“Praise the LORD!” If you have been around church or Christians it may be a phrase you are familiar with. But not all words for “Praise” are equal or the same. There are various words used for “Praise” with different shades of meaning, Let’s look at some of the  Hebrew words translated “Praise” in our English Bibles.

1.- “HALAL.”-



  1. to shine

    1. (Qal) to shine (fig. of God’s favour)
    2. (Hiphil) to flash forth light
  2. to praise, boast, be boastful
    1. (Qal)
      1. to be boastful
      2. boastful ones, boasters (participle)
    2. (Piel)
      1. to praise
      2. to boast, make a boast
    3. (Pual)
      1. to be praised, be made praiseworthy, be commended, be worthy of praise
    4. (Hithpael) to boast, glory, make one’s boast

    5. (Poel) to make a fool of, make into a fool

    6. (Hithpoel) to act madly, act like a madman

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
הָלַל hâlal, haw-lal’; a primitive root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence, to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively, to celebrate; also to stultify:—(make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool(-ish, -ly), glory, give (light), be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, (sing, be worthy of) praise, rage, renowned, shine.


Hallel” means to boast or to brag on, to make a show, even to the point of looking ridiculous. “Jah” is the short form of the name for God.”

“Hallah” is the most common word for praise. This word simply means to boast, brag, or rave about God even to the point of appearing foolish. People who attend football games and shout and scream for their favorite team are called fans.

Unfortunately, for most of us, if we shout and scream and brag on God we may be labeled as fanatics, as if something is wrong with us.

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live…” (Psalm 63:3-4).”

“This might be one of the most “fun” forms of praise because it requires one to step outside of “dignity” for a moment. It means to be clamorously foolish. To boast. To shine. This is the kind of praise that David exhibited when he danced for joy at the return of the Ark of The Covenant to Israel. It’s also the form of praise that prompted his wife to ridicule him for his lack of dignity.

This is also where we get the word Halellujah from. It literally means “Praise the Lord” but even more literally it means to BE CLAMOROUSLY FOOLISH unto the Lord! This includes dancing and laughing and leaping and twirling before the Lord, but it also (and probably more accurately) includes the state of the heart before God. A heart that is turned towards God and not afraid to BOAST in and of God is a “halal” heart. Halal is not only demonstrative praise, but can also be the force behind any of these other forms of praise. You can sing or shout or even play an instrument as a halal.

Scriptures to reference: This word appears over 100 times in the Old Testament. 1 Chronicles 16:4 (there were actual appointed musicians to “halal” before the Lord); Nehemiah 12:24 (an example of call and response halal).”

HALLAL is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word “hallelujah” comes from this base word. It
means “to be clear, to praise, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.”
Psalm 113:1-3 Praise (hallal) ye the Lord, praise (hallal) o ye servants of the Lord, praise (hallal) the name
of the Lord.
Psalm 150:1 Praise (hallal) the Lord! Praise (hallal) God in His sanctuary; Praise (hallal) Him in His mighty
Psalm 149:3 Let them praise (hallal) His name in the dance: let them sing praises with the timbrel and harp.
OTHER REFERENCES: Judges 16:24; 2 Samuel 14:25; 2 Chronicles 7:6; Ezra 3:10-11; Nehemiah 5:13; Psalms
18:3, 56:4, 63:5, 150:2-4; Isaiah 62:9; Jeremiah 20:13; Joel 2:26″


. Hallal – To shine, rave, boast, celebrate extravagantly, to be clamorously foolish.
Hallal is the root from which we get the word Hallelujah. Hallel- praise- jah… YHWH.
• Psalm 145:3 – “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is
unsearchable. He is the one most worthy of this.
• Psalm 69:30 – “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with
thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. What
pleases God? What does God desire? More than sacrificial animals is the hallal of His people.
• Psalm 150- the end of the book of Psalms- the end of the book of praise ends with what?
With pure, unadulterated praise. It’s ends with hallal.
Psalm 150:1-6 1Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness! 3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
To shine, rave, boast, grab instruments, noise makers. These Jews knew how to create a culture of joy
and wonder and borderline foolishness in response to the wonder and majesty of God.
• The psalmist in Psalm 119:164 says – “Seven times a day I will praise (hallal) you for your
righteous rules.”

The Celebration of Praise:
2. HALAL (haw-lal’): To boast. To Rave. To shine. To celebrate. To be clamorously ___________.

“Let them praise (hâlal) His name with dancing and make music to Him
with timbres and harp.” Psalm 149:3

“I will praise (hâlal) God’s name in song.” Psalm 22:22

“I will declare Your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise (hâlal) You.” Psalm 109:30

“Let everything that has breath praise (hâlal) the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Other Scriptures: Psalm 150, Luke 15:23-24, Ecclesiastes 3:4, Philippians 4:4, Psalm 30:11, Acts 3:8.

2. “YADAH.”- 

  1. to throw, shoot, cast

    1. (Qal) to shoot (arrows)

    2. (Piel) to cast, cast down, throw down

    3. (Hiphil)

      1. to give thanks,, laud, praise

      2. to confess, confess (the name of God)

    4. (Hithpael)

      1. to confess (sin)

      2. to give thanks

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
יָדָה yâdâh, yaw-daw’; a primitive root; used only as denominative from H3027; literally, to use (i.e. hold out) the hand; physically, to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); intensively, to bemoan (by wringing the hands):—cast (out), (make) confess(-ion), praise, shoot, (give) thank(-ful, -s, -sgiving).


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Strong’s Number H3034 matches the Hebrew יָדָה (yadah),
which occurs 114 times in 111 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV
Page 1 / 3 (Gen 29:35–Psa 43:5)

And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise H3034 the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: H3034 thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess H3034 that he hath sinned in that thing:
And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess H3034 over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
If they shall confess H3034 their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
Then they shall confess H3034 their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.
Therefore I will give thanks H3034 unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess H3034 thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house:
When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess H3034 thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:
And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank H3034 and praise the LORD God of Israel:
Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank H3034 the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.
Give thanks H3034 unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
O give thanks H3034 unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks H3034 to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.
And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks H3034 to the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever;
And to stand every morning to thank H3034 and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;
Of Jeduthun: the sons of Jeduthun; Gedaliah, and Zeri, and Jeshaiah, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the hands of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp, to give thanks H3034 and to praise the LORD.
Now therefore, our God, we thank H3034 thee, and praise thy glorious name.
It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking H3034 the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess H3034 thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;
When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess H3034 thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;
And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised H3034 the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise H3034 the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise H3034 the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession H3034 to the LORD God of their fathers.
And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, H3034 and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD.
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks H3034 unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, H3034 weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess H3034 the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.
And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed H3034 their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.
And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, H3034 and worshipped the LORD their God.
And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, was the principal to begin the thanksgiving H3034 in prayer: and Bakbukiah the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.
And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, H3034 according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.
For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving H3034 unto God.
Then will I also confess H3034 unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? H3034
I will praise H3034 the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
[[To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.]] I will praise H3034 thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
Therefore will I give thanks H3034 unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise H3034 him.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks H3034 at the remembrance of his holiness.
What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise H3034 thee? shall it declare thy truth?
To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks H3034 unto thee for ever.
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess H3034 my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Praise H3034 the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
I will give thee thanks H3034 in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise H3034 him for the help of his countenance.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise H3034 him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise H3034 thee, O God my God.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise H3034 him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
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Yadah is the third person singular qal form of the Hebrew language verbal root ydh. … In the qal form, it describes the “shooting” of arrows in Jeremiah 50:14. The piel form means “throwing” (as in throwing stones at a person, in Lamentations 3:53) or “casting down” (“the horns of the nations,” in Zechariah 2:4).”

“Yadah” means to worship with extended hands.“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord” (Psalm 134:2).

(Psalm 43:1-5; 134:2; 2 Chronicles 20: 1- 21; Nehemiah 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:8)Yadah pictures a three-year-old child, hands raised, running towards daddy, crying, “Hold me, daddy, hold me!” Yadah is often translated as, “giving thanks.” Yadah is often a cry for help. Yadah praise is used when we are in desperate straits and need a victory from the Lord. Raising the hands is one of the most explosive and meaningful expressions of praise. Raising the hands is an international sign of surrender. A worshiping person raises hands in adoration and surrender to God.”

“This means to show reverence or praise with extended hands. The word pictures associated with the root words for this type of praise is shooting an arrow or throwing a rock. It literally means to extend the hands, or to shoot and arrow.

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 42:5, The Dedication of The Temple in 2 Chronicles 7 uses this expression of praise (visualize Levites blowing the trumpets and calling everyone to worship and the “praise” that everyone is expressing is through standing and lifted hands).

So when we share this with our people we get them to visualize a small child who wants to be picked up. They extend their hands high above their heads in a sign of surrender and desire to be held. You could also use the image of throwing or shooting your praise outwardly to God instead of holding it in. Have your people lift or extend their hands.”


YADAH is a verb with a root meaning, “the extended hand, to throw out the hand, therefore to worship
with extended hand, to lift the hands.” According to the Lexicon, the opposite meaning is “to bemoan, the
wringing of the hands.”
2 Chronicles 20:21 Give thanks (yadah) to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 63:1 So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will (yadah) lift up my hands in Thy name.
Psalm 107:15 Oh that men would praise (yadah) the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to
the children of men.
OTHER REFERENCES: Genesis 29:35, 49:8; 2 Chronicles 7:3,6; Psalms 67:3, 108:3; Isaiah 12:1,4;
Jeremiah 33:11 ”


The Hands of Praise:
1. YADAH (yaw-daw’): To revere or worship with ___________ hands. To hold out the hands. To throw a stone or arrow.

“May the peoples praise (yâdâh) You, God; may all the peoples praise (yâdâh) You. Psalm 67:3 “All your work praise (yâdâh) you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.”

Psalm 145:10
“In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise (yâdâh) your name forever.” Psalm 44:8

Other Scriptures: 1 Kings 8:22, Psalm 28:2, Psalm 63:4, Psalm 88:9, Psalm 134:2, Psalm 141:2, Psalm 143:6.


3. “BARAK.”-

“to bless, kneel

    1. (Qal)

      1. to kneel

      2. to bless

    2. (Niphal) to be blessed, bless oneself

    3. (Piel) to bless

    4. (Pual) to be blessed, be adored

    5. (Hiphil) to cause to kneel

    6. (Hithpael) to bless oneself- LEXICON

  1. (TWOT) to praise, salute, curse

 Barak” is used to denote blessing. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21). (Judges 5:1-2; Psalm 72:15).Barack suggests the transcendent privilege of blessing the Lord.”

“This flavor of praise is one that we commonly see around altars. It means to kneel down. It means to bow low as a sign of adoration and reverence. It carries with it the idea of humbling yourself to a place that is lower than the recipient of your worship (God).

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 95:6 (expresses this idea literally); Psalm 103 (uses the phrase “bless the Lord” to convey this expression)

This one might be the most physically “uncomfortable” expression to have people do, but you can have people stand up and bow or kneel right where they are. I also like to have people think about a royal court of years gone by. Have them answer what would be the first thing you’d do before approaching the throne to have an audience with a king or queen. You would bow low as a sign of reverence and deference to their power. The same applies here: we bow and kneel to outwardly express our awareness of God’s greatness.”

BARAK means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration, to salute.”
Psalm 95:6 O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel (barak) before the Lord our maker.
1Chronicles 29:20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless (barak) the Lord your God.” And all the
assembly blessed (barak) the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord
and to the king.
Psalm 34:1 I will bless (barak) the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
OTHER REFERENCES: Judges 5:2; Psalms 72:15, 96:2, 103:1-2″

The Posture of Praise:
5. BARAK (baw-rak’): To kneel. To bless God (as an act of _____________________). To praise. To salute. To thank.

“Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve him… And He shall live, and to Him shall be given all gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for Him continually; and daily shall He be praised (bârak).” Psalm 72:11, 15

Praise (bârak) the Lord, my soul; All my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise (bârak) the Lord, my soul, And forget not all his benefits…
Praise (bârak) the Lord, my soul, You mighty ones who do his bidding, Who obey his word. Praise (bârak) the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Praise (bârak) the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.
Praise (bârak) the Lord, my soul. Psalm 103:1-2,20-22

Other Scriptures: Psalm 96:6, Ezekiel 3:23, Ephesians 3:14, Daniel 6:10, Ezra 9:5, Romans 14:11, Acts 20:36, Revelation 7:11.




