Shabbat Shalom all,
Tehillim/Psalms 66:1-2 “Shout with joy to Elohim, all the earth! 2 Sing out the splendour of His Name; make His praise esteemed.”
Yoḥanan/John 4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. 24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”
Making the praise of Elohim esteemed and worshipping Him in Spirit and Truth is what we are called to do, and do with great joy! Tonight I want us to be reminded of our need to be a people who are walking in the Way of Set-Apartness; and in doing so, be reminded how we are to have the praise of our Master and Elohim continually on our lips and express the pure joy of worship unto Him in every aspect of our lives. As we grow in our knowledge and understanding of our Master and Elohim, and deepen our understanding and insight in living totally set-apart lives in complete worship unto Him, we are equipped more and more to do as commanded; as we meditate upon His pure Word and learn to express complete praise and worship before Him with exceeding joy! As we further our study and understanding of the original Hebrew words of Scripture, we are further equipped to be an ever praising people that can boldly express His pure Word in action as we live a dedicated life of praise unto our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah. In a message tonight called, ‘A LIFE OF PRAISE – WORDS EXPRESSED IN ACTION!’, I want to remind us of the urgent need for us to be true worshippers of Elohim, who are making His praise esteemed! The English words of ‘praise’ and ‘worship’ do not always complete the full picture of what this means to an ardent worshipper of Elohim, and it is therefore necessary for us to dig a little deeper into the original Hebrew root words that help us understand what it means to live a full life of praise unto our Master and Elohim, and in doing so, see the power of His Words being expressed in Action!
So tonight I want to do a deeper word study on the concept of praise and worship, by looking at a whole lot of Hebrew root words that express what true praise and worship looks like, giving us a fuller picture of these words expressed in action! As we look at each of these words and a corresponding verse for each, I hope that the zeal for living a life of praise unto our Master and Elohim is stirred within you, in order for His bountiful praise to be seen in joy-filled action!
While there may be some words that you have already heard and recognise, there may be some that you have not, and as we go through these words that I am presenting to you tonight, we are also aware that praise and worship are in no way limited to these words alone, but that the mere purpose for looking at a vast number of words is to simply be reminded to be walking and praising in the Way of Set-Apartness! These words are in no way ordered in any pattern of importance, as ALL of the Word of Elohim is important. Some verses may contain a collection of these words being presented tonight, yet for the sake of this exercise, I will simply highlight the relevant word being given in the respective verse.
1 – עָלַז alaz – Strong’s H5937 – This word is used 16 times in the Tanak and carries the meaning of ‘rejoice, become jubilant, triumph, exult’:
Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 3:18 “Yet I exult in יהוה, I rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance.”
Straight up we can learn that our ability to exult and be jubilant in our Master cannot (and must not) be determined by the circumstances we find ourselves in, but rather we must always be able to exult and give praise to Him, regardless of how good or tough it may be!
2 – עָלַץ alats – Strong’s H5970 – ‘rejoice, exult, triumph’. An almost similar sounding word to alaz, and carries a similar meaning; and is used 8 times in the Tanak:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 2:1 “And Ḥannah prayed and said, “My heart rejoices in יהוה, my horn has been high in יהוה. My mouth is opened wide over my enemies, for I have rejoiced in Your deliverance.”
Ḥannah rejoiced triumphantly in יהוה for He had given her a son, Shemuʼěl, who she had now given back to יהוה; and here we see the progression of a pure rejoicing that begins deep within the heart of a being – it results in exulting praise from lips that are opened wide, rejoicing in the deliverance that our Master brings.
3 – עָנָה anah – Strong’s H6030 – ‘to sing, utter tunefully, be occupied with, cry’. This word is used 329 times and relates to giving an answer, testifying, as well as shouting with joy, often as a response to being a faithful witness!
Hoshěa/Hosea 2:14-15 “Therefore, see, I am alluring her, and shall lead her into the wilderness, and shall speak to her heart, 15 and give to her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Aḵor as a door of expectation. And there she shall respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Mitsrayim.”
Here it is translated as ‘respond’ and in the KJV it is translated as ‘sing’; and we are able to learn from this the true response of a bride that has been led into the Wilderness in order the hear the sweet tender words of her Husband and King. This week we are starting with the Torah portion from Bemiḏbar which means, ‘In the wilderness’, and we recognise how the Wilderness journey is vital for us as the Bride of Elohim, in learning to hear His voice as we heed the call to COME OUT AND BE SEPARATE! Our response to His calling us out and delivering us should be one of an urgency in being occupied with living a complete life of praise unto Him.
4 – בָּרַךְ baraḵ – Strong’s H1288 – this is used 330 times in the Tanak and has the meaning, ‘to abundantly bless’, as well as having the meaning, ‘to kneel or bow down, to show respect, to bring a gift to another while kneeling out of respect’. A life of praise is seen in the respect that we give unto our Elohim, and this words depicts the action of showing true reverence, implying a continual consciousness of the presence of our Master and Elohim, which results in a continual ‘bowing’ in obedience.
Dawiḏ said the following when he was driven from Aḇimeleḵ, after he changed his behaviour:
Tehillim/Psalm 34:1 “I bless יהוה at all times; His praise is continually in my mouth.”
No matter who might be against you, never stop living a life of praise unto our Master and Elohim, and bless Him at all times!
5 – גִּיל gil – Strong’s H1523 – this is used 44 times in the Tanak and has the meaning, ‘rejoice, be glad, be joyful’, and is also understood as meaning, ‘to circle around or spin around’.
Tehillim/Psalm 118:24 “This is the day יהוה has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Are you able to truly rejoice and be glad every single day – for no matter what day you are in – it is a day that יהוה has made, and therefore let us make sure we rejoice!!! This is an expressive rejoicing that can clearly be seen in the physical actions of one’s life! As you go about you day – how are you expressing the joy and gladness of Elohim?
6 – גָּדַל gaḏal – Strong’s H1431 – this word is used 115 times in the Tanak and has the meaning, ‘to grow up, become great, to cause to be large, magnify, boast, lift up, promote’
Tehillim/Psalm 34:3 “Oh, make יהוה great with me, and let us exalt His Name together.”
Our need to boast in and magnify our Master and Elohim calls for us to be doing it together – and making יהוה great is contagious, in a good way! This kind of praise does not shy away from making great the esteem of the Name of יהוה, but rather it boldly calls for others to do so as well. How is your praise life – is it calling for others to make Him great with you, or is the evidence of praise non-existent!
7 – דָּגַל ‘dagal’ –Strong’s H1713 – this is used only 4 times in the Tanak and means ‘to raise a flag, banner; to be conspicuous – open to the eye, to reveal, manifest, clearly known’:
Tehillim/Psalm 20:5 “We sing of Your deliverance, and in the Name of our Elohim we set up a banner! יהוה does fill all your requests!”
The idea of ‘setting up a banner’ is a clear declaration of who you belong to and under who you submit – does your life of praise reveal that you belong to יהוה, and do you walk under His banner of authority with joy, or have you dropped the banner of praise, for fear of others!
8 – הָלַל halal Strong’s H1984 which means, ‘to shine; to be boastful; to be clear; to make a show; to rave; be foolish; to celebrate; praise, cheer, brag or extol, i.e., extol the greatness or excellence of a person, object or event.’
Tehillim/Psalms 113:1 “Praise Yah! Praise, O servants of יהוה, Praise the Name of יהוה!”
The word תְּהִלָּה tehillah Strong’s H8416 means, ‘praise, or a song of praise’ comes from this word. This is possibly the most well-known word in terms of praise and what we must take notice of is that our lives are to shine the light of the Truth as we make our boast in our Master and King, as we celebrate Him in all we do.
9 – זָמַר zamar – Strong’s H2167 is used 45 times, meaning, ‘to make music (in praise of Elohim), sing praises’. This also means, ‘striking with the fingers’, and more properly meaning ‘to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument’
Tehillim/Psalm 66:2 “Sing out the splendour of His Name; make His praise esteemed.”
‘Zamar’ is one of the musical verbs for praise in Tehillim (Psalms) and is often translated as ‘sing praises’:
Tehillim/Psalms 101:1 “I sing of kindness and right-ruling; To You, O יהוה, I sing praises.”
In Tehillim/Psalms 149:3 we see ‘zamar’ being used as ‘sing praises’ or in other translations as ‘make melody’ with tambourine and harp. What a joy it is to have the gift of ‘zamar’ praise happening here in our midst as יהוה continues to inspire Marcia and Carlien to produce such wonderful songs in praise unto our Elohim – together with the ‘striking of the fingers’!
10 – חָגַג ḥagag – Strong’s H2287 is used 16 times and means, ‘to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage, celebrate a feast, observe a feast, dance’:
Shemoth/Exodus 23:13 “Three times in the year you are to observe a festival to Me:”
Keeping the Feasts of יהוה are to be done with exceeding joy – after all they are His FEASTS – and a feast implies a joyous occasion with singing and dancing! Having said that we must also recognise that each and every week we get to rejoice and celebrate the Sabbath of יהוה, and this we are to do with celebration as we call the Sabbath a delight, expressing a true and pure life of praise, that is revealed in our obedient action of guarding His Sabbaths and Feasts with exceedingly great joy!
11 – יָדָה yaḏah – Strong’s H3034 used 114 times and literally means ‘to throw, shoot or cast, to confess, laud with praise, extol, i.e., make a public confession of the attributes and acts of power of a person’, and comes from the word יָד yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 which means ‘hand’ and so the expression of giving thanks is understood in the Hebrew as ‘extending the hands in praise’ – that is why Sha’ul tells us in Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 2:8 that men everywhere should lift up their hands that are set-apart in prayer – our expression of giving thanks with the extended hands that are set-apart is in our willing obedience to working unto Elohim (extending the hand) in all we do – and at the same time giving Him esteem and praise. Giving thanks is not a silent matter and it must be seen in our work ethic too, as our actions may often speak louder than words!
Tehillim/Psalm 18:49 “Therefore I give thanks to You, O יהוה, among nations, and I sing praise to Your Name”
Our giving thanks is seen in what we do, wherever we are – as we sojourn here as ambassadors of the reign to come!
A true life of praise is seen in what we do – whether in word or deed! Is your life of praise clearly visible in your daily actions?
12 – כַּבֵּד – kebeḏ – Strong’s H3513 – a word used 121 times meaning, ‘honour, heavy, made heavy’
Tehillim/Psalm 22:23 “You who fear יהוה, praise Him! All you seed of Ya’aqoḇ, esteem Him, and fear Him, all you seed of Yisra’ĕl!”
To give proper esteem that is due to יהוה, we must give weight and honour to guarding His presence and doing what He commands. In other words, a true life of praise does not take lightly the need to obey what His word commands, and does not give in to compromise for fear of what others may say or think! A ‘kebeḏ’ praise of יהוה reflects a praise life that does not waver from complete set-apartness, and does not give in to the compromised standards of the world, or even family members who do not walk in the Torah! Is the weight of His easy yoke upon you, or do you buckle under the pressure of the lawless! Does your life reflect true honour unto our Master And Elohim, or are there some dishonourable areas in your life, so to speak? If there is compromise in your life, your ability to give esteem unto יהוה becomes greatly hindered!
13 – כָּרַר karar – Strong’s H3769 which means, ‘dance, whirl’, and is only used twice in Scripture and both times are in reference to Dawiḏ’s dancing on the day the Ark of Elohim returned to Yerushalayim!
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:14 “And Dawiḏ danced before יהוה with all his might. And Dawiḏ was wearing a linen shoulder garment.”
The other time we see it is two verses later:
Shemuʼěl Bět/2 Samuel 6:16 “And it came to be, when the ark of יהוה came into the City of Dawiḏ, that Miḵal, daughter of Sha’ul, looked through a window and saw Sovereign Dawiḏ leaping and dancing before יהוה, and she despised him in her heart.”
Dawiḏ was filled with such joy in celebrating the presence of יהוה being returned to Yerushalayim that he danced with all his might, and did not worry what onlookers would have to say! Those who are unwilling to rejoice with us, will possibly despise us, as we rejoice in the face of our Elohim, by joyfully guarding His Feasts and Appointed Times! Dawiḏ was dancing and leaping – and a true life of praise does not hold back on expressing the joy of having the presence of our Master and Elohim!
14 – מָחָא maḥa – Strong’s H4222 means, ‘strike, clap’, and is only used 3 times in Scripture.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:12 “For with joy you go out, and with peace you are brought in – the mountains and the hills break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field clap the hands.”
In the great celebration of deliverance we see the metaphor of trees clapping their hands giving us a powerful picture of a great celebration. Clapping hands together in praise is certainly an acceptable form of worship unto our Master and Elohim!
15 – נָגַן nagan – Strong’s H5059 – this is used 15 times in Scripture and has the meaning, ‘to touch or play a stringed instrument, minstrel, pluck the strings’:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 38:20 “יהוה, come to save me! And let us sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the House of יהוה.”
As already mentioned, making songs and singing songs to stringed instruments is a great expression pf praise, which we are blessed to enjoy here at ATFOTC!
16 – פָּצַח patsaḥ – Strong’s H6476 – this word is used 8 times and means, ‘break forth, break out, make a loud noise’
Tehillim/Psalm 98:4 “Raise a shout to יהוה, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.”
This is a very ‘explosive word’ and expresses a huge flow of great praise that cannot be contained, and bursts forth with a resounding noise of jubilant praise! This pictures for us ‘great excitement’! Are you excited to praise יהוה in all you do, so much so that it bursts out of you and causes you to sing?
17 – פָּזַז pazaz – Strong’s H6339 which means, ‘to be supple or agile, made strong, leaping’, and this word also implies, ‘ones physical abilities to accomplish an intended task’
We see this word only being used twice in Scripture, and refers to Dawiḏ ‘leaping’ when he came dancing with the Ark of Elohim and is also used in reference to the blessing on Yosĕph in:
Berěshith/Genesis 49:24 “But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Yaʽaqoḇ – from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Yisra’ĕl”
Being made strong and able to leap with great joy – reminds me of the verse in:
Ḥaḇaqquq/Habakkuk 3:18-19 “Yet I exult in יהוה, I rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance. 19 יהוה the Master is my strength. And He makes my feet like those of deer, And makes me walk on my high places. To the chief singer with my stringed instruments.”
In English, to have ‘pazaz’ speaks of having something special and making a thing more ‘funky’ and is used as an informal variant of pizazz which means, energy, flair, vitality or vigour! It is time for true worshippers of Elohim to get some ‘pazaz’!!! A true life of praise is a one with great vitality and displays a joyful energy! Does your life of praise unto our Master and Elohim cause you to ‘leap with joy’, or better put… does it give you a ‘spring in your step’ as you bubble forth with vigorous energy in praising through active obedience?
18 – רָנַן ranan – Strong’s H7442 which means, ‘to overcome, cry out, shout for joy, give a ringing cry, sing aloud’
Tehillim/Psalm 145:7 “They send forth the remembrance of Your great goodness, and they sing of Your righteousness.”
I often think that we, at times, read these verses without recognising the intensity of the passion and love for Elohim that Dawiḏ had, and at times lack the fire for praise and singing and declaring that he had, hence the need for me to expand on the meaning of these most powerful words that ought to bring alive the desire to praise and shout aloud to our Great King! It is often very easy to see in the world how so many will give a ringing cry and shout aloud for their ‘sporting heroes’ – just look at a rugby or soccer match and see how the ‘fans’ will scream and shout and get all ‘dressed up’ to shout and scream for their heroes. Many will even know all the stats of their favourite players and talk about them to others, while when it comes to praising and giving a ringing cry of joy for יהוה they suddenly lose their tongue, which simply reveals what is in the heart! We are to be a people who are willing to give a joyous ringing cry for our wonderful Maker and Creator, clothed continually in garments of righteousness and praise, and always ready to relate the ‘stats’ and facts of our Master and Elohim! How eager are you to shout aloud the praise of Elohim, and make know His deeds among the earth?
19 – שָׂמַח samaḥ – Strong’s H8055 and means, ‘to rejoice, be glad, be joyful, delight in and be elated’, and can also carry the meaning ‘to brighten up’, giving us the picture how we are to carry His joy as the light of the world and let praise and rejoicing abound!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 16:11 “And you shall rejoice before יהוה your Elohim, you and your son and your daughter, and your male servant and your female servant, and the Lĕwite who is within your gates, and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are in your midst, at the place where יהוה your Elohim chooses to make His Name dwell.”
A life of praise is not a dull thing! Does your life reflect the joy of the light of the presence of our King? Do you shine His truth and ‘brighten up’ any company you find yourself in as you rejoice before Elohim? As children of light, do you shine with jubilant praise? Do people know who you serve and praise or is your light hidden most of the time? A true life of praise does not hide the joy and delight we have in serving, following and praising our Master and Elohim!
20 – שָׂשׂוֹן sason – Strong’s H8342 ‘exultation, rejoicing, gladness, joy’
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 12:3 “And you shall draw water with joy from the fountains of deliverance.”
It is with great gladness that we draw water from the fountain of deliverance! We can learn from this what a joy it is for us to come together and draw much from the water of the Word, and do so with gladness. How prepared do you come each week, as we gather on the Shabbat? Are you drawing water with joy, or have you come burdened with the cares of the world! – A true life of praise comes joyfully to draw and be delightfully refreshed!!
21 – שָׁבַח shaḇaḥ – Strong’s H7623 which means, ‘to laud; to praise; commend; congratulate; to address in a loud voice; proclaim; make exuberant statements as to the excellence of someone’. It is also used in:
Tehillim/Psalm 63: 3 “Because Your kindness is better than life, my lips do praise You.”
Shout aloud His praises! How sad it is when so many are seemingly afraid to give a shout offering to יהוה! In Tehillim/Psalm 117:1 the Hebrew word ‘shabaḥ’ is translated into English as ‘extol’ which gives the meaning ‘to praise highly’. In other words – lift up your voice and praise! And this is what is done generation to generation – but how will the next generation know how to lift up their voice and praise of the preceding one does not show them!!!
We are to lift up our voice and praise and we are to ‘declare’ His mighty acts!
22 – תָּקַע taqa – Strong’s H8628 means, ‘to thrust, clap, give a blow, blast, to strike or pledge oneself’. This word is often used in describing the ‘blast’ or ‘blow’ of the trumpet call, and in terms of praise we are able to see how we are to blow the shofar in praise!
Tehillim/Psalm 81:3 “Blow the ram’s horn at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our festival day.”
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 10:10 “And in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed times, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over your peace offerings. And they shall be a remembrance for you before your Elohim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
23 – תְּרוּעָה Teru‘ah – Strong’s H8643 which means ‘a shout or blast of war, alarm or joy’
Tehillim/Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are the people who know the sounding! They walk, O יהוה, in the light of Your face.”
The Teruah sound can be one of alarm and terror as well as one of joy! The ‘blast’ or Teruah of the Trumpet sound reminds us that we are betrothed to our Master, Elohim and King, and that we are to be dressed and ready for His soon return. The sounding of the Trumpet/Shofar was used to gather, as well as to signal readiness for war or a coming and going; and we know that the 1st trumpet blast of our King has sounded, declaring that we are His called out Bride, and blessed are we who know this ‘Teruah’, for we walk in active obedience to His commands! What a blessing it is to know the Teruah of יהוה – for we are able to truly live a complete life of praise as we walk in the light of His face and see His Word expressed in action, as we become faithful doers of the Word, doing His Word with exceeding praise!
Those who do not know the ‘sounding’ or ‘Teruah’, and do not guard the commands and keep the Feasts of יהוה will be on the wrong side of the trumpet sound – a sounding that will strike alarm and terror into their beings, as the wrath of Elohim shall be poured out on His opponents!!! Blessed are those who know the Teruah – now live a life of praise and let His word be expressed in action, as you serve our Master and Elohim with joy!
I have just given you 23 different words that are used in Scripture in relating to us what a life of praise should reflect, as we worship the Father in Spirit and Truth. While there are certainly many more derivatives of these words mentioned here tonight, as well as many other words that can be translated as praise or worship, what I simply wanted to show tonight is the clear picture that the Mirror of the Word is showing us – as we live a life of praise and see His Words expressed in action! We are to be a people who, sing, dance, make music, shout, cry aloud, bless, rejoice, raise a banner of praise and blow trumpets; and allow these physical actions to flow out of our daily lives as we live a life of praise unto our Master and Elohim! How is your praise life? Has it been dull and boring? When we study these words in Scripture, it becomes exceedingly clear that living a true life of praise is not boring and dull!
It is time for true worshippers to stand up and begin to reflect A LIFE OF PRAISE – WORDS EXPRESSED IN ACTION!
A LIFE OF PRAISE – WORDS EXPRESSED IN ACTION! – This is what we are to be doing – ARE YOU?
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to and give you shalom!