And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
We frequently hear, and use, the term Alleluia (or Hallelujah). But what does this term actually mean?
This Greek word comes from a phrase that is made up of two Hebrew words (Halal & Yahh). This phrase is normally translated “Praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:1 etc)…
- “Halal” means “to make shine”, “to boast”, “to draw attention to”, or “to rave about”
- “Yahh” is a contraction of the Hebrew word Jehovah, which is the personal name for the True Lord.
If we put all of this together, we can see that when we say the word “Alleluia”, we are attempting to draw all the attention to our God, Jehovah. We are wanting to make Him shine in the eyes of others. We are desirous to boast about the Lord, the greatness of His person and the perfection of His workings among men. In other words, we are “raving” about Him…
Psalms 150:2 – “Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.”
All of this implies a very humble attitude on the part of the speaker. We are saying. “I am nothing, my Lord is everything. I want you to take all of your attention off of me and concentrate entirely upon my Lord”. This is the implications and intent of the use of “Alleluia”…
Psalms 34:2-3 – “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Folks, when we use the term “Hallelujah” are we centered upon the Lord and humbly desirous for all the attention of others be placed upon Him? Are we sincerely declaring His greatness and His glorious workings among men? Are we putting ourselves down as we are exalted Him as highly as we can?
Or, are we using it flippantly, simply as another exclamatory term among many such as “wow”, “fantastic” or “isn’t that wonderful”? The term was never meant to be used in this type of frivolous way. The very meaning of the term, and its usage in the Bible, clearly shows us that it was ALWAYS meant to be used in a very reverent, sincere, humble manner that points all of our attention, and the attention of others, to our wonderful Lord alone.
May the Lord bless us as we attempt to use this glorious term of praise in the way in which it was intended to be used.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: