JOSHUA 1:8 NKJ
8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but
you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to
do according to all that is written in it. For then you will
make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
The Hebrew word (hagah) translated as “meditate” in the above
verse is translated in the KJV by many words, including
meditate, speak, imagine, study, mutter, utter, roaring, and
Here are some verses where hagah is translated as speak. It is
obviously not just an inner thought, because lips, tongue, and
mouth are the subject of hagah in these verses.
JOB 27:4 KJV
4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter
PSALM 35:28 KJV
28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy
praise all the day long.
PROVERBS 8:7 KJV
7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an
abomination to my lips.
Isaiah has an interesting verse where hagah is translated as
ISAIAH 31:4 KJV
4 For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and
the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of
shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of
their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall
the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for
the hill thereof.
This verse does not picture a lion chasing his prey, but
already possessing his catch, unmoved by any attempts to get
him to turn loose.
Instead of translating hagah as “roaring” here, it could make
sense to translate it as ingesting, or obtaining nutrients.
This is what we do when we meditate on God’s Word.
A roar can also be thought of as bold speech. When we find
God’s Word, we should be bold as a lion, confidently speaking
God’s Word, refusing to let go regardless of opposition.
The Good News Bible says “No matter how shepherds yell and
shout, they can’t scare away a lion from an animal that it has
We should have the same bold commitment to keeping and
devouring our spiritual food, the Word of God.
Here is a verse where hagah is translated as imagine.
PSALM 2:1 KJV
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The only way a human can see the past or the future unaided, is
through their imagination. Memory uses the imagination. Much of
our thinking, whether planning or “jumping to conclusions,”
involves our imagination. Both fear and faith operate in the
realm of imagination.
Imagination is part of Bible meditation. But what are we to
God’s Words are meant to paint a new picture in your thinking
— the picture of reality as God sees it.
Bible meditation is not emptying your mind, but filling your
mind — and your mouth — with God’s Word. It is focusing on
God’s thoughts, until they also become your thoughts.
So meditation is to help us see things the way God sees them.