What is Worship? Towdah

Towdah is a Hebrew word that reminds us that thanksgiving is an offering pleasing to God. 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 Terms

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 Towdah. This post is a rewrite of a post from 2013 titled Seven Hebrew Words That Will Enhance Your Worship: Towdah.


Definition of Towdah from Bible Hub

Meaning of Towdah

According to Towdah means

properly an extension of the hand, that is, (by implication) avowal, or (usually) adoration; specifically a choir of worshippers:—confession, (sacrifice of) praise, thanks (-giving, offering).

A Thank-Offering

Towdah is derived from Yadah and has as its root meaning to extend the hands.  As in the case with Yadah, we see that worship is closely related to a physical action.  By implication Towdah means to thank or adore and is associated with sacrifice, offerings and even choirs.

Most Christians understand the concept of a blood offering (for sin) and are also familiar with a financial offering, but are probably less familiar with the idea of an offering of thanksgiving.  The word Towdah first occurs in the Bible in Leviticus 7:12.  In this passage God is informing His people about the proper way to bring a thank-offering.

If he presents it for thanksgiving, in addition to the thanksgiving sacrifice, he is to present unleavened cakes mixed with olive oil, unleavened wafers coated with oil, and well-kneaded cakes of fine flour mixed with oil. Leviticus 7:12 (HCSB)

A thank-offering is an offering to God, not because of sin, but because of one’s joy in God’s provision and care.  The New Testament repeats this idea in Hebrews 13:15 where we are called to offer a sacrifice of praise.

Although a thank offering could be a financial sacrifice, in Hebrews it is called the “fruit of lips.”  In other words, our songs and words of praise are considered a spiritual sacrifice or offering to God.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving (Towdah),
and his courts with praise (Tehillah)!
Give thanks to him (Yadah); bless his name!  Psalm 100:4


Yadah – A Hebrew word for extending the hands in thanksgiving and praise

If we truly wish to enter God’s presence we need to recognize the importance of thanksgiving.  We must regularly offer to Him Towdah – an offering of thanks.

Towdah redirects our minds to the beauty and joy of God’s goodness in our lives.  It is so easy to focus only on our problems and miss out on the joy of God’s provision.  As we rejoice in God’s goodness to us we become more receptive to His Spirit and less focused on our problems.

Take some time right now to thank God.  Do an inventory of your life and notice all the good things God has given to you.  James tells us every good gift is from God (James 1:17).  You cannot thank God for too many things.  As you thank God you will enter His presence and receive the joy that comes in knowing our wonderful God and Savior!

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory


Posted in General Worship and tagged , , , .