Meaning of “singing” in Psalm 100:2 (renanah)

The Hebrew word for "singing" in Psalm 100:2 is renanah, which means a singing cry, triumphing, exultant shout.

Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
—Psalm 100:2

The Hebrew word for “singing” in Psalm 100:2 is renanah, which could mean:

Research

Strong’s Concordance

  • renanah: a ringing cry
  • Original Word: רְנָנָה
  • Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
  • Transliteration: renanah
  • Phonetic Spelling: (ren-aw-naw’)
  • Definition: a ringing cry

Brown-Driver-Briggs

  • רְנָנָה noun feminine id.; — ׳ר absolute, of joy Job 3:7; Psalm 100:2 (“” שִׂמְחָה); plural שִׂפְתֵי רְנָנוֺת Psalm 63:6; exultation, singular construct רִנְנַת רְשָׁעִים Job 20:5 (“” שִׂמְחָה).

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

  • joyful voice, singing, triumphing
  • From ranan; a shout (for joy) — joyful (voice), singing, triumphing.

The KJV translates Strong’s H7445 in the following manner:

joyful voice (1x), joyful (1x), triumphing (1x), singing (1x). https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h7445/esv/wlc/0-1/

From Worship Words:

  • Patsach – to worship like an explosion of sound
    • Psalm 100:1 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!”
  • Renanah – to exclaim the victory
    • Psalm 100:2 “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence
      with singing!”

From Mike Hays, Britton Christian Church

Come Before Him with Joyful Songs!
The psalmist also invites us to “Come before Him with joyful songs.”  The phrase, “joyful songs,” is a translation of the Hebrew word, “renanah.” I have to point something out for us so that we don’t get confused. The “joy” that prompts “joyful songs” is not the happiness that people try to experience through all kinds of pursuits. The joyful songs are not like Pharrell’s song, “Happy.” The source of joy, the constancy of joy is not determined by positive vibes or great things that just keep happening for us. In Psalm 63, David was going through such a difficult time. He was on the run, out in the desert, and yet he wrote,

3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (Psalm 63:3-5 NIV)

How could David sing “joyful songs” in such a tough place? He answers for us, “Because your love is better than life…” That’s it. Can I be brutally honest with you? You will never come to fully know the joy that God desires for you as long as you keep seeking happiness, fulfillment, excitement, and satisfaction in what this world has to offer. It is His love that alone is better than life!


The related noun renanah is a “shout of joy, i.e., to call out loudly a signal (or possibly words) that communicates joy . . . joyful song, i.e., utter words and sounds of joy by music.
NINETEEN MORE HAPPINESS WORDS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT James Swanson, A Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems,
1997):

v. 2 Serve the Lord with a superabundance of happiness [ hj *m =c ! (simchah) ]; come into His presence with singing [ hn *n *r = (renanah): songs of
praise for Him ].
Joe Griffin:

This verse leaves no doubt about how we should sing to the Lord. The Hebrew word for sing in Psalm 100:2 is renanah, which literally means “joyful voice,” as in joyful, triumphal singing.
“Pure Praise (Revised): A Heart-Focused Bible Study on Worship” By Dwayne Moore

He Hebrew word renanah means “joyful, exultant shoult,” as in Psalm 100:2, “Worship the LORD with gladness; come into God’s presence with a shout of joy [or ‘with singing’].” The same word occurs in Job 20:5, “the glee of the wicked.” Here it is meant to indicate the cry of sexual release; Job wishes this act of intercourse, and hence this cry, had never occurred.
The Book of Job: Annotated & Explained

Job 3:7 [Let no joyful voice come therein.] Let there be no choirs of singers; no pleasant music heard; no dancing or merriment. The word hnnr renanah signifies any brisk movement, such as the vibration of the rays of light, or the brisk modulation of the voice in a cheerful ditty. The Targum has, Let not the crowing of the rural or wild cock resound in it. Let all work be intermitted; let there be no sportive exercises, and let all animals be totally silent.
“CLARKE’S COMMENTARY: JOB — PSALMS” By Adam Clarke, page 44

The joyful song of nature in praise of God, so prominent in Psalm 104, is also found here, as in the phrase When the morning stars sang [be-ran] together (38:7). Note that the word ran is God’s direct refutation of Job’s wish to end all happiness: Let no joyful sound [renanah] be heard in it (Job 3:7).
“The Creation Theme in Genesis 1, Psalm 104 And Job 38-42” by Fred Gottlieb M.D.


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