It’s the type of word that some people use often while others rarely (if ever) utter it. It’s used in religious settings but is commonly used colloquially as well. Do you know what it actually means? Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t Many people don’t know its full meaning.
It became popular through the chorus of Handel’s Messiah when it started getting used often in movies. People use it to express both agreement and praise for a situation. For example, if someone says, “Dinner is ready,” someone might reply, “Hallelujah!”
While we should be thankful to God for everything that he gives us (both good and bad) it’s important to realize that the word itself is one of deep praise. While I don’t want to say that people shouldn’t use the word without understanding it, I feel that if you know what it really means that you can use it in a way that is more profound. In reality, it’s a very important word that can have an impact on your duty to praise the Lord constantly.
The word was transferred from Hebrew directly. Since there was no correlating English word for translation, it came through to English keeping the pronunciation basically intact (transliteration). The word itself is a combination of two words, roughly translated at “Praise Ye” (Hallelu) and a shorted version of the Tetragrammaton (Jah, Jehovah, Yahweh, amongst others) in the form of “Jah”. It should be noted that the first portion of the word is the second-person imperative masculine plural form of the Hebrew verb. In other words, we aren’t simply giving praise as if to a single person. We’re specifically praising with great rejoicing when we use the word properly.
Here are a couple of videos to explain it further.
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