Halal is a Hebrew word that encourages us to uninhibited worship. On Thursdays I have been posting on the meaning of various words related to worship. Here is a complete list of the words we are studying:
Worship – What is the meaning of the English word “Worship?”
Shachah – The primary Hebrew word for worship
Proskuneo – The primary Greek word for worship
Halal – A Hebrew word for crazy exuberant praise
Shabach – A Hebrew word for loud praise
Tehillah – A Hebrew word for song of praise
Zamar – A Hebrew word for making music accompanied by strings
Yadah – A Hebrew word for extending the hands in thanksgiving and praise
Towdah – A Hebrew word for a thanks offering
Barak – A Hebrew word for kneeling before God in humble submission
Hidden Meaning in Psalm 100:4 - See how understanding these words enhances the meaning of this popular praise verse.
In this post I will continue the study of worship terminology by looking at the Hebrew word Halal. This post is based on a post I wrote in 2013 titled Seven Hebrew Words That Will Enhance Your Worship: Halal.
Meaning of Halal
According to Lexiconcordance.com halal means to "shine (or flash brightly), boast, to praise, to act like a fool or madman". Halal is use 165 times in the Old Testament and is usually translated as "praise." The word halal is part of the larger word "Hallelujah" which is the combination of the word Halal (praise) and Yah (Yahweh). Together they mean “praise Yahweh” or “praise the LORD”.
What can we learn from this?
David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." 2 Samuel 6:21-22
- God is worthy of our praise. The Bible calls us to praise over and over again – over 150 times with this word alone.
- God is worthy of exuberant praise. Halal means “to shine or flash.” The word Halal does not paint a picture of a quiet and dignified reading of a psalm. The word paints a picture of a bright flashing praise that draws everyone’s attention. We should praise God in such a way as to draw attention, like a light flashing in the darkness.
- God is worthy of our boasting. Halal means “to boast.” Our God is so great that we cannot help but boast in who He is. Like a child boasting about how strong his father is, we should be so enthralled by the greatness of our Father that we cannot help but boast about Him to those we meet. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
- God is worthy of our foolishness. Halal means “to act like fool.” One of the greatest mistakes I make when praising God is to worry about what others may think. Isn’t it interesting that the same word that is translated “praise” is also translated “fool” in other passages? Our praise of God should be so bright and full of joy that we may appear the fool before others.
Three Questions to Ask
- Do I praise God regularly and with excitement?
- Do I boast about who God is and what He has done?
- Am I willing to be seen as a fool in my praise to God?
We have a God that is worthy of our most crazy, exuberant, even boastful praise!
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory