Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia, is a transliteration of the Hebrew word ]

In the Hebrew Bible "hallelujah" is actually a two-word phrase, not one word. The first part, "hallelu," is the second person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb "hallal." [Page H. Kelley, "Biblical Hebrew, an Introductory Grammar," page 169. Ethics & Public Policy Center, 1959. ISBN 978-0802805980.] However, "hallelujah" means more than simply "praise YHWH", as the word "hallel" in Hebrew means a joyous praise, to boast in God, or to act madly or foolishly. [George Fohrer. "Hebrew and Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament," under הלל. Walter de Gruyter, 1973. ISBN 978-3110045727. ]

The second part, "Yah," is a shortened form of the name of God YHWH, sometimes rendered in English as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah". In "who rides upon the deserts by his name "Yah" and "Yah" is my strength and song". It also often appears at the end of Israelite theophoric names such as Isaiah "yeshayah(u)," Yahweh is salvation" and Jeremiah "yirmeyah(u)," Yahweh is exalted".

The word Hallelujah appears in Revelation 19 in Greek transliteration as "allelouia", the great song of praise to God for his triumphant reign.

Usage by Christians

For most Christians, "Hallelujah" is considered a joyful word of praise to God, rather than an injunction to praise Him. In many western denominations, the Alleluia, along with the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, is not spoken or sung in liturgy during the season of Lent, instead being replaced by a Lenten acclamation, while in Eastern Churches, Alleluia is chanted throughout the lent in the beginning of the Matins service, replacing the Theos Kyrios, which is considered more joyful. At the Easter service and throughout the Pentecostarion, Christos anesti is used in the place where Hallelujah is chanted in the western rite.

Among many Christians, the expressions of Hallelujah and Praise the Lord are acceptable, spontaneous expressions of joy, thanksgiving and praise towards God, requiring no specific prompting or call or direction from those leading times of praise and singing.

ee also

*Hallelujah Chorus


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