HALLELUJAH - PRAISE THE LORD
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The phrase "Praise the LORD" in the Old Testament is composed of two Hebrew words - halal and YHWH, the tetragrammaton, to which we add vowels to derive the Name Yahweh which is transliterated as Jehovah. However because the Jews feared violating the command in Exodus 20:7, they would not pronounce the Name YHWH, instead substituting the Name Adonai (which means "Lord"). And thus the OT phrase "Praise Adonai" is equivalent to "Praise the LORD."
- PPP - Pause, Play and Praise Adonai for a few moments as you listen to Paul Wilbur's beautiful version - Praise Adonai
Spurgeon warns against unholy use of hallelujah…
I think that the common use of the word, ‘Hallelujah,’ or, ‘Praise the Lord,’ is simply profane. Surely, this is not a word to be dragged in the mire—it should be pronounced with solemn awe and sacred joy. (The Heavenly Singers and Their Song)
Hallelujah is the NT equivalent and is found only in the book of the Revelation 19, a chapter which marks the fall of Babylon and the return of the King of kings Who will reign forever and ever. Amen.
Vine writes that…
The word halal is the source of “Hallelujah,” a Hebrew expression of “praise” to God which has been taken over into virtually every language of mankind. The Hebrew “Hallelujah” is generally translated “Praise the Lord!” The Hebrew term is more technically translated “Let us praise Yah,” the term “Yah” being a shortened form of “Yahweh,” the unique Israelite name for God… Christian hymnody certainly would be greatly impoverished if the term “Hallelujah” were suddenly removed from our language of praise. (Online Version)
Hallelujah consists of two words in Hebrew, the verb Halal (see below) which means to praise and the noun Jah (Yah) which is the abbreviation of Jehovah (Yahweh), God's covenant Name which attests to the fact that He is the Self-existent One, the "I am that I am" (Ex 3:14). It is interesting to note that whenever a Jewish person would speak forth a "Hallelujah" they were in effect speaking the Lord's Name Yahweh in abbreviated form.
Jah or Yah (03050; הּ) is shorthand for Jehovah/Yahweh and is used at the end of many compounds names (Adonijah = "my lord is Jehovah", Elijah = "God of Jehovah," etc) and is used first in Ex 15:2, 17:16 but translated into English with the word "LORD" (all caps in NAS).
Jah/Yah is used only once by itself in the KJV rendering of Ps 68:4KJV …
Sing unto God, sing (zamar) praises to His name: extol Him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before Him.
Jah/Yah is found in 45 OT passages and in NAS is always translated "LORD" (all caps) since it is the abbreviation for Jehovah/Yahweh - Ex 15:2; 17:16; Ps 68:4, 18; 77:11; 89:8; 94:7, 12; 102:18; 104:35; 105:45; 106:1, 48; 111:1; 112:1; 113:1, 9; 115:17f; 116:19; 117:2; 118:5, 14, 17ff; 122:4; 130:3; 135:1, 3f, 21; 146:1, 10; 147:1, 20; 148:1, 14; 149:1, 9; 150:1, 6; Isa 12:2; 26:4; 38:11
Whenever we sing or speak “Hallelujah” we are praising the Lord Most High, Yahweh with adoration and to casually use “Hallelujah” is tantamount to taking the name of our Lord in vain.
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest (Latin = Gloria in Excelsis Deo), and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
Comment: Lk 2:14KJV gives the wrong impression for the angels did not say, “on earth peace, good will toward men.” What they actually said was, “peace to men of good will,” or “peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Carpenter in discussing Hallelujah notes that
Yahweh is God’s personal, self-revealed name. Unlike the general Old Testament word for God (elohim), this essential name conveys a dynamic personality. In Exodus 3:14, God tells Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” These words denote one whose absolute uniqueness requires His defining Himself by Himself. The expression conveys the sense of a vitally real being, as if God had said to Moses, “I really am!” The Jews were explicitly commanded not to take the name Yahweh in vain (Ex. 20:2, 7; Lev. 24:16). Consequently, when reading the Old Testament, the Jews substituted Adonai, meaning “Lord,” for Yahweh. The closest they came to uttering His name was when they said, “Praise Jah,” which is translated as “Hallelujah” in English translations. (Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained)
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! glory, hallelujah!
Glory! glory, hallelujah!
Glory! glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
ALL OCCURRENCES OF
"PRAISE THE LORD"
Praise the Lord in Hebrew is transliterated "halelû-yäh" and is composed of two words.
The phrase Praise the LORD is found 42x in 39 verses in the NAS (OT) (See list below).
The verb PRAISE is often in the imperative mood (as indicated by bold red font on this page), indicating that praise is commanded. Most of the imperatives are piel which usually expresses an "intensive" or "intentional" action as well as a repeated or extended action. In short these are the strongest command possible in the Hebrew language. And so we see that Scripture repeatedly indicates that praise is not optional but required for the redeemed of the Lord who are under grace not law. Praise is every believer's high and holy privilege and should be our persistent, persevering activity, even (especially) when we don't "feel" like praising Him! This is usually when we really need to make the Spirit enabled choice of our will to lift up praises to His Name! Note that in the following list the English word praise most often translates the Hebrew verb halal and the Greek verb aineo (In the Septuagint = Lxx) which means to praise. The phrase "Praise the LORD" is transliterated "halelû-yäh" where "halelu" is the the plural (the singular is "hallel" as in Ps 102:19).
OT USES OF THE PHRASE
"PRAISE THE LORD"
Notice that Praise the Lord introduces 10 Psalms - Ps 106, Ps 111-113, Ps 135, Ps 146-150).
Genesis 29:35 And she conceived again and bore a son and said, "This time I will praise (Hebrew = Yadah not Halal) the LORD." Therefore she named him Judah (Yehudah means "he will be praised"). Then she stopped bearing.
1 Chronicles 16:4 He appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, even to celebrate and to thank and praise (Heb = halal; Lxx = aineo = praise) the LORD God of Israel:
1 Chronicles 23:30 They are to stand every morning to thank and to praise (Heb = halal; Lxx = aineo = praise) the LORD, and likewise at evening,
1 Chronicles 23:30 They are to stand every morning to thank and to praise the LORD, and likewise at evening,
2 Chronicles 20:19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Ezra 3:10 Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD according to the directions of King David of Israel.
Psalm 22:26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD (yehalelû yhwh or ädönäy). Let your heart live forever!
Psalm 102:18 This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD. (yehallel-yäh)
Psalm 104:35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth and let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx places allelouia in first verse of the next psalm Ps 105:1)
Comment: Someone has well said "Hem your blessings with praise, lest they unravel."
Psalm 105:45 So that they might keep His statutes and observe His laws, Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx places allelouia in first verse of the next psalm Ps 106:1)
Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Comment: Psalm 106 is a long Psalm that you will want to take some time to study, for it is filled with the facts concerning a fallible fallen people (Israel), a people who were just like us beloved! We can learn much from this great psalm, which begins and ends with "Hallelujah!"
Spurgeon: This Psalm begins (Ps 106:1) and ends (Ps 106:48) with Hallelujah—"Praise ye the Lord." The space between these two descriptions of praise is filled up with the mournful details of Israel's sin, and the extraordinary patience of God; and truly we do well to bless the Lord both at the beginning and the end of our meditations when sin and grace are the themes. This sacred song is occupied with the historical part of the Old Testament, and is one of many which are thus composed: surely this should be a sufficient rebuke to those who speak slightingly of the historical Scriptures; it in becomes a child of God to think lightly of that which the Holy Spirit so frequently uses for our instruction. What other Scriptures had David beside those very histories which are so depreciated, and yet he esteemed them beyond his necessary food, and made them his songs in the house of his pilgrimage?…
While we are studying this holy Psalm, let us all along see ourselves in the Lord's ancient people, and bemoan our own provocations of the Most High, at the same time admiring His infinite patience, and adoring Him because of it. May the Holy Spirit sanctify it to the promotion of humility and gratitude. (Spurgeon's full note on Ps 106)
Praise ye the Lord. Hallelujah. Praise ye Jah. This song is for the assembled people, and they are all exhorted to join in praise to Jehovah (Ed: The Hebrew verb "halal" is in the plural signifying "all" are to join in praising Jah). It is not meet for a few to praise and the rest to be silent; but all should join. If David were present in churches where quartets and choirs carry on all the singing, he would turn to the congregation and say, "Praise ye the Lord." Our meditation (in Psalm 106) dwells upon human sin; but on all occasions and in all occupations it is seasonable and profitable to praise the Lord.
O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good. To us needy creatures the goodness of God is the first attribute which excites praise, and that praise takes the form of gratitude. We praise the Lord truly when we give him thanks for what we have received from his goodness. Let us never be slow to return unto the Lord our praise; to thank him is the least we can do—let us not neglect it.
For his mercy endureth for ever. Goodness towards sinners assumes the form of mercy, mercy should therefore be a leading note in our song. Since man ceases not to be sinful, it is a great blessing that Jehovah ceases not to be merciful. From age to age the Lord deals graciously with His church, and to every individual in it He is constant and faithful in His grace, even for evermore.
In a short space we have here two arguments for praise, "for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever, "and these two arguments are themselves praises. The very best language of adoration is that which adoringly in the plainest words sets forth the simple truth with regard to our great Lord. No rhetorical flourishes or poetical hyperboles are needed, the bare facts are sublime poetry, and the narration of them with reverence is the essence of adoration. This first verse is the text of all that which follows; we are now to see how from generation to generation the mercy of God endured to His chosen people.
Praise is the rent which God requires for the use of his mercies. C. H. Spurgeon
Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, "Amen." Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh")
Comment: The final verse is a conclusion to this fourth "book" (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the first, second and third "books" of the Psalter (see Ps 41:13, Ps 72:18-19, Ps 89:52, respectively). (NET Note) Each of these Psalms ends with the phrase "Amen and amen!"
Spurgeon: And let all the people say, Amen. They have all been spared by His grace, let them all join in the adoration with loud unanimous voice. What a thunder of praise would thus be caused! Yet should a nation thus magnify Him, yea, should all the nations past and present unite in the solemn acclaim, it would fall far short of what he deserves. O for the happy day when all flesh shall see the glory of God, and all shall aloud proclaim His praise. “Praise ye the Lord,” or “Hallelujah.”
Wiersbe comments: Psalm 106 begins on a high note of worship and praise. Before he looked back on the failures of his people, or looked around at the ruins of the kingdom, the psalmist looked up and gave thanks to God for His goodness and mercy (Ps 106:1–3). Jehovah had been merciful in all that He had done, and the writer accepted God’s will as just and right… As we study this psalm, it may be like witnessing an autopsy, but we will benefit from it if, like the psalmist, we keep our eyes on the Lord of glory and see His kindness and faithfulness to His sinful people… The last verse, written by an ancient editor, brings to a close the Fourth Book of the Psalms.
“Now blest, for ever blest, be He,
The same throughout eternity,
Our Israel’s God adored!
Let all the people join the lay,
And loudly, ‘Hallelujah,’ say,
‘Praise ye the living Lord!’ ”
Psalm 111:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
Hallelujah, praise His holy name!
Hallelujah, He’s ev’ry day the same!
My sins are all forgiven,
I’m on my way to heaven,
I’ll shout His name forever;
Praise His name!
Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) How blessed is the man who fears (NET = "obeys") the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.
NET Note: The words "in keeping" (NET = "who takes great delight in keeping his commands") are supplied in the translation for clarification. Taking delight in the law is metonymic here for obeying God's moral will.
Psalm 113:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD.
Comment: With this Psalm begins the Hallel, or Hallelujah of the Jews, which was sung at their solemn feasts.
Psalm 113:9 He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx places allelouia in first verse of the next psalm Ps 114:1)
Spurgeon: Praise ye the LORD. The music concludes upon its key note. The Psalm is a circle, ending where it began, praising the Lord from its first syllable to its last. May our life psalm partake of the same character, and never know a break or a conclusion. In an endless circle let us bless the Lord, whose mercies never cease. Let us praise him in youth, and all along our years of strength; and when we bow in the ripeness of abundant age, let us still praise the Lord, who doth not cast off his old servants. Let us not only praise God ourselves, but exhort others to do it; and if we meet with any of the needy who have been enriched, and with the barren who have been made fruitful, let us join with them in extolling the name of him whose mercy endures for ever. Having been ourselves lifted from spiritual beggary and barrenness, let us never forget our former estate or the grace which has visited us, but world without end let us praise the Lord. Hallelujah.
Psalm 115:17 The dead do not praise the LORD, (Heb transliteration = yehalelû-yäh) Nor do any who go down into silence;
Psalm 115:18 But as for us, we will bless the LORD From this time forth and forever. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx places allelouia in first verse of the next psalm Ps 116:1)
Psalm 116:19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh")
Psalm 117:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6), all nations; Laud Him, all peoples!
Comment: Paul quotes this passage in Ro 15:11 (see discussion below). Compare Psalm 66:4 “All the earth will worship Thee, And will sing praises to Thee; They will sing praises to Thy name.” Selah."
Keil: The thanksgiving Psalm ending in Hallelujah is followed by this shortest of all the Psalms, a Hallelujah addressed to the heathen world. In its very brevity it is one of the grandest witnesses of the might with which, in the midst of the Old Testament, the world-wide mission of the religion of revelation struck against or undermined the national limitation. It is stamped by the apostle in Rom 15:11 as a locus classicus for the fore-ordained participation of the heathen in the promised salvation of Israel.
Barnes: This is one of the passages in the Old Testament, anticipating what is more fully disclosed in the New Testament, in which the sacred writer extends his vision beyond the narrow boundaries of Judea, and looks to the world, the whole world, as the theater on which the true religion was to be displayed, and for which it was designed. It is language such as would be indited by the Spirit of inspiration on the supposition that the time would come when the barrier between Jews and Gentiles would be broken down, and when all the nations of the earth would be in the possession of the true religion, and would unite in the worship of the same God. This doctrine, however, was not fully made known until the coming of the Redeemer. The announcement of this was made by the Redeemer himself (compare Mat 8:11; Mat 12:21; Mat 28:19); it was the occasion of no small part of the trouble which the Apostle Paul had with his countrymen (compare Act 13:46; Act 18:6; Act 21:21; Act 22:21; Act 26:20, Act 26:23); it was one of the doctrines which Paul especially endeavored to establish, as a great truth of Christianity, that all the barriers between the nations were to be broken down, and the Gospel proclaimed to all people alike, Rom 3:29; Rom 9:24, Rom 9:30; Rom 11:11; Rom 15:9-11, Rom 15:16, Rom 15:18; Gal 2:2; Eph 2:11-18; Eph 3:1-9. It is under the gospel that this language becomes especially appropriate.
Abraham Wright: The praise of God is here made both the beginning and the end of the Psalm; to show, that in praising God the saints are never satisfied with their own efforts, and would infinitely magnify him, even as his perfections are infinite… The Psalmist had made an end and yet he had not done; to signify, that when we have said our utmost for God's praise, we must not be content, but begin anew. There is hardly any duty more pressed in the Old Testament upon us, though less practised, than this of praising God. To quicken us therefore to a duty so necessary, but so much neglected, this and many other Psalms were penned by David, purposely to excite us, that are the nations here meant, to consecrate our whole lives to the singing and setting forth of God's worthy praises.
Spurgeon: This Psalm, which is very little in its letter, is exceedingly large in its spirit; for, bursting beyond all bounds of race or nationality, it calls upon all mankind to praise the name of the Lord… This is an exhortation to the Gentiles to glorify Jehovah, and a clear proof that the Old Testament spirit differed widely from that narrow and contracted national bigotry with which the Jews of our Lord's day became so inveterately diseased. The nations could not be expected to join in the praise of Jehovah unless they were also to be partakers of the benefits which Israel enjoyed; and hence the Psalm was an intimation to Israel that the grace and mercy of their God were not to be confined to one nation, but would in happier days be extended to all the race of man, even as Moses had prophesied when he said, "Rejoice. O ye nations, his people" (Dt 32:43), for so the Hebrew has it. The nations were to be his people. He would call them a people that were not a people, and her beloved that was not beloved.
It may be worth noting that this is at once the shortest chapter of the Scriptures and the central portion of the whole Bible.
Psalm 117:2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us (NET = His loyal love towers over us), and the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh")
Expositor's: It was the custom of Philip Henry to sing the 117th Psalm every Sabbath after the first sermon as the fullest expression of thanksgiving. He used to say that the more singing of Psalms there is in our families and congregations on Sabbath, the more like they are to heaven; and that he preferred singing whole Psalms to pieces of them.
Trapp: The Jewish doctors confess that this short and sweet psalm is to be understood… of Christ and His benefits (Kimchi).
F B Meyer: Let us learn to exercise the spirit of praise in our daily sphere. Surely we also can say that God’s loving-kindness has been, and is, mighty over us. “Where sin abounded grace did much more abound.” The permanence of this love is guaranteed by God’s faithfulness; for his truth is his troth. The shortest prayer of praise should find room for Hallelujah!
Barnes: All nations - all people - may say this, and therefore the psalm is adapted to universal praise. Especially may this be said in view of the love of God to mankind in the gift of a Saviour - a Saviour not for any one people especially or exclusively, but for the world, Jn 3:16.
From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let the Redeemer’s Name be sung,
Through every land, by every tongue.
Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
Till suns shall rise and set no more.
Psalm 135:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) Praise (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = aineo in the present imperative = command to continually praise) the Name of the LORD; Praise (Halal; Lxx = aineo in the present imperative = command to continually praise) Him, O servants (Lxx = doulos) of the LORD,
Psalm 135:3 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = aineo in the present imperative = command to continually praise) for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.
Psalm 135:21 Blessed be the LORD from Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx places allelouia in first verse of the next psalm Ps 146:1)
Psalm 146:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh") Praise the LORD (Hebrew transliteration = halelî napšî ´et-yhwh [(´ädönäy]), O my soul!
Psalm 146:2 I will praise the LORD (Heb transliteration = áhalülâh yhwh; Lxx = aineo) while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Psalm 146:10 The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh")
Psalm 147:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.
Psalm 147:12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
Psalm 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the LORD (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx places allelouia in first verse of the next psalm Ps 148:1)
Psalm 148:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) Praise the LORD (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = aineo in the present imperative = command to continually praise) from the heavens; Praise (Hebrew transliteration = "halelûhu"; Lxx = aineo in the present imperative = command to continually praise) Him in the heights!
Psalm 148:7 Praise the LORD from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps;
Psalm 148:14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh")
Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
Psalm 149:9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh")
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6) Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (Hebrew transliteration = "halelû-yäh"; Lxx = allelouia as used in Rev 19:1, 3, 6)
Comment: The psalms end with the proclamation of the pinnacle of the purpose for the people of God, all that lives and breathes - All should Praise the Lord! Indeed, this is when they are most fully alive.
Rev 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “ To Him Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Spurgeon: "Let all breath praise him": that is to say, all living beings. He gave them breath, let them breathe his praise. His name is in the Hebrew composed rather of breathings than of letters, to show that all breath comes from him: therefore let it be used for him. Join all ye living things in the eternal song. Be ye least or greatest, withhold not your praises. What a day will it be when all things in all places unite to glorify the one only living and true God! This will be the final triumph of the church of God. Praise ye the LORD. Once more, Hallelujah! Thus is the Psalm rounded with the note of praise; and thus is the Book of Psalms ended by a glowing word of adoration. Reader, wilt not thou at this moment pause a while, and worship the Lord thy God? Hallelujah!
A Jewish Rabbi once remarked to me that the name Jehovah was not made up of letters, but only of a series of breathings. (The preacher here uttered the three syllables of the sacred name, Je-ho-vah, as though they were not composed of letters, but only a succession of breathings.) That is the nearest approach to the name of God, three breathings; therefore since all breath comes from him, and his very name can only be pronounced by breath, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” Hallelujah!
Wiersbe: Whether you can play an instruments or not, no matter where you live or what you ethnic origin, male or female, young or old—“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” After all, that breath comes from the Lord (Acts 17:25 "He Himself gives to all life and breath"), and if things that do not have breath can praise the Lord ("Praise the Lord… Fire and hail, snow and clouds" Ps 148:8-9) surely we can, too!… Breath is the weakest thing we have, but we can devote it to the highest service, praising the Lord!
F B Meyer: THE psalter begins with ' Blessed," and ends with "Hallelujah." Obedience in walk and conduct leads to blessedness, and this culminates in rapture. The heart that does God's will in the world may not be always happy, but it is always blessed; and when patience has had her perfect work, it will break into such rapture as to need all creation to help its song to perfect and complete expression.
Your life may resemble the psalter with its varying moods, its light and shadow, its sob and smile; but it will end with hallelujahs, if only you will keep true to the will and way and work of the Most Holy.
Your estimate of the world is often pessimistic to the last point; but if you will be still, and let God finish his work perfectly, you will hear all things that have breath joining in the Hallelujah Chorus, and saying, The kingdoms of the world have become those of the Lord and of his Christ.
God is preparing the whole universe to be an orchestra of praise and adoration to his Son. On one occasion a great conductor, amidst the burst of five hundred instruments, is said to have missed the piccolo; and he stayed the entire performance till it chimed in. Nothing can satisfy God till creation's groans are changed to rapture, and the curse, which restrains her songs, is lifted from the face of all nature; but He wants to hear your voice. If you cannot praise Him in the church, praise Him in Nature, "the firmament of his power." If you cannot praise Him for his acts, do so for his excellent greatness. If not with the blare of trumpet, then with the softer lute. If not with the realization of the senses, then in the assurance of faith. Only be sure to praise Him. (Our Daily Homily)
Interpreter's Bible: This praise is to be offered not merely by priests or Levites, by the elect in meetinghouses, or by specially trained choristers, not even by those who have been favored with special blessings. It is to be the offering of men everywhere; in sickness as in health, in the feebleness of old age as in the vigor of youth, in times of trouble and of joy, on our deathbed, as did Oliver Cromwell—"Is there no one here who will praise the Lord?"—or like John Wesley's mother—"Children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of praise to God."