2. Barach – To bless, to praise as a blessing
Literally, this word means to bow or to kneel. It’s what a person does when they come into the
presence of a King. It’s an expression of humility.
• Psalm 145:1 – “I will extol you, my God my King, and bless Your name forever and ever.”
Verse 2- same thing- “Every day I will bless you (barach) and praise Your name forever.”
• Psalm 95:6 – “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our
Maker!” In this verse the psalmist uses 3 different words- “Come let us worship (literally
shachah- bow down prostrate) and bow down (kara – crouch low), let us kneel (barach)- 3
different words that all mean some form of bowing down, crouching down, kneeling before…
blessing in honor before.

4. “TEHILLAH.”- 

praise, song or hymn of praise

  1. praise, adoration, thanksgiving (paid to God)
  2. act of general or public praise
  3. praise-song (as title)
  4. praise (demanded by qualities or deeds or attributes of God)
  5. renown, fame, glory
    1. of Damascus, God
    2. object of praise, possessor of renown (fig)


Tehillah involves music and singing-especially singing. Singing is vital to the worship of God. There are over 300 Bible mandates to sing. This word suggests that God himself is a song of praise. We might say it like this, “God is our song.”

  • “This type of praise is singing, but not just any type of singing. It’s the singing that bubbles up from our hearts. It’s a spontaneous type of singing. These songs are unrehearsed and unprepared. They are straight to God.

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 22:3 (these are the types of “praises” that God enthrones or inhabits, which is interesting because it’s so specific: God literally lives in the SPONTANEOUS praises of His people!); Psalm 33:1 (this type of praise is “fitting” for God’s people, or it literally makes them “look good”); When Isaiah talks about trading garments of ashes and mourning for garments of joy and praise, the word praise their literally means SPONTANEOUS praises!)

This is also a tough one to get people to just do because of the spontaneous nature of it. But you could have everyone on the count of three to stand up and just blurt out a praise to God! That would illustrate it. It would be coordinated, but each person would be “praising” spontaneously.”

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 or praise.”
Psalm 22:3 Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises (tehillah) of Israel.
Isaiah 61:3 To grant to those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of
gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise (tehillah) instead of the spirit of fainting, So they shall
be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
OTHER REFERENCES: Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 10:21; Nehemiah 9:5; Psalms 9:14, 22:25;”


Tehillah– A song or a hymn of praise
Note this- it is often unrehearsed or unscripted or personally written to respond to God.
• Psalm 145 superscript, “A song of praise. Of David.” It’s literally, a Tehillah of David.
• Psalm 33:1 – “Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous. Praise befits the upright.”
• Psalm 22:3 – “Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.”

The Song of Praise:
6. TEHILLA (teh-hil-law): Laudation. A hymn. A song of praise. A ______ song. A spontaneous song.

“But you are holy, Enthroned on the praises (tehillâh) of Israel.” Psalm 22:3

“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise (tehillâh) to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise (tehillâh); give thanks to him and praise (bârak) His name.” Psalm 100:4

Other Scriptures: Psalm 33:3, Psalm 144:9, Revelation 13:3, Revelation 5:9


5. “ZAMAR.”-

  1. to sing, sing praise, make music

    1. (Piel)

      1. to make music, sing

      2. to play a musical instrument

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
זָמַר zâmar, zaw-mar’; a primitive root (perhaps identical with H2168 through the idea of striking with the fingers); properly, to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i.e. play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music:—give praise, sing forth praises, psalms”- LEXICON


Means to pluck the strings of an instrument. ” Zamar speaks of rejoicing. It is involved with the joyful expression of music. Zamar means to sing praises or to touch the strings. It speaks of involving every available instrument to make music and harmony before the Lord. It is God’s will that we be joyful. Use Zamar when you are rejoicing after God has done something great for you. Zamar is translated into the New Testament has “Psallo”. “Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).”

“This literally means to pluck the strings, to celebrate in song and music. Basically it’s probably the most common form of “praise” we have across the world in our churches. It’s just singing songs put to music. What’s neat about it though, is that it can also refer to JUST PLAYING, as well. It is usually translated as “sing praises.”

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 150 (this psalm illustrates a picture of instrumental worship).

A fun way to illustrate this is to have everyone clap together (playing their five fingered instruments!). There’s not much needed to illustrate this form of praise though, because it is so prevalent in our churches. Our regular Sunday Setlists are filled with ZAMAR.”

This literally means to pluck the strings, to celebrate in song and music.

Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon says zamar means to “properly, to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i.e. play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music:–give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.”

Basically it’s probably the most common form of “praise” we have across the world in our wide variety of churches. Most every church has some form of musical instrument to accompany the singing.

Zamar is most commonly expressed as singing lyrics to music. It can also refer to praise and worship through just playing instruments as well.

1 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV) refers to this type of praise: “Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!”

The word “praises” in this scripture is zamar and it makes the verse literally read like this: “Sing to him, praise him with singing that is accompanied by the playing of musical instruments…”

Psalm 57:9 (ESV) says, “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.”

The word “praises” in this verse is zamar. It doesn’t just mean to simply “sing praises,” it means to sing songs that are accompanied by musical instruments!

One of my favorite things about zamar praise is that it combines nicely with halal praise. Halal praise is a praise that boasts and celebrates in the Lord with a “shining” heart song, a joyful and exuberant heart song, and even clamorously foolish heart song. Combine that attitude of praise with the accompaniment of musical instruments and you have a full on worship rock band of epic proportions. Or it could be polka. Or reggae. Or classical. Or bluegrass. Or hip hop…yes, hip hop.

The point is this: there is a great deal of variety in the genres of music that the people of God relate to and can use as expressions of their inward hearts of worship. The beauty of the Body is that there is diversity. This means that a zamar type of praise WILL look different as you move from culture to culture and even geographic location to location.

The musical accompaniment shouldn’t be the focus…the PRAISE should be.”

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.
Psalm 21:13 Be exalted O Lord, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise (zamar) Thy power.
1Chronicles 16:9 Sing to Him, sing praises (zamar) to Him; speak of all His wonders.
Psalm 57:8-9 Awake my glory; awake harp and lyre, I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to Thee, O
Lord among the peoples; I will sing praises (zamar) to Thee among the nations.
OTHER REFERENCES: Judges 5:3; 2 Samuel 22:50; Psalms 61:8, 147:1, 7”

Zamar – To make music
Zamar means literally to pluck the strings- to praise by plucking.
• Psalm 7:17 – “I will give to the Lord the thank due to His righteousness, and I will sing
praise (zamar, make music) to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”
• Psalm 9:2 – “I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”

The Music of Praise:
3. ZAMAR (zaw-mar’): To make music. To celebrate in______________. To touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument.”

“I will sing a new song to You O God; On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises (Zâmar) to You. Psalm 144:9

Other Scriptures: Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, Psalm 33:1-4, 1 Samuel 16:23, Psalm 150:4, Psalm 144:9, Psalm 101:1.


6. “TODAH.” – “

Word Definition Brown-Drivers-Briggs | Strong ]

Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Definition

1) confession, praise, thanksgiving

1a) give praise to God

1b) thanksgiving in songs of liturgical worship, hymn of praise

1c) thanksgiving choir or procession or line or company

1d) thank-offering, sacrifice of thanksgiving

1e) confession- LEXICON


For example, David is trapped by the Philistines in Gath. He gives thanks and offers Todah praise even before God delivers him.

“Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit… When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—All day long they twist my words; They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Record my misery… Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me” (Psalm 56:1-12).

Offer Todah praise and trust that God will deliver.”

” This word is very similar to yadah, but has a slightly different flavor. It means to show agreement with by extending the right hand. In today’s society the closest thing we have is a handshake to seal a deal or pact. The idea is that it is usually associated with sacrifice (specifically things given up to show thankfulness to God).

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 50:23 (the thank offering NIV, KJV uses the phrase praiseth)

When we share this, we get them to visualize offering our thanks to God (and our agreement with His promises) by visualizing the extended hand. You could use a handshake, if so have people imagine they are shaking hands with God. Or you could have people lift their hands (similar to the yadah, but instead of surrender the underlying notion is thankfulness and agreement).  ”

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
apparent in the Psalms and elsewhere that it is used for thanking God for “things not yet received” as well
as things already at hand.
Psalm 50:14 Offer unto God praise (towdah) and pay thy vows unto the Most High.
Psalm 50:23 Whoso offereth praise (towdah) glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation
aright will I shew the salvation of God.
OTHER REFERENCES: Psalms 42:4, 56:12; Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 33:11
Sound 2011: Seven Hebrew Words for Praise Page 2″

Todah – Confession, praise, thanksgiving
It’s another word of confession, praise and thanksgiving. But when you look at verses like Psalm
50:14 and 23 – both which use this word, it implies and emphasizes a sacrifice… but not just any
sacrifice- a sacrifice before the deliverance happens.
• Psalm 50:14 – “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform your vows to the Most
High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”


The Expectation of Praise:

4. TOWDAH (to-daw’): An extension of the hand. Thanksgiving. A Confession. A sacrifice of praise. Thanksgiving for things not yet ______________. A Choir of worshippers.

