The Hallelujah Psalms

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.” (Psalm 146:1)

The last five chapters in the book of Psalms (146–150) comprise what might be considered a great “Hallalujah Chorus” to this “Hallel” book—the “book of Israel’s praises,” as the book of Psalms was called by the Israelites.

Each psalm in this five-psalm group both begins and ends with an exclamatory “Praise ye the LORD,” or, in the Hebrew, “Hallelujah!” This word occurs 22 times in the book of Psalms. This is significant in that the Hebrew language has just 22 letters, suggesting to us that the very purpose of language is for God to reveal His Word to man and for man then to respond with thanksgiving and praise to God.

It is further significant that the letters of the Greek language in the New Testament begin with “alpha” and end with “omega,” and that Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, has reminded us that “I am Alpha and Omega” (Revelation 1:11; 22:13). The Greek word “Alleluia” occurs just four times in the New Testament, all at the great congregation in heaven that will assemble at the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (19:1-6, 9). This may also well be what is called “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).

There, along with “an innumerable company of angels,” all the redeemed saints of all the ages will gather to rejoice and give thanks and “praise our God, all ye his servants” (Revelation 19:5). It seems possible—even probable—that these five Hallelujah psalms will constitute the testimonies of praise and thanksgiving that will be sung by this great congregation in the presence of the Lamb. The book of Psalms then closes with the great exhortation: “Let every thing that hath breath [or ‘Spirit’] praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150:6). HMM

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