Praise & Worship has now been watered down so much, that most of us just look at it as mere singing. We get so caught up in just ‘singing songs’ that we completely ignore what it really means to praise & worship Jesus. Here’s something that will help understand what Praise & Worship looked like in the Bible.
Hebrew Words for Praise
Halal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word “hallelujah” comes from this base word. It means “to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.”
Let them praise (halal) his name in the dance: let them sing praises with the timbrel and harp.
Yadah is a verb with a root meaning, “the extended hand, to throw out the hand, therefore to worship with extended hand.” According to the Lexicon, the opposite meaning is “to bemoan, the wringing of the hands.”
So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will (yadah) lift up my hands in thy name.
Towdah comes from the same principle root word as yadah, but is used more specifically. Towdah literally means, “an extension of the hand in adoration, avowal, or acceptance.” By way of application, it is appratent in the Psalms and elsewhere that it is used for thanking God for “things not yet received” as well as things already at hand.
Whoso offereth praise (towdah) glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Shabach means, “to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph.”
O clap your hands, all peoples; shout (shabach) to God with the voice of joy (or triumph).
Barak means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration.”
Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless (barak) the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed (barak) the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king.
Zamar means “to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise; a musical word which is largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments.
Be exalted O Lord, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise (zamar) Thy power.
Tehillah is derived from the word halal and means “the singing of halals, to sing or to laud; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit.
To grant to those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise (tehillah) instead of the spirit of fainting, So they shall be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified