Holman Bible Dictionary
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 .
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Meditation'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/m/meditation.html. 1991.