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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Hallelujah . A Hebrew expression, used liturgically in Hebrew worship as a short doxology, meaning ‘praise ye Jah.’ With one exception (  Psalms 135:3 ) it occurs only at the beginning or the end of psalms, or both: at the beginning only in   Psalms 111:1-10;   Psalms 112:1-10; at the beginning and end in   Psalms 106:1-48;   Psalms 113:1-9;   Psalms 135:1-21;   Psalms 146:1-10;   Psalms 147:1-20;   Psalms 148:1-14;   Psalms 149:1-9;   Psalms 150:1-6; at the end only in   Psalms 104:1-35;   Psalms 105:1-45;   Psalms 115:1-18;   Psalms 116:1-19;   Psalms 117:1-2 .

In the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] , however, the Gr. (transliterated) form of the expression occurs only at the beginning of psalms as a heading , and this would seem to be the more natural usage. The double occurrence in the Heb. text may in some cases he explained as due to accidental displacement (the heading of the following psalm being attached to the conclusion of the previous one).

As a liturgical heading the term served to mark off certain well-defined groups of psalms which were probably intended in the first instance for synagogue use, and may once have existed as an independent collection. With the exception of  Psalms 135:1-21 , these groups (in the Heb. text) are three in number, viz. 104 106; 111 113, 115 117; and 146 150. But in the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] a larger number of psalms is so distinguished, and the consequent grouping is more coherent, viz. 105 107; 111 119 (135 136); 146 150. In the synagogue liturgy the last-mentioned group (146 150). together with 135 136, has a well-defined place in the daily morning service, forming an integral part of the great ‘Benediction of Song’ (in certain parts of the early Church, also, it was customary to recite the ‘Hallelujah’ psalms daily).

The ‘Hallel’ ( Psalms 113:1-9;   Psalms 114:1-8;   Psalms 115:1-18;   Psalms 116:1-19;   Psalms 117:1-2;   Psalms 118:1-29 ), which forms a liturgical unit in the synagogue liturgy, is the most complete example of ‘Hallelujah’ psalms in collected form. (In the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] , notice all the individual psalms of this group are headed ‘ Alleluia ’).

All the psalms referred to exhibit unmistakable marks of late composition, which would accord with their distinctively synagogal character. Like other Jewish liturgical terms ( e.g. ‘Amen’), ‘Hallelujah’ passed from the OT to the NT (cf.   Revelation 19:1-7 ), from the Jewish to the Christian Church (cf. esp. the early liturgies), and so to modern hymnody. Through the Vulgate the form ‘ Alleluia ’ has come into use. The AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] , however, render ‘Praise ye the Lord.’

G. H. Box.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Ἁλληλουϊά (Strong'S #239 — N/A — hallelouia — al-lay-loo'-ee-ah )

signifies "Praise ye Jah." It occurs as a short doxology in the Psalms, usually at the beginning, e.g.,  Psalm 111;  112 , or the end, e.g.,  Psalm 104;  105 , or both, e.g.,  Psalm 106;  135 (where it is also used in ver. 3),   Psalm 146;  147;  148;  149;  150 . In the NT it is found in  Revelation 19:1,3,4,6 , as the keynote in the song of the great multitude in heaven. "Alleluia," without the initial "H," is a misspelling.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

Originally the word ‘hallelujah’ was a combination of parts of two Hebrew words, meaning ‘praise’ and ‘Jehovah’ (‘Yahweh’). It has been transliterated into Greek and English as ‘hallelujah’ and means ‘praise the Lord’. It was used mainly to open or close hymns of praise in public worship ( Psalms 106:1;  Psalms 106:48;  Psalms 112:1;  Psalms 113:1;  Psalms 115:18;  Psalms 146:1;  Psalms 146:10;  Psalms 147:1;  Psalms 147:20; Psalms 150;  Revelation 19:1;  Revelation 19:3-4;  Revelation 19:6; see also Praise ).

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [4]

‘Hallelujah,’ ‘Praise ye Jahweh,’ is used as a doxology in some OT Psalms, e.g.  Psalms 104:35;  Psalms 105:45. In the song of the redeemed ( Revelation 19:1-7) It appears as a triumphant acclamation at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. In later Christian use it was attached to the Paschal Feast as among the Jews to the Passover. If the Odes of Solomon may be ascribed to an early date (see articleHymns), we may quote the frequent use of ‘Hallelujah’ at the end of these hymns as a mark of the joyousness of early Christian worship. Tertullian ( On Prayer , xxvii.) quotes its use with certain psalms, after the Jewish manner, said or sung by the whole congregation.

A. E. Burn.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

In the New Testament, ALLELUIAH, Praise ye Jehovah. This word occurs at the beginning and at the end of many psalms. It was also sung on solemn days of rejoicing, as an expression of joy and praise, and as such it has been adopted in the Christian church, and is still used in devotional psalmody,  Revelation 19:1,3,4,6 .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Hallelujah. (Praise Ye The Lord). See Alleluia .