John Phillips: "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." The orchestra is in full voice. The choir sings out with all its might. The grand conductor himself, the chief Musician, turns to the enraptured assembled crowds. He beckons to them. He calls upon everyone to sing. Now, heart and mind, hands and feet, lungs and breath, all the orchestra, all the choir, all the people, unite in a volume of sound fitting to the worship of a God of majesty, mercy, and might. Then, would it be too much, to visualize the chief Musician Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, beckoning to us, the heaven-born, heaven-bound church, living in an age of grace, with the invitation, "Praise ye the Lord"? With that the Hebrew hymnbook ends.
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Isaiah 12:5 Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.
Isaiah 62:9 But those who garner it will eat it and praise the LORD; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.
Jeremiah 20:13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD! For (term of explanation - explains why we are to sing and praise the Lord. Why? Because) He has delivered (Lxx = exaireo = deliver from peril or confining circumstance, to rescue) the soul of the needy one from the hand of evildoers
"PRAISE THE LORD" &
"HALLELUJAH" IN THE NT
There are 4 uses of hallelujah and one use of the related phrase "Praise the Lord" in the New Testament.
Comment: Paul's main point is to highlight that the Gentiles have been invited to sing praises to the Lord, the God of Israel in the OT. Thus Paul is emphasizing that the work of the Messiah had always pointed to bringing the Gentiles together into one body with the Jews. In short, the Gentiles were not an afterthought.
Revelation 19:1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;
Revelation 19:3 And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER."
Revelation 19:4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"
Revelation 19:6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Hallelujah (239) (allelouia from transliteration of Hebrew halelū = to praise + yāh = Yah short form of Yahweh or Jehovah; Hebrew = הַלְלוּ־יָהּ) means "Praise Yahweh" and transliterated into English as "Hallelujah" or "alleluia." The only NT use in in Revelation 19 and the only use in the Septuagint - Lxx is in the Psalms.
Zodhiates explains that "With one exception (Ps. 135:3), allēlloúia is always found at the beginning or end of psalms (in the Septuagint - Lxx), suggesting that it was a standardized call to praise in the temple worship." The TDNT adds that "It is (uncertain) whether (allelouia in the Lxx translation of the Psalms - see uses below) is a heading or a conclusion. It is probable that no general decision can be made."
Vine says that “Alleluia,” without the initial “H,” is a misspelling.
TDNT adds that allelouia is also used in…
the Odes of Solomon, which always conclude with Hallelujah; c. the liturgical use in Jewish (Hellenistic) worship, which has it sung by the congregation and makes it an independent acclamation (Tob. 13:8; 3 Macc. 7:13). Christian worship adopted the same practice.
Allelouia - 21x in the Septuagint - Lxx - Ps 104:35; 105:45; 106:48; 111:1; 112:1; 113:1, 9; 115:18; 116:10, 19; 117:2; 119:1; 135:1, 21; 146:1; 147:1, 12; 148:1; 149:1; 150:1, 6;
Allelouia - 4x in the NT - Rev 19:1, 3, 6
While Psalm 149:6 does not use the word halal, clearly the importance of praise is present in this passage
Ps 149:6 Let the high praises (Heb = roman from rum [height] = extolling, praise; Lxx = hupsosis = exaltation, lifting up high) of God be in their mouth (throat), and a two-edged sword in their hand,
Spurgeon writes: What does the psalmist say? “Let the high praises of God be in their throat.” Our praises ought to be very high praises, for there is a high object before us. We praise a great God, we should therefore praise him with high feelings, feelings screwed up to the highest point of high delight and high desire. Our praises should climb up to heaven’s gate, running up Jacob’s ladder even as the angels did, till we cast our praises right at the foot of the eternal throne. Let us sound forth the high praises of God with our mouths, let us extol him, and magnify him, and make him great. Say noble things of God wherever you go, for he well deserves it at your hands.
Songs in their mouths, and swords in their hands! It is something like the sword and the trowel, the trowel to build with and the sword to smite with. God’s people must sing and fight at the same time; and they fight best who sing best. Not those that growl most, but those that sing most, fight best.
“In their throat,” says the Hebrew, for God’s saints sing deep down in their throats. There is a deeply rooted music when we praise God, which is altogether unlike the mere syllables of the lips that come from a hypocrite’s tongue.
We praise God and contend with our corruptions; we sing joyfully and war earnestly with evil of every kind. Our weapons are not carnal, but they are mighty, and wound with both back and edge. The word of God is all edge; whichever way we turn it, it strikes deadly blows at falsehood and wickedness. If we do not praise we shall grow sad in our conflict; and if we do not fight we shall become presumptuous in our song. The verse indicates a happy blending of the chorister and the crusader. Note how each thing in the believer is emphatic: if he sings, it is high praises, and praises deep down in his throat, as the original hath it; and if he fights, it is with the sword, and the sword is two edged. The living God imparts vigorous life to those who trust him. They are not of a neutral tint: men both hear them and feel them. Quiet is their spirit, but in that very quietude abides the thunder of an irresistible force. When godly men give battle to the powers of evil each conflict is high praise unto the God of goodness. Even the tumult of our holy war is a part of the music of our lives.
As J C Ryle said…
There is no part of Christian worship that so tends to unite Christians, if they really take it up in spirit and unity, as praise. Men who cannot agree on the platform agree when they come to sing praise. There is no part of worship which so trains and fits us for heaven as does the service of praise. In that world there will be no more need of prayer, for all will be supplied; no more need for sacraments, for we shall sit face to face with Him who shed His own blood for us, gave His own body for us; no more need to search diligently for the things written for our learning. They will be swallowed up in sight, and will be absorbed in certainty. Praise will be the one grand employment of the inhabitants of heaven.
The first church of Jerusalem was known for "praising God" (Acts 2:47) and ought to be the mark of every believer (and body) today!
There is no engagement under Heaven that is more exalting than praising God—and however great may be the work which is committed to the charge of any of us, we shall always do well if we pause awhile to spend a time in sacred praise. (Holy Song from Happy Saints)
Brothers and Sisters, the very best work which we ever do on earth is to adore. You are blessed in prayer, but you are seven times blessed in praise! (The Feast of the Lord)
We don’t sing enough, my Brothers and Sisters! How often do I stir you up about the matter of prayer, but perhaps I might be just as earnest about the matter of praise! Do we sing as much as the birds do? Yet what have birds to sing about, compared with us? Do you think we sing as much as the angels do? Yet they were never redeemed by the blood of Christ! (Holy Song from Happy Saints)
The soul full of joy takes a still higher step when it clothes itself with praise. Such a heart takes to itself no glory, for it is dressed in gratitude and so hides itself. Nothing is seen of the flesh and its self-exaltation, since the garment of praise hides the pride of man. (The Garment of Praise)
It would create an almost miraculous change in some people’s lives if they made a point of speaking most of the precious things and least of the worries and ills! Why always the poverty? Why always the pains? Why always the dying child? Why always the husband’s small wages? Why always the unkindness of a friend? Why not sometimes—yes, why not always—the mercies of the Lord? That is praise and it is to be our everyday garment, the livery of every servant of Christ! (The Garment of Praise)
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me,’ says the Lord. Man is made on purpose to glorify God. It is his chief end. Then his chief end is comely to him. If he answers his end, he is comely to Him who made him, and inasmuch as our chief end is to glorify God, praise becomes comely to the upright. (All-Sufficiency Magnified)
God gets some of His richest praise amidst dying groans—and He gets delightful music from His people’s triumphant cries. (True Worship)
Sometimes, even when prayer fails, praise will do it. It seems to gird up the loins. It pours a holy anointing oil upon the head and upon the spirit. It gives us a joy of the Lord which is always our strength. Sometimes, if you begin to sing in a dull frame, you can sing yourself up the ladder. Singing will often make the heart rise. (Holy Song from Happy Saints)
We are in a wrong state of mind if we are not in a thankful state of mind. Depend upon it, there is something wrong with you if you cannot praise God. (Daily Blessings for God's People)
A rejoicing heart soon makes a praising tongue. (Howling Changed to Singing)
Those tongues that confess sins are the best tongues to sing with! That tongue which has been salted with the brine of penitence is fitted to be sweet with the honey of praise. (An Earners Entreaty)
It is a great thing to praise Jesus Christ by day; but there is no music sweeter than the nightingale's, and she praises God by night. It is well to praise the Lord for his mercy when you are in health, but make sure that you do it when you are sick, for then your praise is more likely to be genuine. When you are deep down in sorrow, do not rob God of the gratitude that is due to him; never stint him of his revenue of praise whatever else goes short. Praise him sometimes on the high-sounding cymbals,—crash, crash,—with all your heart and being; but when you cannot do that, just sit, and mean his praise in solemn silence in the deep quiet of your spirit.
There is no other praise. We cannot fetch anything from elsewhere, and bring it to God; but the praises of God are simply the facts about himself.
Surely, goodness and mercy have brightened all the days of our lives. Each day has been so wonderful, that if we had only lived that one day, we should have had cause to praise the Lord for ever and ever.
God is God still; and the deeper your trouble, the greater are your possibilities of adoration; for, when you are brought to the very lowest, it is that, in extremis, you can raise the song in excelsis, out of the deepest depths you can praise the Lord to the very highest. When we glorify God out of the fires of fiercest tribulation, there is probably more true adoration of him in that melody than in the loftiest songs of cherubim and seraphim when they enjoy God, and sing out his praises in his presence above.
