I am very interested in how language and forms of expressions in the scriptures are used…and this verse has an alternate meaning that can be read into it. Hebrew defines words as being either masculine or feminine. Grammatically speaking, there is a pronoun here in the original Hebrew that does not have a clear antecedent.
This text can legitimately be translated as “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”—that is, the day. The Hebrew here has a masculine pronoun and the word “day” is a masculine gender noun, so the antecedent for the pronoun is day. Each day is gift from God. We are to be glad in it. We can enjoy God’s gift of time.
However, this masculine gender pronoun might have a different antecedent and thus a different translation:, “This is day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in him”—not in some “it” but in “him,” that is, in Christ. Lord is the antecedent.
Which is the preferred translation? Both of this translations ring true. Both are helpful. There are some days that are so perfect that I am glad to be alive. Time is a gift.
Then there are days where I may have a hard time finding something for which to rejoice and be glad. However, there is still the absolute certainty that I can always be glad in Christ. "In all things," as the apostle Paul, would say, “Be thankful,”-- not just when you have a “nice day.”
Jewish prisoners in death camps used this verse as a way to keep their spirits up and their attitudes positive. If the day was hard to rejoice in, there was always the Giver of the day to bring solace during trials.
Because of our Savior, no matter what our day is like, there is always cause for rejoicing. Let us celebrate our relationship with Him who moves in, through, and among us. Our gladness is not just in God’s gift of time but in the very being of the Lord.