Worship – BT2:  Greek Words for Worship in the Old and New Testaments




Video - Part 1: Worship - BT2:  Greek Words for Worship in the Old and New Testaments

Part 1



Worship – BT2:  Greek Words for Worship in the Old and New Testaments



Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.


Latris is noun used in classical Greek writings to mean “a hired menial to accomplish a technical task because they are qualified to do so, particularly of priests.”  It is not used in the bible.


Latreia is a noun regarding the “by-hire ritual-worship-service offered to anyone, even of God,” even within synagogues (a).  The Israelites were given the the Law, the regulations for ritual-worship-service (b), and the promises (c).  The old covenant certainly gave the Jews regulations of ritual-worship-service (d).  Now, Jesus warned His disciples of Jewish persecution that was going to come:  “They will put you out of the synagogues.  Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will suppose [it is] a ritual-worship-service to offer unto God” (e), just like Saul was doing in the killing of Christians.  However, Peter considers ordinary Jewish-Christians to be the priests of God (f), but so does Paul telling them to:  “definitively/wholly present/offer your soma bodies (g) as a living sacrifice, holy/consecrated/dedicated-for-special-use and/coupled acceptable/pleasing to God, [which is] your logikos logical/rational (h) latreia ritual-worship-service.”  <Notes> a) John 16:2, b) Exodus 12:25; Hebrews 9:1, c) Romans 9:4, d) Hebrews 9:1, e) John 16:2, f) 1 Peter 2:5-9; Romans 15:16, g) of the flesh – see Identity , h) logically as chosen priests, based on Romans 9-11’s argument.


Leitourgia is a noun, where we get the term “liturgy,” generally referring to “a public service in an honorary religious or civic office, even military, in classical Greek at one’s own expense, that leaves a significant impact on the community,” or later specifically of “official service offered by a leitourgos duly authorized minister, particularly Levitical priests” (a), such as cleansing with blood (b).  The NT uses it of Christians giving sacrificial ministry-service to the Lord, even as a drink-offering (c) as if they were duly-commissioned priests (d), just as Jesus has obtained a ritual-worship-service-position that is as much more excellent than the old just as the [New] Covenant He mediates is better (e).  In addition, leitourgia can also refer to “a gift or benefaction for the relief of the needy” (f).  <Notes> a) Luke 1:23 based on Numbers 8:22, 16:9, 18:4; 2 Chronicles 31:2, b) Hebrews 9:21, c) Philippians 2:17, d) 1 Peter 2:5-9; Romans 15:16, e) Hebrews 8:6, f) 2 Corinthians 9:12; Philippians 2:30.


Leitourgos is a noun that comes from leitos “belonging to the people” and a ergon “work,” thus referring to “an official, duly-authorized servant who works for the good of the community.”  In classical Greek, it means “one who discharges a public office at his own expense” but later generally of any “public servant or servant of the state, like military laborers, servants of a king (a), the priest-servants busy with holy things (b), even of heathen priests in Greek literature.  In the OT LXX and NT it is used of “people impacting the community through their priestly-service.”  Particularly in the NT it speaks of Christians as priests (c); of governing magistrates for God (d); or of angels of God (e); or finally of those who minister to the needs of others (f). <Notes> a) Joshua 1:1; 2 Samuel 3:17-18, b) Hebrews 8:2; Nehemiah 10:39, c) Romans 15:16; 1 Peter 2:5-9, d) Romans 13:6, e) Hebrews 1:7 from Psalms 103:4; cf Hebrews 1:14 leitourgikos, f) Philippians 2:25.


Leitourgikos is an adjective of leitourgos, “given to officially, serving for the good of others” as with the angels of God in Hebrews 1:14, who are the “letourgos ministers like a winds, like a flame of fire” of Hebrews 1:7.


Leitourgeo is the verb form of the words above that means “to officially serve a ruler or community.”  In the OT, it refers to the priestly service within the tabernacle (a) or the temple (b).  In the NT, it refers to OT priests who daily are officially-worship-serving to God by offering repeatedly the same sacrifices that can never take away sins, in contrast to Christ’s single, eternally-effective sacrifice (c).  The prophets and teachers of the church of Antioch were gathered and were officially-worship-serving the Lord Jesus when the Holy Spirit told them to set apart Barnabas and Paul for ministry work (d).  Now since all Christians are priests to God (e), our soma bodies (f) are a temple of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to glorify God by (g), thus offering up of ourselves now as living sacrifices [as a priest offers sacrifices] as their logical/rational latreia ritual-worship-service (h), just as we will also latreuo ritually-worship-serve God in heaven (i), even offering financial gifts to help other Christians (j), and even offering the sacrifice of praise (k).  <Notes> a) Exodos 28:35, 43; 29:30; 30:20; 35:19; 39:26; Numbers 1:50; 3:6, 31, b) 2 Chronicles 31:2; 35:3; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:17, and many more examples, c) Hebrews 10:11-12, 26, d) Acts 13:1-2, e) 1 Peter 2:5-9; Romans 15:16, f) of the flesh – see Identity, g) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, h) Romans 12:1-3, i) Revelations 22:3, j) Romans 15:27, k) Hebrews 13:15-16.


Latreuo is a verb that comes from a latris ‘qualified, hired technical worker,’ thus meaning “to render qualified, technical, acceptable service or ministry, but especially of religious homage or ministry to God, and is also an idiom for worship.”  Latreuo commonly translates the OT Hebrew word abad meaning “service by labor whether voluntarily or as subjects or slaves, especially of serving God by ritualistically performing services, offering gifts and sacrifices, and worshipping as dictated by OT commandments” per Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:12, cited by Matthew 4:10 and Luke 4:8, coupling/linking this latreuo “serving” directly to proskuneo “worshiping.”  Thus I translate it “ritually-worship-serve.”


There is clearly a link between latreuo “serving” and “worshiping,” whether of God the Creator or nations and their idols, strictly prohibited (a) made in the images of creation (b).  The English Standard Version and other bibles often translate latreuo as simply “worship” (c) because of this implied connection, but they are inconsistent because elsewhere they correctly translates it “serving” (d) – see Bible Info for other confusion created by translators.  Again, to combine the ideas I translate it “ritually-worship-serve.”  <Notes> a) Exodus 20:5, 32, 23:24, b) Deuteronomy 8:19, 11:16, 17:3, 29:26, 30:17; 1 Kings 9:6, 9, 16:31, 22:53; 2 Kings 17:16, 21:3, 21; 2 Chronicles 7:19, 22, 33:3; Jeremiah 8:2, 13:10, 16:11, 22:9, 25:6; Daniel 3:12, 14, 18, 28; Acts 7:7, 42 and Romans 1:25, where sebazomai is used only here, meaning “to revere in awe,” though often haphazardly translated “worship” in many bibles, c) Acts 7:42, 24:14, 27:23; Hebrews 9:9, d) Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 7:15, 22:3.


Paul recognizes that the 12 Jewish tribes of Israel hope to attain ‘the promise’ to our forefathers as they earnestly latreuo ritually-worship-serve night and day (a).  The Israelites were given the Law, the ritual-worship-service, an earthly sanctuary, and the promises (b).  Yes, there were godly Jews waiting for the Messiah, like the 84-year old prophetic widow named Anna who didn’t depart from the temple, ritually-worship-serving with fasting and deesis supplicating-prayers night and day (c).  <Notes> a) Acts 26:7, b) Hebrews 9:1; Romans 9:4, c) Luke 2:37.


The Jews do this through “gifts and sacrifices offered, but they are unable to complete-to-perfection the ones who are latreuo ritually-worship-serving in this way, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation” (a).  Every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices . . . and there are priests who offer gifts according to the Law, but they serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things . . . because God told Moses to ‘see that you make everything according to the pattern what was shown you” (b). <Notes> a) Hebrews 9:9-10, b) Hebrews 8:3-5.


