Psalm 100 Bible Commentary

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

(Read all of Psalm 100)
A Psalm of Praise. The Arabic version ascribes this psalm to David, and very likely it is one of his: the Targum calls it "a hymn for the sacrifice of thanksgiving;" and so Jarchi. It is supposed to have been used when peace offerings for thanksgivings were offered up, Leviticus 7:11. The Syriac inscription is very odd; "concerning Joshua the son of Nun, when he made the war of the Ammonites to cease;" though it more rightly adds, "but in the New Testament, when the Gentiles are converted to the faith:" and indeed the scope of the psalm is to exhort the Gentiles to praise the Messiah, to serve and worship him, from the consideration of his goodness and mercy, truth and faithfulness.

Verse 1. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Or, "all the earth" {c}; that is, as the Targum, all the inhabitants of the earth, who are called upon to shout unto him as their King; as the angels did at his birth, the disciples when he made his public entrance into Jerusalem, the apostles at his ascension to heaven, the saints when the marriage of him, the Lamb, will be come, and both men and angels when he shall descend from heaven to judge the world; and such a joyful noise or shout should be made unto him as to a triumphant conqueror, who has got the victory over sin, Satan, death, and the grave, and every enemy of his and his people, and made them more than conquerors through himself; see Psalm 95:1.

{c} Urah lk "omnis terra," V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, &c.

Verse 2. Serve the Lord with gladness,.... Not with a slavish fear, under a spirit of bondage, as the Jews under the legal dispensation; not in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit: with spiritual joy and freedom of soul, as under the spirit of adoption; readily, willingly, cheerfully; without sinister and selfish ends and views; as their Lord and Master; taking delight in his person, and pleasure in his service; rejoicing in him, without having any confidence in the flesh:

come before his presence with singing; to the throne of his grace with thankfulness for mercies received, as well as to implore others; and into his house, and at his ordinances, beginning public worship with singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; see Psalm 95:2.

Verse 3. Know ye that the Lord he is God,.... Own and acknowledge him to be God, as well as man; and though a man, yet not a mere man, but the great God and our Saviour, the true God and eternal life; so a man, as that he is Jehovah's fellow; or our God, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh:

[it is] he [that] hath made us; as men, without whom nothing is made that was made; in him we live, move, and have our being; and, as new creatures, we are his workmanship, created in him, and by him; regenerated by his Spirit and grace, and formed for himself, his service and glory; and made great and honourable by him, raised from a low to an high estate; from being beggars on the dunghill, to sit among princes; yea, made kings and priests unto God by him; so, Kimchi, "he hath brought us up, and exalted us:"

and not we ourselves; that is, did not make ourselves, neither as creatures, nor as new creatures; as we have no hand in making either our souls or bodies, so neither in our regeneration, or in the work of God upon our hearts; that is solely the Lord's work: there is a double reading of this clause; the marginal reading is,

and we are his; which is followed by the Targum and Aben Ezra: both are approved of by Kimchi, and the sense of both is included; for if the Lord has made us, and not we ourselves, then we are not our own, but his, and ought to serve and glorify him: we are his by creation; "we are also his offspring," as said Aratus {d}, an Heathen poet, cited by the Apostle Paul, Acts 17:28,

we are his people; by choice and covenant; by his Father's gift, and his own purchase; and by the power of his grace, bringing to a voluntary surrender and subjection to him; even the Gentiles particularly, who were not his people, but now his people, 1 Peter 2:9,

and the sheep of his pasture; his sheep also by gift and purchase, called by him, made to know his voice, and follow him; for whom he provides pasture, leads to it, and feeds them with it himself; see Psalm 74:1.

{d} tou gar kai genouv esmen. Arati Phaenomena, v. 5.

Verse 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,.... The same with the gates of Zion, loved by the Lord more than all the dwellings of Jacob; the gates of Jerusalem, within which the feet of the saints stand with pleasure; the gates of Wisdom, or Christ, where his followers watch and wait; the gates into his house, the church, and the public ordinances of it, to be entered into with thankfulness for all mercies, temporal and spiritual; for the Gospel, and Gospel opportunities and ordinances:

and into his courts with praise; with the sacrifice of praise, as in Psalm 96:8, of these courts, see Psalm 65:4,

be thankful unto him; for all blessings of grace in him and by him; for all things, and at all times:

and bless his name; by ascribing honour, blessing, and glory to him, saying, "blessed be his glorious name for ever," Psalm 72:19.

Verse 5. For the Lord is good,.... Both in a providential way, and in a way of grace, and does good; he is the good Shepherd, that has laid down his life for the sheep; and the good Samaritan, that pours in the wine and oil of his love and grace, and his precious blood, to the healing of the wounds made by sin: while he was on earth, he went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and he continues to do good unto them, and therefore should be praised, served, and worshipped:

his mercy is everlasting; or "his grace" {e}; there is always a sufficiency of it for his people; and his lovingkindness, which may be also here meant, is always the same; having loved his own which were in the world, he loves them to the end, John 13:1

and his truth endureth to all generations; or his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, and performing his engagements; he was faithful to his Father that appointed him, and to the covenant he made with him; and he is faithful to his people, to keep what they commit to his care and charge now, and to give them the crown of righteousness at the last day, which is laid up for them; and upon all these considerations, and for these reasons, ought to be praised and adored.

{e} wdox "gratia ejus," Cocceius, Gejerus; "gratia et misericordia ejus," Michaelis.