The first article about the word hallelujah was the article number 138. We explain there that hallelujah is a Hebrew word that was not translated. It is made of two words: Hallel and YAH. Hallel means praise, and YAH is an abbreviation of the name YAHWEH, or Jehovah. The New Testament combined these two words to form HALLELUJAH. It is found only in the book of Revelations 19:1,3,4,6.
Jehovah established the sacrifices of the law: “You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you” (Ex. 20:24). Jehovah commanded also the sacrifices of praise: “This is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which one shall offer to Jehovah. If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mixed with oil” (Lev. 7:11-12). David teaches how to praise with songs: “Sing praises to Jehovah., who dwells in Zion, and declare among the people what he has done” (Ps. 9:11). We read in another Psalm: “Sing praise to God, sing praises. Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth. Sing praises with understanding” (Ps. 47:6-7).
What is the meaning of the word WONDER? It is an extraordinary action that brings admiration; prodigy; a person worthy of admiration, distinguished among their fellows. In general, the word “wonder” is used for great shows, great events, and great commemorations, beautiful songs, literary works, great works of art, etc, everything that dazzles the eyes or the senses, everything that sweeps and enraptures. Nature has wonderful beauties, too. The Iguaçu Falls are wonderful; a red sunset creates a beautiful picture.
When someone sees something terrible, fearful, dreadful, the word they use is never “wonderful,” but “dark”, “frightening”, and “infernal”.
Let us analyze the biblical wonders. “Give thanks to Jehovah! Call on his name! Make his doings known among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him! Tell of all his marvelous works” (Ps. 105:1-2). The psalm begins with the word HALLELUJAH (Praise Jehovah). What wonders must be known among the peoples? They are the wonders that proclaim his glory; therefore the psalmist says: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples” (Ps. 96:3). Jehovah himself declares the wonders that are to be proclaimed to all peoples to increase his glory. He said to Moses: “I will put forth my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in its midst, and after that he will let you go” (Ex. 3:20). The wonders of Jehovah do not dazzle the eyes and delight the senses, but terrify and hurt. And Jehovah said more: “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt” (Ex. 3:20). What were the wonders that justified the hardening of the heart of Pharaoh? Moses tells us: “Then Jehovah will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and severe sicknesses, and of long continuance” (Deut. 28:59). Who say a plague is a wonderful thing? Well, Jehovah taught his people to say hallelujah while he sent plagues to other peoples. This means rejoicing with the other’s tragedy. If the Egyptians were perverse, it would be satanic to sing hallelujah at their misfortune. But this was not the case. The Egyptians were friends with the Hebrews because of the blessing received through Joseph. Before sending the plagues Jehovah changed their hearts to hate Israel: “Israel also came into Egypt. Jacob lived in the land of Ham. He increased his people greatly, and made them stronger than their adversaries. He turned their heart to hate his people, to conspire against his servants” (Ps. 105:23-25). Jehovah forged the wickedness of the Egyptians to afterwards send over them deadly plagues. Then does he teach the Christians to sing HALLELUIAH? It is the same Psalm 105, where we discover the evil work of changing the kind hearts of the Egyptians into wicked hearts: “Give thanks to Jehovah! Call on his name! Make his doings known among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him! Tell of all his marvelous works” (Ps. 105:1-2). How wonderful Jehovah thought his plagues were! He said to Moses: “Pharaoh won’t listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt” (Ex. 11:9). Moses, blind before the tragedy of that poor people, and not knowing that his brothers were going to suffer in the desert, said: “Who is like you, Jehovah, among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? (Ex. 15:11). Time passed and Moses, seeing the sons of Jacob, his brothers, hungry and thirsty, seeing the children parched under the scorching sun, changed his song: “Moses said to Jehovah, ‘Why have you treated with your servant so badly? Why haven’t I found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them forth, that you should tell me, “Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which you swore to their fathers?”’” (Num. 11:11-12). “If you treat me this way, please kill me right now, if I have found favor in your sight; and don’t let me see my wretchedness” (Num. 11:15).
Psalm 106 is a psalm of praise, and begins like this: “Praise Jehovah! Give thanks to Jehovah, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever (Ps. 106:1).
- “The waters covered their adversaries” (Egyptians) – Ps. 106:11 – Halleujah!
- “The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram” (Ps. 106:17) – Halleujah!
- “Therefore he swore to them (Israel) that he would overthrow them in the wilderness” (Ps. 106:26) – Halleujah!
- “that he would overthrow their seed among the nations, and scatter them in the lands” (Ps. 106:27) – Halleujah!
- “Thus they provoked him to anger with their deeds. The plague broke in on them” (Ps. 106:29) – Halleujah!
- “Thus were they defiled with their works, and prostituted themselves in their deeds. Therefore Jehovah burned with anger against his people. He abhorred his inheritance” (Ps. 106:39-40) – Halleujah!
First, the evil came upon Egypt, and the Israelites sang hallelujah (praise Jehovah), for the misfortunes of others, that is, the Egyptians. In Psalm 106 the evils came upon Israel, and do Christians sing hallelujah for the evils and misfortunes of Israel? All of this happened because Jehovah dwelt in the praises (Ps. 22:3). Christians who sing hallelujah (praise Jehovah) should try to buy a piece of land, plant vegetables and cereal, and fruit trees and see if they are free from the plagues of Jehovah: the plant louse, the caterpillar, the ants, etc. Let them tithe, and let them avoid the use of pesticide: they will see that their crop will be destroyed (Mal. 3:10-12).
Christians should only praise Jesus Christ, and if they plant, they should use pesticides. Jesus did not come to reform this world, but to save those he can, to take them to his kingdom, that is not in this earth (2 Tim. 4:18; 1 Pet. 1:3-4).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira