What is the…

Hebrew: הַלֵּל —meaning: praise

This is the Hebrew name given to a group of six psalms (Psalm 113-118), which are preeminently psalms of praise. Observant Jews recite these verses on Jewish holidays to praise God and thank Him.

It is called “The Egyptian Hallel,” because it was chanted in the temple whilst the Passover lambs were being slain. It was chanted also on other festival occasions, as at Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of Dedication. The Levites, standing before the altar, chanted it verse by verse, the people responding by repeating the verses or by intoned hallelujahs. It was also chanted in private families at the feast of Passover.

This was probably the hymn which our Savior and his disciples sung at the conclusion of The Passover supper kept by them in the upper room at Jerusalem (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26).

There is also another group called “The Great Hallel,” comprehending Psalm 118-136, which was recited on the first evening at the Passover supper and on occasions of great joy.

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Article Version: March 18, 2021