Come, ye children of God, and bless his dear name; for doth not all nature around you sing? If you were silent, you would be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Doth not the ocean praise him as it claps its thousand hands? Doth not the sea roar, and the fullness thereof? Do not the mountains praise him when the shaggy woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Do not the lightnings write his name in letters of fire upon the midnight darkness? Doth not this world, in its unceasing revolutions, perpetually roll forth his praise? Hath not the whole earth a voice, and shall we be silent? Shall man, for whom the world was made, and suns and stars were created,—shall he be dumb? No, let him lead the strain. Let him be the world's high priest, and while the world shall be as the sacrifice, let him add his heart thereto, and thus supply the fire of love which shall make that sacrifice smoke towards heaven. (Magnificat)
SING in fine weather! Any bird can do that. Praising God when all goes well is commonplace work. Everybody marks the nightingale above all other birds because she singeth when the other minstrels of the wood are silent and asleep; and thus doth faith praise God under the cloud. Songs in the day are from man, but God Himself giveth songs in the night. O come let us sing unto the Lord under the cloud; let us pour forth His praises in the fires! Let us praise Him under depressions, let us magnify Him when our heart is heavy. (Barbed Arrows from the Quiver of C. H. Spurgeon)\
To forget to praise God, is to refuse to benefit ourselves, for praise, like prayer, is exceedingly useful to the spiritual man. It is a high and healthful exercise. To dance, like David, before the Lord, is to quicken the blood in the veins and make the pulse beat at a healthier rate. Praise gives to us a great feast, like that of Solomon, who gave to every man a good piece of flesh and a flagon of wine. Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to praise both day and night. To bless God for mercies received is to benefit our fellow-men; “the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.” Others who have been in like circumstances, shall take comfort if we can say, “Oh! magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Tongue-tied Christians are a sad dishonor to the Church. We have some such, some whom the devil has gagged, and the loudest music they ever make is when they are champing the bit of their silence. I would, my brethren, that in all such cases the tongue of the dumb may sing. To go a step further here. As praise is good and pleasant, blessing man and glorifying, God, united praise has a very special commendation. United praise is like music in concert. The sound of one instrument is exceeding sweet, but when hundreds of instruments, both wind and stringed, are all combined, then the orchestra sendeth forth a noble volume of harmony. The praise of one Christian is accepted before God like a grain of incense; but the praise of many is like a censor full of frankincense smoking up before the Lord. Combined praise is an anticipation of heaven, for in that general assembly they altogether with one heart and voice praise the Lord. “Ten thousand thousand are their tongues, But all their joys are one.” Public praise is very agreeable to the Christian himself. How many burdens has it removed, I am sure when I hear the shout of praise in this house it warms my heart. It is at times a little too slow for my taste, and I must urge you to quicken your pace, that the rolling waves of majestic praise may display their full force, yet with all drawbacks, to my heart there is no music like yours. Even there, however, the many voices make a grand harmony of praise. I love to hear God’s people sing when they really do sing, not when it is a drawing out somewhere between harmony and discord. O for a sacred song, a shout of lofty praise in which every man’s soul beats the time, and every man’s tongue sounds the tune, and each singer feels a high ambition to excel his fellow in gratitude and love. There is something exceedingly delightful in the union of true hearts in the worship of God, and when these hearts are expressed in song, how sweet the charming sounds. I think we ought to have a praise-meeting once a week. We have a prayer meeting every Monday, and a prayer-meeting every Saturday, and a prayer-meeting every morning, but why do we not have a praise-meeting? Surely seasons should be set apart for services made up of praise from beginning to end. Let us try the plan at once… it is almost always the case that David by the fire of prayer warms himself into praise. He begins low, with many a broken note of complaining, but he mounts and glows, and, like the lark, sings as he ascends. When at first his harp is muffled he warbles a few mournful notes and becomes excited, till he cannot restrain his hand from that well-known and accustomed string which he had reserved for the music of praise alone. (The Power of Prayer and the Pleasure of Praise)
Praising God is one of the best ways of keeping away murmuring! (Fifteen Years Later!)
Is not praise composed in a large measure of an attentive observation of God’s mercy? Thousands of blessings come to us without our knowledge: we take them in at the back-door, and put them away. in the cellar. Now, praise takes note of them, preserves the invoice of favors received, and records the goodness of the Lord. O friends, if you do this, you will never be short, of reasons for praise. He who notices ’God’s mercy will never be without a mercy to notice. This is the chief material of the garment of praise: attentive consideration of divine grace is the broadcloth out of which the garment of praise is made… Maintain the memory of his great goodness. “Forget not all his benefits.” Call to remembrance your song in the night; and remember the loving-kindnesses of the Lord. In this also we find rich material for the garment of praise. (The Garment of Praise)
God turns our fasts into feasts, and we are glad in the midst of our sorrow! We can praise and bless His name for all that He does. (Sad Fasts Changed to Glad Feasts)
Praise is the beauty of a Christian. What wings are to a bird, what fruit is to the tree, what the rose is to the thorn, that is praise to a child of God. (Prayer, the Proof of Godliness)
This is how we live spiritually—we breathe in the air by prayer, and we breathe it out by praise! This is the holy respiration of a Christian’s life! Prayer and praise must be mingled in a divinely wise proportion and then they make a sweet incense, acceptable to God. (Eternal Life!)
Praise is the end of prayer and preaching. (An Unparalleled Cure)
O Friends, if you are afraid of being overcome, take to praising God! If you are in trouble and do not know how to bear it, divert your thoughts by praising God! Get away from the present trial by blessing and magnifying His holy name! (Comforted and Comforting)
How many times a day do you praise Him [God]? I think you do get alone to pray and you would be ashamed if you did not, once, twice, or three or even more times in the day—but how often do you praise God? Now, you know that you will not pray in Heaven; there it will be all praise. Then do not neglect that necessary part of your education which is to “begin the music here.” Start at once praising the Lord. (Christ’s Indwelling Word)
Mercies should be remembered. It is a great wrong to God when we bury His mercies in the grave of unthankfulness. Especially is this the case with distinguishing mercies, wherein the Lord makes us to differ from others. Light, when the rest of the land is in darkness! Life, when others are smitten with the sword of death! Liberty from an iron bondage! O Christians, these are not things to be forgotten! Abundantly utter the memory of distinguishing mercies! Discriminating Grace deserves unceasing memorials of praise! (Sin—Its Springhead, Stream and Sea)
You may also destroy your distresses by singing praises to God. By blessing the Lord, you may set your foot upon the neck of your adversaries—you can sing yourself right up from the deeps by God’s gracious help. Out of the very depths you may cry unto the Lord till He shall lift you up, and you shall praise Him in excelsis—in the very highest—and magnify His name! I give you this as one of the shortest and surest recipes for comfort—begin to praise God. The next time that a friend comes in to see you, do not tell him how long the wind has been blowing from the North, how cold the weather is for this season of the year, how your poor bones ache, how little you have coming in and all your troubles—he has probably heard the sad story many times before! Instead of that, tell him what the Lord has done for you and make him feel that the Lord is good. Your griefs and your troubles speak for themselves, but your mercies are often dumb—so try, therefore, to give them a tongue and praise the Lord with all your heart! (Comforted and Comforting - See the Exposition of Psalm 147 after the sermon)
Prayer is refreshing, but praise is even more so, for there may be and there often is, in prayer, the element of selfishness—but praise rises to a yet higher level. Prayer and praise together make up spiritual respiration—we breathe in the air of Heaven when we pray—and we breathe it out again when we praise. ‘It is good to sing praises unto our God.’ (The Known and the Unknown)
Aaron held his peace when his two sons died. He got as far as that in submission to the will of the Lord. But it will be better still if, instead of simply holding your peace, you can bless and praise and magnify the Lord even in your sharpest trouble! Oh, may you be divinely helped to do so! (The Sorrowful Man’s Question)
‘Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. The Psalmist has only just begun praising when he takes to praying—and that should be a Christian’s double occupation—praising and praying! I have often said that as our life is made up of breathing in and breathing out, so we should breathe in the atmosphere of Heaven by prayer and then breathe it out, again, in praise. (Unparalleled Suffering)
It is a good thing to praise Christ in the presence of His friends. It is, sometimes, a better thing to extol Him in the presence of His enemies. It is a great thing to praise Jesus Christ by day, but there is no music sweeter than the nightingale’s—and she praises God by night. It is well to praise the Lord for His mercy when you are in health, but make sure that you do it when you are sick, for then your praise is more likely to be genuine. (The Objective of Christ’s Death)
Souls are often converted through godly conversation. Simple words frequently do more good than long sermons. Disjointed, unconnected sentences are often of more use than the most finely polished periods or rounded sentences. If you would be useful, let the praises of Christ be always on your tongue. Let Him live on your lips. Speak of Him always! (Christian Conversation)
The first thing to do, when the throat is clear after an illness, is to sing praises to God! The first thing to do, when the eyes are brightened again, is to look up to the Lord with thankfulness and gratitude. (Singing Saints)
It is always best for us, if there is anything to be said in our praise, not to say it ourselves, but to let somebody else say it. Brother, if your trumpeter is dead, put the trumpet away! When that trumpet needs to be blown, there will be a trumpeter found to use it—but you need never blow it yourself. (A Man Named Matthew)
Many of our doubts and fears would fly away if we praised God more. And many of our trials and troubles would altogether vanish if we began to sing of our mercies. Oftentimes, depression of spirit that will not yield to a whole night of wrestling, would yield to ten minutes of thanksgiving before God! Praying is the stalk of the wheat, but praise is the very ear of it. Praying is the leaf of the rose, but praise is the rose itself, redolent with the richest perfume.” (Christ’s Indwelling Word)
When a man blesses God for the bitter, the Lord often sends him the sweet. If he can praise God in the night, the daylight is not far off. There never was a heart yet that waited and wanted to praise God but the Lord soon gave it opportunities of lifting up Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs unto Him. (Comforted and Comforting)
I look upon a murmuring spirit as the forewarning of stormy weather in a rebellious soul—and I regard a praiseful spirit as the forecast of a happy time to come to the loyal joyous soul. God has prepared the heart to receive the joy which, otherwise, it, might not have been fit to accept at his hands. Be comforted, then, dear Friends, if you find in your hearts the desire to praise God, and belief that the Lord will find in His heart the willingness to speedily bless you! (Comforted and Comforting)
Whenever I grow very dull through pain, or heavy through lack of sleep, I say to myself, ‘I will note down what I owe to God of praise, which I cannot just now pay to Him, that I may do so when I get a little better.’ And then my conscience chides me, saying, ‘Praise Him NOW! Bless God for aching bones! Bless God for a weary head! Bless God for troubles and trials, for he who can so praise the Lord is singing a truer and more acceptable song than youth, health and happiness can present!’ A seraph never praised God with an aching head. Cherubs never blessed the Lord upon a sick bed—so you will excel even the angels if you magnify the Lord in sickness! Why should you not, since you also can say, ‘The Lord is my strength and song’? (An Epistle Illustrated by a Psalm)
“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice—have mercy also upon me and answer me. One moment he praises and the next moment he prays. That is quite right. I have often said to you that we live by breathing in and breathing out. We breathe in the atmosphere of Heaven by prayer and we breathe it out again by praise. Prayer and praise make up the essentials of the Christian’s life. Oh, for more of them—not prayer without praise, nor praise without prayer! Prayer and praise, like the two horses in Pharaoh’s chariot, make our Christian life to run smoothly and swiftly to God’s honor and glory.” (“Mr. Moody’s Text”)
