Of the three Hebrew words so rendered halal, "to praise" is preeminently significant. It is an onomatopoetic word meaning "to give a clear sharp sound," as word in vocal rejoicing, celebration. Its equivalent in Ethiopic is ellell, German hallen, English halloo, and appears in the great choral word Hallelujah of the Hebrew religion. Passing into Christian use it has become the term most expressive of majestic praise. Psalms 113-118 and 136 are called Hallel psalms. Found in Hezekiah's psalm of praise for his miraculous recovery: "Death cannot celebrate thee" (Isaiah 38:18). chaghagh, root meaning "to move in a circle" hence, "to keep a festival" by sacred leaping and dancing; "celebrate (the Revised Version (British and American) "keep") a feast" (Leviticus 23:41); shabhath, "to rest," i.e. keep or observe a holy day; "celebrate (the Revised Version (British and American) "keep") your sabbath" (Leviticus 23:32).
Dwight M. Pratt
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