“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises (tôwdâh) to You.” Psalm 56:11-12

Other Scriptures: Psalm 141: 2, Psalm 88:9, Hebrews 11:6, 1 Corinthians 2:5, Habakkuk 3:2, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Psalm 121:1-2, Psalm 20:7


7. “SHABACH.”- 

  1. to soothe, still, stroke

    1. (Piel) to soothe, still

    2. (Hiphil) stilling (participle)

  2. to laud, praise, commend

    1. (Piel)

      1. to laud, praise (God)

      2. to commend, congratulate (the dead)

    2. (Hithpael) to boast

Strong’s Definitions [?](Strong’s Definitions Legend)
שָׁבַח shâbach, shaw-bakh’; a primitive root; properly, to address in a loud tone, i.e. (specifically) loud; figuratively, to pacify (as if by words):—commend, glory, keep in, praise, still, triumph. LEXICON


Shabach” also means to shout or to address in a loud tone. For example, the pagan king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, was struck insane by God because of his pride. When God restored his sanity seven years later, Nebuchadnezzar shouted words of Shabbat praise:

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Daniel 4:37).”

“Are you ready to get loud? Shabach means to address in a loud tone. It’s typically associated with freedom or triumph. But it’s more than just a loud shout, it’s the idea of putting everything you have into it. An attitude of wholehearted praise.

Scriptures to reference: Psalm 63:3-4 (We typically look at this psalm as soft cry of thirst in a dry place, but the words in these verses literally mean to SHOUT praises!)

This is pretty simple to illustrate. Ask people to stand up and shout a phrase (Hallelujah or Praise the Lord works great) together on the count of three! Encourage them to view it as a wholehearted expression of praise. One of the best comparisons for this is the spontaneous, electric cheers and yells that fans at a sporting event utter when something good happens to their team.

SHABACH means, “to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph.”
Psalm 47:1 O clap your hands, all peoples; shout (shabach) to God with the voice of joy (or triumph).
Psalm 145:4 One generation shall praise (shabach) Thy works to another and declare Thy mighty acts.
Isaiah 12:6 Cry aloud and shout (shabach) for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy
One of Israel.
OTHER REFERENCES: Psalms 63:3, 117:1, 145:4; Ecclesiastes 4:2″

Shabach – To exclaim or shout praise.
It’s a way for a person to express confidence in God’s character and ability.
• Psalm 145:4 – “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare
your mighty acts.”
• Psalm 63:3 – “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” My lips
will “shabach” you.


The Shout of Praise:
7. SHABACH ( shaw-bakh’): To address in a _____ tone. To shout. To commend, glory, and triumph.

“One generation shall praise(shâbach) Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4

“Praise the Lord all you nations, Praise (shâbach) him, all you people of the earth.” Psalm 117: 1

Other Scriptures: Psalm 98:4, Psalm 71:23, Psalm 35:27, Psalm 66:1-2, Joshua 6:20, Ezra 3:11, Isaiah 12:6

8. “HALLELUJAH.” Is used just 24 times in the Old Testament and all are found between Psalm 104 to 150! It is reserved for times of extreme exultation. jubilation,triumph. It is made up of two words, “Hallel” and “Jah” {Yah}.

The word “Hallelujah” is used just four times in the New Testament and all in Revelation 19:1-7.  Revelation 19:1-7.

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”

“Hallelujah! Revenge on the Harlot: God is just after all.”

“Hallelujah! God is still on his throne even though the world is destroyed.”

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”


HOW WONDERFUL, kind of the LORD. Look at the various acceptable waysto Him he ahs given us to praise Him. A Variety, begining with the attitude of the ehart, to speaking words of praise, to singing words of rpaise, to having musical instruments to ccomany or to be used  without singing….He ahs givien usa  avariey of ways to express our gratitude, exuberance, to Him for who He is and what He ahs done and will do. He is the focus…on Him!!!!