Singing is the best thing to purge ourselves of evil thoughts. Keep your mouth full of songs and you will often keep your heart full of praises keep on singing as long as you can—you will find it a good method of driving away your fears. (Songs in the Night)
There are many ways of praising God. We should do it with the lips and grateful is the voice of song in the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth. We should do it by our daily conversation—let our acts be acts of praise, as well as our words be words of praise. We should do it even by the very look of our eyes and by the appearance of our countenance. Let not your face be sad, let your countenance be joyous! Sing wherever you go, yes, when you are laden with trouble, let no man see it. (Covenant Blessings)
The man who knows that his eternal future is secured by the unfailing Grace of God may forever praise the Lord who has given him life! (A Song and a Solace)
Let me say to you mourners and sufferers that your praises of God when you have no trouble are not worth half as much as they may be now. If you can sing His praises on the bed of sickness and extol Him in the fire of a sore bereavement, that will be grand! The praises of the angels, as they bow in perfect happiness, and say, “God is good,” must be very blessed. And the praises of men of God on earth, who are prospering in business and who have health and strength, and who say, “God is good,” are very precious. But you take me to one who is poor and needy, one who scarcely knows where his daily bread will come from—and when he says, ‘But God is good,; I think the Lord finds a sweeter note in that praise than He does even in the music of the angelic choirs!” (The Stronghold)
I do not think that all the cherubim and seraphim in Heaven ever praised God as they have done who have died in prison for Jesus’ sake, or at the stake have poured forth their blood rather than deny Him. Be glad that you may prove your love by suffering for Christ. The ruby crown of martyrdom is not within your reach today, but be thankful if some jewels of suffering may be yours. And count it all joy when you can endure this cross for the name of Jesus Christ. (A Procession of Cross-Bearers)
The praise of gratitude for the past is sweet, but that praise is sweeter which adores God for the future in full confidence that it shall be well. Therefore, take down your harps from the willows, O you people, and praise you the name of the Lord, though the fig tree still does not blossom and the cattle still die in the stall and the sheep still perish from the folds—though there should be to you no income to meet your needs and you should be brought almost to necessity’s door—still bless the Lord whose mighty Providence cannot fail and shall not fail as long as there is one of His children to be provided for! (The Singing Army)
Do you notice that there is not a single petition in the whole of this Psalm? [Psalm 103] It is all praise! And herein it is like Heaven, where they cease to pray, but where they praise God without ceasing! We cannot rise to that height here, but let us both praise and pray when we can.” (Prisoners of Hope - bottom of page)
Surely we make too little of our Redeemer’s death. I fear that even we, who preach most concerning it, dwell too little upon it. That we who pray, plead it too little. That we who sing, praise our Lord too little for His wondrous death and that we who live upon His Grace, yet think too little of the channel by which it flows to us! (Christ’s Death and Ours)
Virtues in unregenerate men are nothing but whitewashed sins! The best performance of an unchanged character is worthless in God’s sight. It lacks the stamp of Grace upon it and that which has not the stamp of Grace is false coin. Be it ever so beautiful in model and finish, it is not what it should be. ‘So then they that are in the flesh cannot praise God. (The Search After Happiness)
To be wrapped in praise to God is the highest state of the soul. To receive the mercy for which we praise God is something, but to be wholly clothed with praise to God for the mercy received is far more! (The Garment of Praise)
Think not that all praise is gathered up in singing! It is the praise of God when the mother tells her child of the goodness of Him who made the stars, and who spread the world with flowers. It is praise when the young convert tells of the joy of his heart to his companion and bids him fly to the Fountain where he has washed and been made clean. It is praise, praise of a high order, too, when the advanced Believer in his old age tells of the faithfulness of God, and how not one good thing has failed of all that the Lord God has promised! (Praise Comely to the Upright)
But every morning also brings a new mercy because every morning ushers in another day. That is a new reason for praise, for we have no right to an hour, or even a minute, much less to a day. To the sinner, especially, it is a great mercy to have another day of Grace, another opportunity for repentance, a new reprieve from death, a little more space in which to escape from Hell and fly to Heaven. (The Novelties of Divine Mercy)
Are we to praise the Lord now for keeping us to the end? Will it not do if we praise Him when the end comes and we have been kept to the end? Will it not do if we praise Him when we are presented faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy? But can you not believe God s promise that He will keep you to the end—and bless His name for it even NOW? (Danger. Safety. Gratitude)
Oh, that the Lord Jesus would now send fire into all your souls and make you love Him, for surely, if you have but the sense of what He has done and how He did it, and what it cost Him to do it, and who He is that has done it—and who you were for whom He has done it—you will surely say, ‘Oh, for a thousand hearts that I may love You as I should, and a thousand tongues that I may praise You as I should!’ (Christ Made Sin)
When I pray, I ask for something for myself or other people. When I praise, it is but little I can render. But oh, to think that, I, a poor creature of God’s own making, should be able to give to Him! It puts the creature in the highest conceivable light. It lifts him well above angels. (Black Clouds and Bright Blessings)
To praise God without praying to Him would be impossible. To pray to God without praising Him would be ungrateful. (God in Heaven, and Men on the Sea)
It is only when we can say with David, ‘My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise,’ that there is the music of deep and lasting joy in the songs that we send up to Heaven! (Finding and Following Christ)
Happy, happy child, whose earliest work is work for God, whose earliest hearing is hearing the voice of God, whose earliest breath is spent in the praise of God! God grant, of His infinite mercy, that our children may be such children, and He shall have the praise! (Here I Am!)
O dear Friends, let us never be satisfied with any kind of worship which does not take up the whole of our inner and higher nature! It is what you are within that you really are before the living God! And it is quite a secondary matter how loud the chant may be, or how sweet the tune of your hymn, or how delightfully you join in it unless your spirit, your soul, truly praises the Lord! You can sometimes do this in ‘songs without words’—and he that has no voice for singing can, after this fashion, magnify the Lord with his soul and spirit. (Mary’s Magnificat)
Brothers and Sisters, praise is God’s due when He takes as well as when He gives, for there is as much love in His taking as in His giving! The kindness of God is quite as great when He smites us with His rod as when He kisses us with the kisses of His mouth. If we could see everything as He sees it, we would often perceive that the kindest possible thing He can do to us is that which appears to us to be unkind. (Fifteen Years Later!)
A Christian silent when others are praising His Master? No! He must join in the song. Satan tries to make God’s people dumb, but he cannot, for the Lord has not a tongue-tied child in all His family! They can all speak and they can all cry, even if they cannot all sing—but I think there are times when they can all sing—yes, they must, for you know the promise, “Then shall the tongue of the dumb sing.” Surely, when Jesus leads the tune, if there should be any silent ones in the Lord’s family, they must begin to praise the name of the Lord! (The Memorable Hymn)
There is no prayer that is purer, more spiritual, more heavenly than the prayer which comes out of a heart full of praise! How often have I said that prayer is the breathing in of the air of Heaven and praise is the breathing of it out again? Prayer and praise make up the best life of the Christian and he is not yet thoroughly in spiritual health who is all for prayer and not at all for praise—but he is the really healthy Christian who has these two things rightly balanced. (A Visit from the Lord)
Sing praises unto His name; for it is pleasant. That is, singing God’s praises is pleasant—it is a pleasant duty and the Lord’s name is pleasant, or lovely. The very thought of God brings the sweetest emotions to every renewed heart. There is no pleasure in the world that exceeds that of devotion. As we sing praises unto the Lord, we shake off the cares of the world, we rise above its smoke and mists and we get, then, the clearer atmosphere of communion with Him. (A Strange Yet Gracious Choice)
Praise (01984) (halal, הָלַל) has the root meaning of "giving off of light by celestial bodies." Halal means to shine, to flash, to radiate, have bright or clear light be visible from a source (as in Job 29:3; 31:26; 41:18; Isa 13:10). To praise is the meaning of the intensive form of the halal, which in its simple active form means to boast (Related to God = "My soul shall make its boast in the LORD" Ps 34:2, Boasting related to men = 1Ki 20:11). Halal connotes genuine appreciation for the great actions or the character of its object.
Halal is occasionally used to indicate “praise” of people (the king = 2Chr 23:12; Absalom = 2Sa 14:25). More often halal refers to the “praise” of God (first use in this way = 2Sa 22:4). In fact in some texts not only living things are to praise God but all created things, including the sun and moon, are to praise Him (Ps 148:2-5, 13; 150:1).
Vine notes that
to praise is actually the meaning of the intensive form of the Hebrew verb halal, which in its simple active form means to boast… The Hebrew name for the Book of Psalms is simply the equivalent for the word “praises” and is a bit more appropriate than “Psalms,” which comes from the Greek and has to do with the accompaniment of singing with a stringed instrument of some sort. It is little wonder that the Book of Psalms contains more than half the occurrences of halal in its various forms. Psalms 113-118 are traditionally referred to as the “Hallel Psalms,” because they have to do with praise to God for deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses. Because of this, they are an important part of the traditional Passover service. There is no reason to doubt that these were the hymns sung by Jesus and His disciples on Maundy Thursday when He instituted the Lord’s Supper (Mt 26:30).
hālal = praise, boast (only in Piel, Pual and Hithpael). This root connotes being sincerely and deeply thankful for and/or satisfied in lauding a superior quality(ies) or great, great act(s) of the object… This root can be used of exalting human beauty (Ge 12:15; 2Sa 14:25) or human understanding (Pr 12:8)… (Halal) usually refers to praising deity, even false deities (Jdg 16:24). The most frequent use of our root relates to praising the God of Israel. Nearly a third of such passages occur in the Psalms. The largest number of these are imperative summons to praise… (Praise) is to be offered in an attitude of delight and rejoicing. Belief and joy are inextricably intertwined. Secondly, it is significant that most of these occurrences are plural (except Ps 146:1; Ps 147:12, collective). This shows us, as does the use of the psalms in the worship that praise of Jehovah was especially, though by no means uniquely (Ps 146:1), congregational. This praise could involve choirs and musical instruments, too. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament- R Laird Harris, Gleason L Archer Jr., Bruce K. Waltke)
Baker summarizes halal…
The word most often means praise and is associated with the ministry of the Levites who praised God morning and evening (1Chr. 23:30). All creation, however, is urged to join in (Ps. 148), and various instruments were used to increase the praise to God (Ps. 150). The word hallelujah is a command to praise Yah (the Lord), derived from the word hālal (Ps. 105:45; 146:1). The reflexive form of the verb is often used to signify boasting, whether in a good object (Ps. 34:2) or a bad object (Ps. 49:6). Other forms of the word mean to act foolishly or to be mad (1 Sam. 21:13; Eccl. 7:7; Isa. 44:25). (Complete Word Study Dictionary- Old Testament - Warren Baker, Gene Carpenter)
Ug. hll to cheer; JArm. only 1Q GnAp 212, Syr. hallel to praise; Akk. alaÒlu cry, song of people at work, Gt song of joy (eleÒlu) to sing, Sè to cheer; Arb. halla II, IV to raise a cheer, halhala IV, VII dialect, to weep; Tigr. Wb. 21b hawlala to praise, 2b hiÒlal; orig. to trill, warble Littmann
Psalms 113-118 are known as the the "Hallel Psalms," because they have to do with praise to God for deliverance from Egyptian bondage under Moses. Because of this, they are an important part of the traditional Passover service. There is no reason to doubt that these were the hymns sung by Jesus and His disciples on Maundy Thursday when He instituted the Lord's Supper (Mt 26:30).
TWOT says that
this root connotes being sincerely and deeply thankful for and/or satisfied in lauding a superior quality(ies) or great, great act(s) of the object.
