Primary Hebrew Words for Praise

This is another extra resource for those going through the Pure Praise worship study.

Please utilize this list of Hebrew definitions for words used for praise in the Old Testament. There are several Hebrew words that are translated as “praise” in most English versions. We strongly encourage you to go deeper in studying these amazing word-pictures.

NOTE: We’ve taken this list of the most prominent words for praise from Jack Taylor’s book, The Hallelujah Factor (published by Broadman). Other resources you might consider include Strong’s Concordance and Vines Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Jr. (published by Thomas Nelson)

Hebrew Words for Praise

Hallal: “to laud, boast, rave, to celebrate” — It is used approximately one hundred times in the Old Tes tament.
Yadah: “to worship with extended hands, to throw out the hands” — It is used over ninety times in the Old Testament. (Yad means “hand.”)
Barak: “to bless, to declare God the origin of power for success, prosperity, and fertility” — It is used approximately seventy times in the Old Testament as praise to God.
Tehillah: “to sing or laud” — It is derived from hallal and is generally accepted to mean “the singing of hallals.” It is used over fifty times in the Old Testament.
Zamar: “to pluck the strings of an instrument, to praise with song” — It is used almost exclusively in the Psalms and occurs approximately forty times in the Old Testament.
Todah: “to extend the hands in thanksgiving, a thank-offering” — It is used only a few times when trans lated “praise” but occurs many other times in connection with thanksgiving.
Shabach (Shebach): “to commend, address in a loud tone, to shout” — This is the exclamatory form of praise in a special sense and is found only about seven times in the Old Testament.

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