also known as: hallelu jah
Meaning: literally “praise Jah (Yah);” praise Jehovah
In Hebrew, this is a 2 word phrase.
- Hallelu (הַלְּלוּ) is a 2nd-person imperative masculine plural, thus an exhortation to at least several people (or all) to praise Jehovah (praise you all Jehovah).
- Jah (יָהּ) is a 2 letter contraction of the 4 letter name YHWH (Yahweh) meaning Jehovah.
This word is frequently translated as “Praise ye the LORD” and stands at the beginning of 10 of the Psalms (106, 111-113, 135, 146-150), hence they are called “hallelujah psalms.” The word is also used at the conclusion of various Psalms.
Due to its frequent occurrance, it grew into a formula of praise.
The use of the word in the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah is a reference to Revelation 19:1-6 describing grat praise in Heaven after the Messiah’s defeat of the Whore of Babylon at the end of the Great Tribulation, as the Messiah’s Millennium reign on Earth begins.