NAS translates halal in a variety of ways reflecting several different meanings depending on the context - acted insanely (1x in 1Sa 21:13), arrogant(1), boast (9x - e.g. 1Ki 20:11, Ps 34:2), boasted(1), boastful(3), boasts(3), boasts boast(1), deride(1), drive madly(1), give praise(1), giving praise(1), glory(8x - e.g., 1Chr 16:10), go mad(1), going mad(1), mad(1), madness(1), make its boast(1), makes a mad(1), makes fools(1), making fools(1), offers praises(1), praise(90), praised(20), praises(1), praising(5), race madly(1), renowned(1), sang praises(1), sing praises(1), wedding songs(1).
KJV = praise 117, glory 14, boast 10, mad 8, shine 3, foolish 3, fools 2, commended 2, rage 2, celebrate 1, give 1, marriage 1, renowned 1; 165
Halal occurs in 140 verses in the OT - Here is the entire list: Ge 12:15; Judg 16:24; 1 Sam 21:13; 2 Sam 14:25; 22:4; 1 Kgs 20:11; 1 Chr 16:4, 10, 25, 36; 23:5, 30; 25:3; 29:13; 2 Chr 5:13; 7:6; 8:14; 20:19, 21; 23:12f; 29:30; 30:21; 31:2; Ezra 3:10f; Neh 5:13; 12:24; Job 12:17; 29:3; 31:26; 41:18; Ps 5:5; 10:3; 18:3; 22:22f, 26; 34:2; 35:18; 44:8; 48:1; 49:6; 52:1; 56:4, 10; 63:5, 11; 64:10; 69:30, 34; 73:3; 74:21; 75:4; 78:63; 84:4; 96:4; 97:7; 102:8, 18; 104:35; 105:3, 45; 106:1, 5, 48; 107:32; 109:30; 111:1; 112:1; 113:1, 3, 9; 115:17f; 116:19; 117:1f; 119:164, 175; 135:1, 3, 21; 145:2f; 146:1f, 10; 147:1, 12, 20; 148:1ff, 7, 13f; 149:1, 3, 9; 150:1ff; Pr 12:8; 20:14; 25:14; 27:1f; 28:4; 31:28, 30f; Eccl 2:2; 7:7; Song 6:9; Isa 13:10; 38:18; 41:16; 44:25; 45:25; 62:9; 64:11; Jer 4:2; 9:23f; 20:13; 25:16; 31:7; 46:9; 49:4; 50:38; 51:7; Ezek 26:17; Joel 2:26; Nah 2:4
The first use of Halal is found in Ge 12:15 where because of Sarah’s great beauty, the princes of Pharaoh "praised her to Pharaoh."
The second use in Jdg 16:24 refers to praise to a pagan Philistine god (idol).
The third use in 1Sa 21:13 has the rare meaning of "acted insanely."
Below are the 97 verses in which Halal refers specifically to praise directed to the LORD and 64 verses are found in the Psalms.
2 Samuel 22:4 "I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.
1 Chronicles 16:4 He appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD, even to celebrate and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:
1 Chronicles 16:10 Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
1 Chronicles 16:25 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods.
1 Chronicles 16:36 Blessed (barak) be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. Then all the people said, "Amen," and praised the LORD.
1 Chronicles 23:5 and 4,000 were gatekeepers, and 4,000 were praising the LORD with the instruments which David made for giving praise.
1 Chronicles 23:30 They are to stand every morning to thank (probably sense of "confess" - Lxx - exohomologeo = to openly confess sin) and to praise the LORD, and likewise at evening,
1 Chronicles 25:3 Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun with the harp, who prophesied in giving thanks and praising the LORD.
1 Chronicles 29:13 "Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
2 Chronicles 5:13 in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying,"He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting," then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud,
2 Chronicles 7:6 The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the LORD, which King David had made for giving praise (yadah) to the LORD-- "for His lovingkindness is everlasting "-- whenever he gave praise by their means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing.
2 Chronicles 8:14 Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for David the man of God had so commanded.
2 Chronicles 20:19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, "Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting."
2 Chronicles 29:30 Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.
2 Chronicles 30:21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day after day with loud instruments to the LORD.
2 Chronicles 31:2 And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites by their divisions, each according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the camp of the LORD.
Ezra 3:10 Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD according to the directions of King David of Israel. 11 They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Nehemiah 5:13 I also shook out the front of my garment and said, "Thus may God shake out every man from his house and from his possessions who does not fulfill this promise; even thus may he be shaken out and emptied." And all the assembly said, "Amen!" And they praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise.
Nehemiah 12:24 The heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers opposite them, to praise and give thanks, as prescribed by David the man of God, division corresponding to division.
Psalm 18:3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 22:22 I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. 23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
Psalm 22:26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!
Psalm 34:2 My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice.
Psalm 35:18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng.
Psalm 44:8 In God we have boasted (Lxx = epaineo = to praise) all day long, And we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah.
Psalm 48:1 A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
Psalm 56:4 In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
Psalm 56:10 In God, whose word I praise, In the LORD, whose word I praise,
Psalm 63:5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
Psalm 63:11 But the king will rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him will glory, (Lxx = epaineo = to praise) For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.
Psalm 64:10 The righteous man will be glad in the LORD and will take refuge in Him; And all the upright in heart will glory (Lxx = epaineo = to praise).
Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Psalm 69:34 Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them.
Psalm 74:21 Let not the oppressed return dishonored; Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
Psalm 84:4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.
Psalm 96:4 For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 102:18 This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.
Psalm 104:35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth And let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise (Note: All uses of Halal in Red = imperatives or commands) the LORD!
Psalm 105:3 Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:45 So that they might keep His statutes And observe His laws, Praise the LORD!
Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 106:5 That I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones, That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, That I may glory with Your inheritance.
Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, "Amen." Praise the LORD!
Psalm 107:32 Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people, And praise Him at the seat of the elders.
Psalm 109:30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the LORD; And in the midst of many I will praise Him.
Psalm 111:1 Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly.
Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.
Psalm 113:1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD.
Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised.
Psalm 113:9 He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 115:17 The dead do not praise the LORD, Nor do any who go down into silence; 18 But as for us, we will bless the LORD From this time forth and forever. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 116:19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 117:1 Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! 2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 119:164 Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous ordinances.
Comment: "Seven" indicates that
Psalm 119:175 Let my soul live that it may praise You, And let Your ordinances help me.
Psalm 135:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD; Praise Him, O servants of the LORD,
Psalm 135:3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises (zamar) to His name, for it is lovely.
Psalm 135:21 Blessed be the LORD from Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 145:2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.
Psalm 146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 2 I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises (zamar) to my God while I have my being.
Psalm 146:10 The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 147:1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises(zamar) to our God; For it is pleasant and praise (tehillah) is becoming.
Psalm 147:12 Praise (shabach) the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
Psalm 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And as for His ordinances, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 148:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! 2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! 3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! 4 Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
Psalm 148:7 Praise the LORD from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps;
Psalm 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven. 14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people, Praise for all His godly ones; Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise (tehillah) in the congregation of the godly ones.
Psalm 149:3 Let them praise (Lxx = aineo in the imperative) His name with dancing; Let them sing praises (zamar) to Him with timbrel and lyre.
Psalm 149:9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. 2 Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. 3 Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. 4 Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise (Lxx = aineo in the imperative) the LORD. Praise the LORD!
Isaiah 38:18 "For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.
Isaiah 41:16 "You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the LORD, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 45:25 "In the LORD all the offspring of Israel Will be justified and will glory."
Isaiah 62:9 But those who garner it will eat it and praise the LORD; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.
Isaiah 64:11 Our holy and beautiful house, Where our fathers praised You, Has been burned by fire; And all our precious things have become a ruin.
Jeremiah 4:2 And you will swear, 'As the LORD lives,' In truth, in justice and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, And in Him they will glory."
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 20:13 Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD! For He has delivered the soul of the needy one From the hand of evildoers.
Jeremiah 31:7 For thus says the LORD, "Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, 'O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel.'
Joel 2:26 "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then (Ask "When?" Examine context to arrive an accurate interpretation - clearly this has to be the future Millennium) My people will never be put to shame.
Comment: Note the addressees are "My people." God is clearly speaking to Israel and not to the church. The point is that God is not finished with His people Israel and the church has not replaced them as is sadly so often taught. If the church is Israel, then verses such as this one in Joel make absolutely no sense when interpreted literally. One is forced to seek another interpretation and to spiritualize passages such as this one.
Praise (08416) (tehillah, תְּהִלָּה) is a feminine noun derived from the verb halal and sometimes denotes a quality or attribute of some person or thing, "glory or praiseworthiness". Tehillah means praise or adoration and describes the speaking of positive words about the excellence of another (2Chr 20:22). Tehillah in some contexts can speak of renown or reputation (Jer 49:25). In Ps 111:10 tehillah describes the character of God which deserves praise. In Deut 10:21 Moses speaking to Israel records that God "is your praise."
Baker writes that tehillah has the basic meaning of praise but…
It can also refer to the condition of fame and renown that comes with receiving this sort of praise and, as such, was applied to God (Deut. 10:21; Hab. 3:3); Israel (Deut. 26:19; Jer. 13:11); Jerusalem (Isa. 62:7; Zeph. 3:19, 20); Damascus (Jer. 49:25); Moab (Jer. 48:2); Babylon (Jer. 51:41). In late Hebrew, this term became a technical term for a psalm of praise. In this capacity, it is used in the title of Psalm 145 to designate it as David’s Psalm of Praise. It has also become the Hebrew title for the entire book of Psalms. (Ibid)
TWOT - This noun represents the results of hālal as well as divine acts which merit that activity. This latter use occurs both in the singular (Ps 196:47) and plural (Ex 15:11; Ps 78:4). Parallel words are kabod “honor” (Isa 42:8), and šēm (shem) “name” (Ps 48:10 [H 11]; Isa 48:9). Our word occurs fifty-seven times.
First, tehillah denotes a quality or attribute of some person or thing, “glory or praiseworthiness”: “He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen” (Dt. 10:21). Israel is God’s “glory” when she exists in a divinely exalted and blessed state: “And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isa. 62:7; cf. Jer. 13:11).
Second, in some cases tehillah represents the words or song by which God is publicly lauded, or by which His “glory” is publicly declared: “My praise [the Messiah is speaking here] shall be of thee in the great congregation …” (Ps. 22:25). Ps 22:22 is even clearer: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”
In a third nuance tehillah is a technical-musical term for a song (shir) which exalts or praises God: “David’s psalm of praise” (heading for Ps. 145; v. 1 in the Hebrew). Perhaps Neh. 11:17 refers to a choirmaster or one who conducts such singing of “praises”: “And Mattaniah … , the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer [who at the beginning was the leader of praise at prayer]…”
Finally, tehillah may represent deeds which are worthy of “praise,” or deeds for which the doer deserves “praise and glory.” This meaning is in the word’s first biblical appearance: “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises [in praiseworthy deeds], doing wonders [miracles]?” (Ex 15:11).
Two other related nouns are mahalal and hillulim. Mahalal occurs once (Pr 27:21) and denotes the degree of “praise” or its lack. Hillulim, which occurs twice, means “festal jubilation” in the fourth year at harvest time (Lev. 19:24, rsv; Jdg. 9:27, nasb),
Here are the 55 uses of tehillah translated in NAS as praise(47), praises(6), praising(1), song of praise(1 = Ps 40:3).
Exodus 15:11 "Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?
Deuteronomy 10:21 "He is your praise and He is your God, Who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.
Deuteronomy 26:19 and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken."
1 Chronicles 16:35 Then say, "Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us from the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name, And glory in Your praise."
2 Chronicles 20:22 When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
Nehemiah 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, "Arise, bless the LORD your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise!
Nehemiah 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.
Psalm 9:14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.
Spurgeon: We must not overlook David's object in desiring mercy, it is God's glory: "that I may show forth all thy praise." Saints are not so selfish as to look only to self; they desire mercy's diamond that they may let others see it flash and sparkle, and may admire Him who gives such priceless gems to his beloved. The contrast between the gates of death and the gates of the New Jerusalem is very striking; let our songs be excited to the highest and most rapturous pitch by the double consideration of whence we are taken, and to what we have been advanced, and let our prayers for mercy be made more energetic and agonizing by a sense of the grace which such a salvation implies. When David speaks of his showing forth all God's praise, he means that, in his deliverance grace in all its heights and depths would be magnified. Just as our hymn puts it:—
"O the length and breadth of love!
Jesus, Saviour, can it be?
All thy mercy's height I prove,
All the depth is seen in me.
Here ends the first part of this instructive Psalm, and in pausing awhile we feel bound to confess that our exposition has only flitted over its surface and has not digged into the depths. The verses are singularly full of teaching, and if the Holy Spirit shall bless the reader, he may go over this Psalm, as the writer has done scores of times, and see on each occasion fresh beauties.
Psalm 22:3 Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel… 25 From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
Spurgeon: But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." However ill things may look, there is no ill in thee, O God! We are very apt to think and speak hardly of God when we are under his afflicting hand, but not so the obedient Son. He knows too well his Father's goodness to let outward circumstances libel his character. There in no unrighteousness with the God of Jacob, he deserves no censure; let him do what he will, he is to be praised, and to reign enthroned amid the songs of his chosen people. If prayer be unanswered it is not because God is unfaithful, but for some other good and weighty reason. If we cannot perceive any ground for the delay, we must leave the riddle unsolved, but we must not fly in God's face in order to invent an answer. While the holiness of God is in the highest degree acknowledged and adored, the afflicted speaker in this verse seems to marvel how the holy God could forsake him, and be silent to his cries. The argument is, thou art holy, Oh! why is it that thou dost disregard thy holy One in his hour of sharpest anguish? We may not question the holiness of God, but we may argue from it, and use it as a plea in our petitions.
Psalm 33:1 Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright.
Spurgeon: Rejoice in the Lord. Joy is the soul of praise. To delight ourselves in God is most truly to extol him, even if we let no notes of song proceed from our lips. That God is, and that he is such a God, and our God, ours for ever and ever, should wake within us an unceasing and overflowing joy. To rejoice in temporal comforts is dangerous, to rejoice in self is foolish, to rejoice in sin is fatal, but to rejoice in God is heavenly. He who would have a double heaven must begin below to rejoice like those above. O ye righteous. This is peculiarly your duty, your obligations are greater, and your spiritual nature more adapted to the work, be ye then first in the glad service. Even the righteous are not always glad, and have need to be stirred up to enjoy their privileges.
For praise is comely for the upright. God has an eye to things which are becoming. When saints wear their choral robes, they look fair in the Lord's sight. A harp suits a blood washed hand. No jewel more ornamental to a holy face than sacred praise. Praise is not comely from unpardoned professional singers; it is like a jewel of gold in a swine's snout. Crooked hearts make crooked music, but the upright are the Lord's delight. Praise is the dress of saints in heaven, it is meet that they should fit it on below.
Psalm 34:1 A Psalm of David when he feigned madness before Abimelech, who drove him away and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Spurgeon: I will bless the Lord at all times. He is resolved and fixed, I will; he is personally and for himself determined, let others so as they may; he is intelligent in head and inflamed in heart—he knows to whom the praise is due, and what is due, and for what and when. To Jehovah, and not to second causes our gratitude is to be rendered. The Lord hath by right a monopoly in his creatures praise. Even when a mercy may remind us of our sin with regard to it, as in this case David's deliverance from the Philistine monarch was sure to do, we are not to rob God of his meed of honour because our conscience justly awards a censure to our share in the transaction. Though the hook was rusty, yet God sent the fish, and we thank him for it. At all times, in every situation, under every circumstance, before, in and after trials, in bright days of glee, and dark nights of fear. He would never have done praising, because never satisfied that he had done enough; always feeling that he fell short of the Lord's deservings. Happy is he whose fingers are wedded to his harp. He who praises God for mercies shall never want a mercy for which to praise. To bless the Lord is never unseasonable.
His praise shall continually be in my mouth, not in my heart merely, but in my mouth too. Our thankfulness is not to be a dumb thing; it should be one of the daughters of music. Our tongue is our glory, and it ought to reveal the glory of God. What a blessed mouthful is God's praise! How sweet, how purifying, how perfuming! If men's mouths were always thus filled, there would be no repining against God, or slander of neighbours. If we continually rolled this dainty morsel under our tongue, the bitterness of daily affliction would be swallowed up in joy. God deserves blessing with the heart, and extolling with the mouth—good thoughts in the closet, and good words in the world.
Psalm 35:28 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long.
Spurgeon: Unceasing praise is here vowed to the just and gracious God. From morning till evening the grateful tongue would talk and sing, and glorify the Lord. O for such a resolve carried out by us all!
Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.
Spurgeon: At the Passover, before his Passion, our Lord sang one of the grand old Psalms of praise; but what is the music of His heart now, in the midst of His redeemed! What a song is that in which his glad heart for ever leads the chorus of the elect! Not Miriam's tabor nor Moses' triumphant hymn over Miriam's chivalry can for a moment rival that ever new and exulting song. Justice magnified and grace victorious; hell subdued and heaven glorified; death destroyed and immortality established; sin overthrown and righteousness resplendent; what a theme for a hymn in that day when our Lord drinks the red wine new with us all in our heavenly Father's kingdom! Even on earth, and before His great passion, He foresaw the joy which was set before Him, and was sustained by the prospect. Our God. The God of Jesus, the God of Israel, "my God and your God." How will we praise Him, but ah! Jesus will be the chief player on our stringed instruments; He will lead the solemn hallelujah which shall go up from the sacramental host redeemed by blood.
Psalm 48:10 As is Your Name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Spurgeon: Great fame is due to His great Name. The glory of Jehovah's exploits overleaps the boundaries of earth; angels behold with wonder, and from every star delighted intelligences proclaim His fame beyond the ends of the earth. What if men are silent, yet the woods, and seas, and mountains, with all their countless tribes, and all the unseen spirits that walk them, are full of the divine praise. As in a shell we listen to the murmurs of the sea, so in the convolutions of creation we hear the praises of God.
Psalm 51:15 O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise.
Spurgeon: If God opens the mouth he is sure to have the fruit of it. According to the porter at the gate is the nature of that which comes out of a man's lips; when vanity, anger, falsehood, or lust unbar the door, the foulest villainies troop out; but if the Holy Spirit opens the wicket, then grace, mercy, peace, and all the graces come forth in tuneful dances, like the daughters of Israel when they met David returning with the Philistine's head.
Psalm 65:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. A Song. There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, O God, And to You the vow will be performed.
Psalm 66:2 Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious… 8 Bless our God, O peoples, And sound His praise abroad,
Spurgeon: Sing forth the honour of his name. The noise is to be modulated with tune and time, and fashioned into singing, for we adore the God of order and harmony. The honour of God should be our subject, and to honour him our object when we sing. To give glory to God is but to restore to him his own. It is our glory to be able to give God glory; and all our true glory should be ascribed unto God, for it is his glory. "All worship be to God only, "should be the motto of all true believers. The name, nature, and person of God are worthy of the highest honour.
Make his praise glorious. Let not His praise be mean and groveling: let it arise with grandeur and solemnity before Him. The pomp of the ancient festivals is not to be imitated by us, under this dispensation of the Spirit, but we are to throw so much of heart and holy reverence into all our worship that it shall be the best we can render. Heart worship and spiritual joy render praise more glorious than vestments, incense, and music could do.
Psalm 71:6 By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb; My praise is continually of You… 8 My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long… 14 But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.
Spurgeon: My praise shall be continually of thee. Where goodness has been unceasingly received, praise should unceasingly be offered. God is the circle where praise should begin, continue, and endlessly revolve, since in Him we live, and move, and have our being.
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. What a blessed mouthful! A man never grows nauseated though the flavour of it be all day in his mouth. God's bread is always in our mouths, so should his praise be. He fills us with good; let us be also filled with gratitude. This would leave no room for murmuring or backbiting; therefore, may we well join with holy David in this sacred wish.
And will yet praise thee more and more. He was not slack in thanksgiving; in fact, no man was ever more diligent in it; yet he was not content with all his former praises, but vowed to become more and more a grateful worshipper. When good things are both continual and progressive with us, we are on the right tack. We ought to be misers in going good, and our motto should be "more and more." While we do not disdain to "rest and be thankful, "we cannot settle down into resting in our thankfulness. "Superior" cries the eagle, as he mounts towards the sun: higher and yet higher is also our aim, as we soar aloft in duty and devotion. It is our continual hope that we shall be able more and more to magnify the Lord.
Psalm 78:4 We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
Psalm 79:13 So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture Will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.
Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
Spurgeon: And into His courts with praise. Into whatever court of the Lord you may enter, let your admission be the subject of praise: thanks be to God, the innermost court is now open to believers, and we enter into that which is within the veil; it is incumbent upon us that we acknowledge the high privilege by our songs.
Psalm 102:21 That men may tell of the name of the LORD in Zion And His praise in Jerusalem,
Psalm 106:2 Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD, Or can show forth all His praise?…
Psalm 106:12 Then they believed His words; They sang His praise…
Spurgeon: O God of my praise. Thou whom my whole soul praises, be pleased to protect my honour and guard my praise. "My heart is fixed", said he in the former psalm, "I will sing and give praise", and now he appeals to the God whom he had praised. If we take care of God's honour he will take care of ours. We may look to him as the guardian of our character if we truly seek his glory. If we live to God's praise, he will in the long run give us praise among men. "They sang His praise, "but "they soon forgot His works." Between Israel singing and Israel sinning there was scarce a step. Their song was good while it lasted, but it was no sooner begun than over.
Psalm 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name And glory in Your praise.
Spurgeon: O God of my praise. Thou whom my whole soul praises, be pleased to protect my honour and guard my praise. "My heart is fixed", said he in the former psalm, "I will sing and give praise", and now he appeals to the God whom he had praised. If we take care of God's honour He will take care of ours. We may look to Him as the guardian of our character if we truly seek His glory. If we live to God's praise, He will in the long run give us praise among men.
