What Does Hallelujah Mean In Hebrew? (video Insight By Dr. Eli Lizorkin-eyzenberg)

Video Insight of the Week: What does Hallelujah mean in Hebrew?

The English word “Hallelujah” is a Hebrew loanword, which means that it came to us from Biblical Hebrew and has been absorbed in the exact same form in modern speech.

Hallelujah is not only a loanword; it is also a compound word, as it is made up of two Hebrew words: הַלְּלוּ Hallelu and יָהּ Yah. Literally “Hallelu” is an exhortation to praise someone or something addressed to more than one person. The old English translation of “Praise, ye” is, therefore, accurate. “Yah” is simply a shorter version of יהוה “YHWH” — the English transliteration of the covenant name of Israel’s God.

Because of the belief that this name is too holy to be pronounced at all (nor does anyone know how to pronounce it correctly, since the original Hebrew did not use vowels), most translators, both Jewish and Christian, decided to simply use the word “Lord” instead, the translation of another Hebrew name for God (אֲדונָי Adonai).

(To watch this video on YouTube click HERE)

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  1. Ray Luff

    It wasn’t until Motzart that a heavy breathing was indicated. Motzart wanted the Allelujah chorus to sound better. Because the vowel points only show up in the manuscripts with the Masoretic Hebrew text in approx 700 to 1000 AD. we don’t know for sure whether a heavy breathing is indicated in the Hebrew.

  2. gustavo vargas angel

    A new learning today is not bad for me, quite contrary, it makes me very good, because knowledge do not use a fisical place at home but in your mind, so I have been built today. Thank you, and best for you.

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza


      Have the best days ever!

      1. Angeline Musarurwa

        Eric and Gustavo, thank you. I am a Hebrew student and this has been insightful.

  3. gustavo vargas angel

    thank you again, I never end to learn a new thing(that is why we are here, I think), but a question: is “banim” or “benim”? I think the last, because “ben=son”, to say the truth, is hard to understand the hebrew inflections, gramatical and to speaking for , however, let´s try. Shalom¡

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza


      Ben, is an irregular word. it has four forms to be used according to the sentence/phrase.
      In this case, the plural, is Banim, not benim. There is no word “benim” in Hebrew.
      The “Nismach” mode, is bney = “(the) sons of”. Bney Yisra’el = The Sons of Israel.

  4. Geraldine Murphy

    Hallelujah is an exclamation of praise to God. Psalms 105, 106,111-117,135 146 to150 these are all Hallelujah Psalms In them God is praised and glorified for his mighty deeds and promises The chronicler who wrote them is showing how these psalms were used in the Jerusalem cult. ”Hallelujah” is sung as the antiphon by different Levitcal Choirs.


    Very insightful.
    Thank you for the explanations. Makes me feel good.. Hallelujah!

  6. gustavo vargas angel

    …..Eric:…. many peace, anyway)
    PD: I am not trying to contend here.

  7. gustavo vargas angel

    Eric: Althought the example is valuable, and according the translation given, both phrases means the same: the death shall be swallowed…” not “destroyed”, and if you look in Revelation, you should see “the death wont be never more”, in any case, the last meaning is the same: eternal life for believers . Or I am wrong, again? Best for you(and many

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza


      For us, Hebrew speakers there is no any problem between Swallow and dissapear. On other hand, I was giving you only an example for your question… It is possible to pronunce the same hebrew word in different ways regarding to the vocalization.
      בנים sometimes readen Banim (sons) sometimes Bonim (Builders)

  8. gustavo vargas angel

    Dr. Eli:
    According my insignificant knowledge ,and as you say, ancient hebrew did not use vocals, but modern hebrew nor use vocals too, not written, at least, as I have seen in different phrases(with explanation about pronunciation) . Please, say me if I am so wrong in my words. Best for you.

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza


      Shalom Gustavo.
      Originally, Hebrew language, didn’t have any vowel, so that it was possible to read the same word in different ways, sometimes according to the teaching/purpose of the Teacher.

      So, by example, ובלע המות לנצח was readen “uvilá’ hamavet lanétzach” = “And He will swallow the death forever” but, according to the LXX and Paul, the correct reading is: uvulá’ hamávet lanétzach. = “and the death will be swallowed by the victory”.

      I hope that the example speak more than thousand words. 🙂