David – The Worshipper (7 Hebrew words for Praise and Worship)

1. Halal: Halal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word “hallelujah” comes from this base word. It means “to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.” Ps 113:1-3 Praise (halal) ye the Lord, praise (halal) o ye servants of the Lord, praise (halal) the name of the Lord.

2. Yadah: Yadah is a verb with a root meaning, “the extended hand, to throw out the hand, therefore to worship with extended hand.” 2Chr 20:21 Give thanks (yadah) to the Lord, for his lovingkindness is everlasting.

3. Towdah: Towdah comes from the same principle root word as yadah, but is used more specifically. Towdah literally means, “an extension of the hand in adoration, avowal, or acceptance.” By way of application, it is appratent in the Psalms and elsewhere that it is used for thanking God for “things not yet received” as well as things already at hand. Ps 50:14 Offer unto God praise (towdah) and pay thy vows unto the Most High.

4. Shabach: Shabach means, “to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph.” Ps 47:1  O clap your hands, all peoples; shout (shabach) to God with the voice of joy (or triumph).

5. Barak: Barak means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration.” Ps 95:6  O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel (barak) before the Lord our maker.

6. Zamar: Zamar means “to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise; a musical word which is largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments. Ps 21:13 Be exalted O Lord, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise (zamar) Thy power.

7. Tehillah: Tehillah is derived from the word halal and means “the singing of halals, to sing or to laud; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit. Ps 22:3 Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises (tehillah) of Israel.


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