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.
Psalm 109:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. O God of my praise, Do not be silent!
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
Psalm 119:171 Let my lips utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.
Psalm 147:1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.
Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
Isaiah 42:8 "I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.
Isaiah 42:10 Sing to the LORD a new song, Sing His praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it. You islands, and those who dwell on them… 12 Let them give glory to the LORD And declare His praise in the coastlands.
Isaiah 43:21 "The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.
Isaiah 48:9 "For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off.
Isaiah 60:6 "A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD… 18 "Violence will not be heard again in your land, Nor devastation or destruction within your borders; But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.
Isaiah 61:3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified… 11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations.
Isaiah 62:7 And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Isaiah 63:7 I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, According to all that the LORD has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion And according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses.
Jeremiah 13:11 'For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,' declares the LORD, 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.'
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; Save me and I will be saved, For You are my praise.
Interpreter's Bible: Praise is to be the offering of men everywhere; in sickness as in health, in the feebleness of old age as in the vigor of youth, in times of trouble and of joy, on our deathbed, as did Oliver Cromwell—"Is there no one here who will praise the Lord?"—or like John Wesley's mother—"Children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of praise to God." Interpreter's Bible,
Jeremiah 33:9 'It will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them, and they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.'
Jeremiah 48:2 "There is praise for Moab no longer; In Heshbon they have devised calamity against her: 'Come and let us cut her off from being a nation!' You too, Madmen, will be silenced; The sword will follow after you.
Jeremiah 49:25 "How the city of praise has not been deserted, The town of My joy!
Jeremiah 51:41 "How Sheshak has been captured, And the praise of the whole earth been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations!
Habakkuk 3:3 God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise.
Zephaniah 3:19 "Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth. 20 "At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes," Says the LORD.
SOME THOUGHTS ON "HALLELUJAH" (PRAISE THE LORD): (Apologies for the length of this post!) Someone has said there are three words recognized in every language - Hallelujah, Amen and Coca Cola, but sadly the first two holy words are too often trivialized thus obscuring their true meaning (See link below for "Amen"). Spurgeon (CHS) says that "Surely, Hallelujah is not a word to be dragged in the mire--it should be pronounced with solemn awe and sacred joy." Indeed, Hallelujah is a holy word proclaimed without ceasing by angelic tongues of "flaming fire" (Heb 1:7-note, Ps 148:2-note) and by glorified tongues of "the redeemed of the Lord" (Ps 107:2-note), "His bondservants" who are commanded to "give praise to our God" without ceasing (Rev 19:5-note). How wonderful that our earthly "praise is the most heavenly of our Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to praise both day and night." (CHS) Indeed, as Paul writes one great purpose of our "redemption which is in Christ Jesus" (Ro 3:24-note) is that we "might bring praise to His glory." (Eph 1:12HCSB-note) Isaiah records that we have been "created for His glory" (Isa 43:7-note) and formed by God to declare His praise (Isa 43:21-note). Even now let us pause and "PRAISE God, from Whom all blessings flow, PRAISE Him, all creatures here below, PRAISE Him above, ye heavenly host, PRAISE Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen." Peter describes us as "a people for God’s Own Possession, so that we may proclaim (make widely known something not otherwise known) the praises of the One Who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1Pe 2:9HCSB-note) Beloved, never doubt that your life in Christ has great purpose! Indeed, as we look forward (and upward = Titus 2:13-note, Col 3:1-2-note) to the coming year of our Lord, 2013, may our prayer be "Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, tune our hearts to sing Thy grace, streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of LOUDEST PRAISE ("Holy Hallelujahs"). Teach us some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above; PRAISE the Mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love." "O Lord, open (our) lips, that (our) mouth may declare Thy praise." (Ps 51:15-note) Amen.
HALLELUJAH is a combination of the Hebrew verb Halal meaning to praise and the noun JAH (YAH in Ps 68:4KJV-note) which is short for Jehovah or Yahweh, God's self revelation to Moses (Ex 3:14-note), translated by the Greek "Ego eimi" (I Am) which is the very Name Jesus repeatedly ascribed to Himself (Jn 8:18-note, Jn 8:24, 28-note, Jn 8:58-note). While HALLELUJAH is found only 4 times in the NT (and 24x the Psalms in the Gk translation), it's repetition in Revelation 19 marks the consummation of all human history when the Messiah, the Lamb of God, assumes His righteous reign as "King of kings and Lord of lords," (Rev 19:16-note) prompting a jubilant "Hallelujah Chorus" with "a loud (mega) voice (phone) from the great multitude in heaven" (which will include US beloved!) who triumphantly sing "HALLELUJAH! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God… HALLELUJAH!… HALLELUJAH!… HALLELUJAH! For the Lord our God omnipotent reigneth." (Rev 19:1, 3, 4, 6-note). The certainty of your presence in that heavenly choir of the redeemed might even stir a desire to practice now by singing along with Handel's Messiah: The Hallelujah Chorus (link below).
WHO SHOULD SING "HALLELUJAH?"? Everything! “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” (Ps 150:6-note) Indeed, this is only fitting, for the Lord "Himself gives to all life and breath" (Acts 17:25-note). As Spurgeon explains "This is how we live spiritually: we breathe in the air by prayer and we breathe it out by praise! This is the holy respiration of a Christian’s life! Since God gives us breath, let us breathe His praise. His name in Hebrew (YHWH) is composed more of breathings than of letters, to show that all breath comes FROM Him: therefore let it be used FOR Him." Wiersbe adds that "Breath is the weakest thing we have, but we can devote it to the highest service: Praising the Lord." So while we still have breath, let us continually "Praise the Name of Jehovah" (Ps 113:1b-note). Spurgeon exhorts us by asking "does not all nature around us sing? Indeed, if we are silent, we would be an exception to the universe. Does not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Does not the ocean praise Him as it claps its thousand hands?" The psalmist adds "Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them." (Ps 69:34-note) Indeed even "fire and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds" praise the Lord (Ps 148:7-8-note). Remember that praise is the natural and even necessary response to fully enjoy the object praised, as when we are watching a sporting event and respond with praise for an excellent performance. We would not enjoy the event nearly as much if we did not have the freedom to express praise. And so to truly enjoy the Lord, we must exercise our freedom and continually sing "praises with joy" (2Chr 29:30-note), "Praising Him for His mighty deeds. Praising Him according to His excellent greatness." (Ps 150:2-note)
WHEN SHOULD WE SING "HALLELUJAH?" At all times! Beloved, although we are not "under law, but under grace" (Ro 6:14-note) can I still ask you: "Have you PRAISED Him yet today?" Today is the best day to sing "Hallelu-Jah! Hallelu-Jah! O my soul." (Ps 146:1-note). The psalmist explains "I will praise Jehovah WHILE I live. I will sing praises to my God WHILE I have my being." (Ps 146:2-note) Thomas Watson concurs that "The motion of our praise must be like the motion of our pulse, which beats as long as life lasts." And again the psalmist reminds us that "the Name of Jehovah is to be praised… from the rising of the sun until the going down of the same." (Ps 113:3KJV-note) Indeed, like the psalmist may we too at day's (and life's) end be able to say "Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances" (Ps 119:164-note). Indeed, as our earthly life ebbs towards its end, may our mouths be more and more filled with the "high praises of God" (Ps 149:6KJV-note). As John Boys notes "the servants of the Lord are to sing His praises in this life to the world's end and in the next life world without end!" Hallelujah! Little wonder Wesley wrote "O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!" Indeed, Lord, grant us "a thousand tongues," to "sing praise to Your Name, O Most High" (Ps 9:2-note) "for praise is becoming and appropriate (and beautiful) for those who are upright (in heart). (Ps 33:1AMP-note)
FOR WHAT SHOULD WE SING "HALLELUJAH?" Spurgeon answers "Is not praise composed in a large measure of an attentive observation of God’s mercy? He who notices ’God’s mercy will never be without a mercy to notice. This is the chief material of the garment of praise." As David said "because Thy lovingkindness (mercy) is better than life, my lips will praise Thee." (Ps 63:3-note) May we "Abundantly utter the memory of distinguishing mercies! Discriminating Grace deserves unceasing memorials of praise!" (CHS) And we should praise Him for His goodness and Name: "Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good. Sing praises to His Name, for it is lovely (beautiful)." (Ps 135:3-note) "It is the telling out of the divine goodness which largely constitutes praise: to observe, to remember, to estimate, to prize, and then to speak of the Lord’s gracious gifts: all these are essential. Praise is the open declaration of the gratitude which is felt within." (CHS) As S L Brengle (Salvation Army founder) was losing his vision, he wrote "My old eyes get dimmer. The specialist says the light will fade altogether. So I gird myself for darkness, quote James 1:2-4-note, shout 'HALLELUJAH!' and go on." Are you too experiencing various trials (most of us are!)? Spurgeon reminds us that even in the storm "God is still God and the deeper our trouble, the greater are our possibilities of adoration, for when we are brought to the very lowest, it is in EXTREMIS that we can raise the song in EXCELSIS, out of the DEEPEST depths we can praise the Lord to the very HIGHEST. When we glorify God out of the fires of fiercest tribulation, there is probably more true adoration of Him in that melody than in the loftiest songs of cherubim and seraphim when they enjoy God and sing out His praises in His presence above. It is well to praise the Lord for His mercy when you are in health, but make sure that you do it when you are sick, for then your praise is more likely to be genuine. God gets some of His richest praise amidst dying groans. Praise is God’s due when He takes as well as when He gives, for there is as much love in His taking as in His giving!" Boice adds that "Praise is where all true religious contemplation should end. When all is said, the hearts of those who are truly God's people beat their last praising God (On his deathbed Oliver Cromwell asked "Is there no one here who will praise the Lord?"). Do we understand all that God is doing in our lives or in the world? Of course not (Dt 29:29-note), but we understand enough about the nature of God to praise Him in spite of the difficulties." (cf Ge 50:20-note, Ro 8:28-note, Ep 1:11-note)
Along that same line if you are experiencing tribulations which are making it difficult to sing "Hallelujah," take a moment and ponder the words of the song, "Praise You in this Storm," remembering that many saints of old have sung most sweetly when their heart was pierced most deeply by thorns of affliction. "You may also destroy your distresses by singing praises to God. I give you this as one of the shortest and surest recipes for comfort—begin to praise God. As we sing praises unto the Lord, we shake off the cares of the world, we rise above its smoke and mists and we get, then, the clearer atmosphere of communion with Him." (CHS)
May our Father grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that you might put on "the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" and be enabled to "continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God", even "to sing praises to our God" like the angelic "Glory to God in the highest (Gloria in Excelsis Deo)" through our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus. Amen. (Eph 3:16-note, Isa 61:3KJV-note, Ps 147:1-note, Lk 2:13-14-note, Heb 13:15-note).