Webster's Dictionary [7]

(n. & interj.) Praise ye Jehovah; praise ye the Lord; - an exclamation used chiefly in songs of praise or thanksgiving to God, and as an expression of gratitude or adoration.

Holman Bible Dictionary [8]

 Psalm 146-150  Psalm 146-150

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

 Revelation 19:1,3,4,6

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [10]

See Allelujah

Morrish Bible Dictionary [11]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

(Heb. hallelu'-yah', הִלְלוּאּיָהּ , Praise Ye Jah, i.e. Jehovah!) or (in its Greek form) ALLELU'IAH ( Ἀλληλούϊα ), a word which stands at the beginning of many of the Psalms. See Muller, De Notione Hallelujah (Cygn. 1690); Wernsdorf, De Formula Hallelujah (Viteb. 1763). From its frequent occurrence in this position it grew into a formula of praise, and was chanted as such on solemn days of rejoicing. (See Critica Biblica, 2, 448.) This is intimated by the apocryphal book of Tobit (13, 18) when speaking of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, "And all her (Jerusalem's) streets shall sing Alleluia" (comp.  Revelation 19:1;  Revelation 19:3-4;  Revelation 19:6). This expression of joy and praise was transferred from the synagogue to the church, and is still occasionally heard in devotional psalmody. Kitto. The Hebrew terms are frequently rendered "Praise ye the Lord;" and so in the margin of  Psalms 104:35;  Psalms 105:45; Psalms 106;  Psalms 111:1;  Psalms 112:1;  Psalms 113:1 (comp.  Psalms 113:9;  Psalms 115:18;  Psalms 116:19;  Psalms 117:2). The Psalms from 113 to 118 were called by the Jews the Hallel, and were sung on the first of the month, at the Feast of Dedication, and the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of the Passover. (See Hosanna).

On the last occasion Psalms 113, 114, according to the school of Hillel (the former only according to the school of Shammai), were sung before the feast, and the remainder at its termination, after drinking the last cup. The hymn ( Matthew 26:30) sung by Christ and his disciples after the last supper is supposed to have been a part of this Hallel, which seems to have varied according to the feast. (See Hallel). The literal meaning of "hallelujah" sufficiently indicates the character of the Psalms in which it occurs, as hymns of praise and thanksgiving. They are all found in the last book of the collection, and bear marks of being intended for use in the Temple service, the words "praise ye Jehovah" being taken up by the full chorus of Levites. (See Psalms).

In the great hymn of triumph in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, the apostle in vision heard the multitude in chorus like the voice of mighty thunderings burst forth "Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth," responding to the voice which came out of the throne, saying, "Praise our God all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great" ( Revelation 19:1-6). In this, as in the offering of incense (Revelation 8), there is evident allusion to the service of the Temple, as the apostle had often witnessed it in its fading grandeur. (See Book Of Revelation).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

hal - ē̇ - loo´ya ( הללוּ־יהּ , halelū - yāh , "praise ye Yah"; ἁλληλουιά , allēlouiá ): The word is not a compound, like many of the Hebrew words which are composed of the abbreviated form of "Yahweh" and some other word, but has become a compound word in the Greek and other languages. Even if the Jews perhaps had become accustomed to use it as a compound, it is never written as such in the text. In some Psalms, Hallelujah is an integral part of the song (  Psalm 135:3 ), while in others it simply serves as a liturgical interjection found either at the beginning ( Psalm 111:1-10 ) or at the close (Ps 104) of the psalms or both ( Psalm 146:1-10 ). The Hallelujah Psalms are found in three groups: 104 through 106; 111 through 113; 146 through 150. In the first group, Hallelujah is found at the close of the psalm as a lit. interjection ( Psalm 106:1 is an integral part of the psalm). In the second group, Hallelujah is found at the beginning (  Psalm 113:9 is an integral part of the psalm depending on the adjective "joyful"). In the third group, Hallelujah is found both at the close and at the beginning of the psalms. In all other cases, (Pss 115; 116;   Psalm 117:1-2 ) Hallelujah seems to be an integral part of the psalms. These three groups were probably taken from an older collection of psalms like the group Psalms 120 through 134. In the New Testament Hallelujah is found as part of the song of the heavenly host ( Revelation 19:1 ). The word is preserved as a liturgical interjection by the Christian church generally.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [14]

Hallelu´jah or Alleluia, a word which stands at the beginning of many of the Psalms. From its frequent occurrence in this position it grew into a formula of praise, and was chanted as such on solemn days of rejoicing. This expression of joy and praise was transferred from the synagogue to the church, and is still occasionally heard in devotional psalmody.