is the repetitious going over of a matter in one's mind because it is the chief concern of life. The constant recollection of God's past deeds by the hearing of Scripture and repetition of thought produce confidence in God (Psalm 104:34; Psalm 119:15 ,Psalms 119:15,119:23 ,Psalms 119:23,119:48 ,Psalms 119:48,119:78 ,Psalms 119:78,119:97,99,148; Psalm 63:6-8; Psalm 143:5 ).

Meditation is only mentioned twice in the New Testament. Jesus instructed Christians to meditate beforehand on their attitude toward persecution (Luke 21:14 ). Paul advised Timothy to meditate on the matters about which Paul had written Him (1 Timothy 4:15 ). Meditation is an important part of the Christian's relationship with Christ. See Prayer .

LeBron Matthews

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Meditation'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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