Hymns - Old Hundredth
May 9, 2023
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

This key passage on congregational singing describes a true New Testament church, which is the only kind of church that can sing after the fashion that God has commanded. It is a church in which all of the members are born again and indwelt by the Spirit and in whom the Word of Christ dwells richly in all wisdom. This is not a biblically shallow church. It is not a church in which only a few of the members are serious Bible students. It is not a church that knows the Scripture only intellectually. It is a church that knows the Scripture in all practical wisdom, a church in which the Word of God is transforming the lives of God’s people so that they are lights in a dark world. It is a congregation that exercises the “one another” ministry of teaching and admonishing that is further described in Ephesians 4:11-16. We urge churches to sing the Psalms as God commands and to continually expand their repertoire of songs and hymns to include an ever-increasing number of those of challenging theological depth.

The long meter tune ( to Psalm 100 in the Scottish Psalter is called the “Old Hundredth.”

The tune was written by Louis Bourgeois for Psalm 134 in the Geneva Psalter and was adapted by William Kethe for Psalm 100 in the Scottish Psalter of 1561. Kethe was one of the translators of the Geneva Bible. Isaac Watts’ rendition of Psalm 100 is written for long meter and can be sung to this tune. The tune was adapted by Vaughn Williams for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It is used for the Doxology that appears in most Baptist hymnals (“Praise God from whom all blessings flow...”).

Psalm 100 is another psalm of praise in the Messianic kingdom. It is a little jewel of prophecy of infinite value. This is the theme of many psalms. See Ps. 22:25-31; 33:1-22; 48:10-11; 57:7-11; 66:1-8; 68:3-4, 24-29, 31-35; 71:22-24; 72:17-19; 81:1-3; 87:5-7; Ps. 92-100 and Ps. 145-150. The whole earth will worship Christ as God (Ps. 100:1) and learn of Him (Ps. 100:3). Joy will abound (“a joyful noise ... with gladness” Ps. 100:1-2). The millennial temple will resound with praise by redeemed Israel, and the Church, and international pilgrims (“his gates ... his courts” Ps. 100:4).

“The prevailing thought throughout this psalm is that Jesus is crowned on earth at last. He has been acclaimed the world’s rightful king. We are not merely following the plea of a godly Levite for the reunification of the tribes. This psalm goes far beyond that. Here we have the fulfillment of Isaiah’s vision of a millennial earth, of Jerusalem as the world’s capital, of Israel as head of the nations, of the Hebrew people as administrators of the new covenant, and of the Lord reigning in person as king. Isaiah envisioned the temple in Jerusalem as ‘a house of prayer for all peoples’ (Isa. 56:7). He foresaw the day when the Lord would ‘gather together all nations and tongues to come and see His glory,’ the day when ‘all flesh shall come in and bow down before Me, saith the Lord’ (Isa. 66:18,23). As Rotherham says: ‘Unless we are prepared to turn the whole Old Testament into allegory, a hundred texts are at hand to shew that there will be such a center in the final theocracy.’ ... During the millennium the gatherings in Jerusalem will be joyous pilgrimages for all mankind. There will be so much to see, so much to learn. Jerusalem and the temple will be the fountainhead of everything. Jesus will be there. The twelve apostles will be there, sitting on twelve thrones and judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (John Phillips).

Psalm 100 can be applied to the church age, as the gospel call for all people to be saved and the call for believers to worship the Lord, but the literal fulfillment is in the millennial age. “How often is this Psalm used in a spiritualised way, making the gates and the courts some church building. But we worship in Spirit and in Truth and not in an earthly house. The gates and courts have reference to that future Temple, which will be a house of prayer for all nations” (
Annotated Bible).

Music score and words (Scottish Psalter)

Other tunes for long meter

Psalm 100 - Scottish Psalter

1 All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
2 Him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell, Come ye before him and rejoice.
3 Know that the Lord 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.
4 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.
5 For why? the Lord our God is good, His mercy is for ever sure; His truth at all times firmly stood, And shall from age to age endure.

Psalm 100 - Isaac Watts

Ye nations round the earth, rejoice Before the Lord, your sovereign King; Serve him with cheerful heart and voice, With all your tongues his glory sing.

The Lord is God; 'tis he alone Doth life, and breath, and being give; We are his work, and not our own, The sheep that on his pastures live.
Enter his gates with songs of joy, With praises to his courts repair; And make it your divine employ To pay your thanks and honors there.
The Lord is good, the Lord is kind, Great is his grace, his mercy sure; And the whole race of man shall find His truth from age to age endure.

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