HALLELUJAH: The High Praises of God

Dr. Lewis Gregory


HALLELUJAH: Hallelu jah Two separate words combined together
Hallelu= praise or a song of praise, especially in difficult circumstances
jah=YHWH or Yahweh or Jehovah, the Lord or the Lord God
Combined it becomes “Praise the Lord!”

Hallelujah is a word beyond all words, yet much more than a word! Hallelujah is the greatest expression, the Divine connection, the Heavenly manifestation. Through Hallelujah we are drawn into the Heavenly realm of praise and adoration of Almighty God. Hallelujah puts us in the zone of God’s Divine presence!

Hallelujah is a word that stands alone—above and beyond any other word! It remains the same in every language. It is much more than just praise the Lord. Hallelujah expresses the “high praises” unto the Lord God Almighty!!! “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand.” Psalm 149:6 The first Biblical record of hallelujah was when King David exalted the Lord in Psalm 112:1. David used Hallelujah numerous times in the latter part of the Psalms. Hallelujah appears 4 times in the New Testament book of Revelation as the Apostle John gives highest praise to the Lord God Almighty for His magnificent, triumphant conclusion to this old world, as well as for our Heavenly home.

Many songs use the expression hallelujah, but one song stands out to me. It is the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. This song has inspired worship in me on numerous occasions.  The word hallelujah is repeated 31 times in just 3 stanzas of the song Hallelujah. Regarding Hallelujah Leonard Cohen said, “It’s, as I say, a desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion…. It’s a rather joyous song,” says Leonard Cohen, creator of the song, Hallelujah: “I wanted to write something in the tradition of the hallelujah choruses but from a different point of view… It’s the notion that there is no perfection—that this is a broken world and we live with broken hearts and broken lives but still that is no alibi for anything. On the contrary, you have to stand up and say hallelujah under those circumstances.”

I researched Leonard Cohen several years ago. Cohen has a rich Jewish heritage. But he also comes from a long line of flawed and broken people like Noah, Abram, Issac, Jacob, etc. God spoke to Balaam through a donkey. While a donkey is not exactly an ideal role model, it served the purpose and delivered God’s message. Noah got drunk and committed incest but was used of God to build an Ark to preserve humanity. King David was an adulterer, a murder, and had multiple wives, yet he wrote the Psalms. Sampson was rebellious, disrespectful of his parents and an adulterer, yet God used him as one of the Judges of Israel. And on and on it goes. We are all flawed, failed humans. But that is not a limitation to the Almighty God, who can accomplish His kingdom purposes through us even in spite of our faults. Hallelujah!

However, this is not about the man who wrote the song, but about the song itself, the message it portrays! And it is about the impact the song has had, in that it has reached more people than any other song. If the rocks are crying out then so be it. I will cry out with them . . . HALLELUJAH!!! “And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:37-40).

“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18) And I too rejoice that God is exalted through the highest praises expressed through the song Hallelujah. The song Hallelujah ministers to me and God has used it mighity in my life. For that I am grateful! Hallelujah, praise ye the Lord!

According to many “It [ Hallelujah] is often called one of the greatest songs of all time.” I heartily agree! To God be the glory, great things He has done! There is victory amidst adversity, triumph over circumstances, in all things praise the Lord—Hallelujah! Our faith response in the midst of our trials is Hallelujah, praise the Lord, thanks be to God! And this is how we acknowledge Him in all our ways. Therefore let us give the Almighty God the high praises due Him at all times and in all circumstances!

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Hallelujah!” Psalm 150:6


Here are just a few of the many examples of the song Hallelujah. I encourage you to listen to them all repeatedly so the Spirit of the Lord can stir your heart to worship and refresh your soul!


Alexandra Burke-Hallelujah


Canadian Tenors-Hallelujah 


Jeff Buckley-Hallelujah 

Leonard Cohen-Hallelujah 


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