A Hebrew Word for Praise – ‘Halal’

Monday, November 28th, 2022

'Halal' means to be outrageously foolish about your worship to God.
Brice Tabor


Hi, I’m Brice Tabor, author of the book, Behold: Experience A Lifestyle Of Intimacy With Your Creator,  and I’d like to welcome you to God Today. We’re focusing on seven different Hebrew words for praise, and today, our focus word is ‘halal’. ‘Halal’ is one of my favorite Hebrew words for praise. It’s where we get the word ‘ha’ from. Okay, I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but ‘ha’ really does convey the meaning of ‘halal’ very well. ‘Halal’ means to shine or give the light of sound, to make a show, or be enthusiastic about. It means to be outrageously foolish about your worship to God. Hallelujah is a word that comes from ‘halal,’ and to be honest, I used to think hallelujah was such an old timer’s word. Just sounded so Christianese. All the old worship songs had it, and all the ladies with big hair and big dresses said it. I just couldn’t connect with it. But now I say it all the time. I don’t really care if people label me a certain way because of it. In fact, a lot of the time I say, “hallelujah,” I add ha ha ha right before it, ‘cause it’s fun! It’s good to laugh and be undignified in our praise to God!

David was ‘halal’ing when he danced before the Lord with all his might. In fact, the Hebrew word for danced in that passage is ‘karar,’ and it means to whirl. The Hebrew word for might in that passage is ‘azaz,’ and it means strength and get this: it means strength in the sense of physical, personal, social, and political. When David danced, before the Lord, with all his might, he was ‘halal’ing the Lord in such a way that he used his physical strength, his personal strength, his social strength and his political strength. He literally laid it all down and worshiped God, in an outrageously foolish way. He put it all on the line and didn’t seem to care a single bit about what people thought. That’s ‘halal.’ Praising God by shining bright. Bright and shining praise doesn’t always come with happy responses. Some people just don’t like it when there’s a light that’s shining. It hurts their eyes and it’s offensive to them. They say things like, “Stop it. You’re just trying to bring attention to yourself,” when really deep down,  they probably just wished they had the same boldness to worship so unreservedly.

In fact, Psalm 111 verse one, that’s 1, 1, 1, 1 for all you number of people out there says, I will ‘halal’ the Lord with my whole heart. Get this, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation. So in other words, I will outrageously and foolishly praise the Lord in the midst of other people. Wow. All right. We’re going to say “Hahaha hallelujah” together. Now, are you ready? I’m just going to warn you, you might smile a little bit. You might get a little bit happy. Okay, here we go. Ha ha ha hallelujah. Let’s do it again. Ha ha ha hallelujah. Doesn’t that just feel so good?!

All right. Let’s pray together. Lord, I thank You that You are a gloriously fun God, and we thank You that You love it when we respond to Your fun in a fun way. Thank You, God, for waking us up to ‘halal,’ hallelujah. We bless You today as we hold nothing back in our praise to You, Amen.