Even during the days of the Tabernacle before the Temples were built, there were regulations of latreia ritual-worship-service (a), where priests latreuo ritually-worship-served with sacrifices on altars (b).  Again, the Law is only a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities.  Therefore, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make complete-to-perfection those who proserchomai draw near (c).  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since those ritually-worship-serving, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?  But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.   For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (d).  Even the Day of Atonement wasn’t enough!  That’s why Christ had to come!  <Notes> a) Hebrews 9:1, 6, b) Hebrews 13:10, c) proserchomai:  a Hebraism for “seeking an audience with, approaching, inquiring of, calling on to visit, or be heard by” God, thus closely akin in spelling and meaning to proseuche conversational-prayer and proskuneo worship, d) Hebrews 10:1-4.


However, now Christians are the ones who are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken apart, as we possess unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace by which we might latreuo ritually-worship-serve God with reverence and awe (a).  John the Baptist’s father Zechariah prophesied that God swore to Abraham that we was to be delivered from the hand of our enemies so that we might ritually-worship-serve Him without fear by the means of holiness and righteousness . . . to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the forgiveness of their sins” (b).  <Notes> a) Hebrews 12:28, b) Luke 1:73-77.


Therefore, now Christians are the ones who are the true circumcision despite the claim of the Pharisees and Circumcision Party Jews, because we latreuo ritually-worship-serve by the means of the Spirit of God and/coupled glorying in Christ Jesus, not the Jews who put their confidence in the flesh and circumcision of it (a).  Paul ritually-worship-serves God (b) with a pure conscience (c) by the means of the Spirit of/belonging-to himself in/by/with the gospel of His Son (d).  <Notes> a) Philippians 3:3, b) Acts 27:23, c) 2 Timothy 1:3, d) Romans 1:9.


After Paul talks about the role of Israel in the Last Days in Romans 9-11 explaining that “not all who are descended from Israel are Israel just as not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring” (a) and that “only a remnant of them will be saved” (b), “so, too, at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace (c).  To these ordinary ‘remnant’ Christians, as if NOW the ‘priests of God,’ Paul says:  “to definitively/wholly present/offer your soma bodies [of the flesh] as a living sacrifice, holy/consecrated/dedicated-for-special-use and/coupled acceptable/pleasing to God, [which is] your logikos logical/rational [d] latreia ritual-worship-service.”  To this remnant, Jesus warns of coming Jewish persecution:  “They will put you out of the synagogues.  Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will suppose [it is] a latreia ritual-worship-service to offer to God” (e).  <Notes> a) Romans 9:6-7, b) Romans 9:27, c) Romans 11:5, d) as chosen priests, based on Romans 9-11’s argument, e) John 16:2.


As you can see, there is a lot from the OT moved forward into the NT about latreuo ritually-worship-serving and the other forms of the word, but there are other words for serving used much more in the NT:  25 occurrences for douleuo being a slave/servant, 122 occurrences of doulos slave/servant, 10 occurrences of syndoulos fellow servant-slave, 3 occurrences for doule female slave-servant, 5 occurrences of douleia slavery/bondage, 1 occurrence of doulagogeo subjugate/enslave – too many to look at them all!


Douleuo is a verb meaning “to serve as a doulos slave, this word derived from deo “to tie, bind, ensnare, capture,” having all personal-rights assigned to the owner, to voluntarily (if a bond-servant) or involuntarily give over the personal prerogative to be self-governing.”  This service can be of nations in subjection to other nations (a).  This service can be of Jews bearing the yoke of slavery to the Mosaic Law (b), set free from the guardians and managers set over them as children until the date of sonship-inheritance, thus being no different than a slave as a child until being set free, set free from being enslaved to the stocheion elementary, childlike-education ‘abc’ fundamental principles of this world, common to every religion, even of the Jewish religion, that teaches by rote people what not to touch, handle, taste, etc. through gramma writings that have an appearance of wisdom but are absolutely useless in curbing the indulgences of the flesh (c). <Notes> a) John 8:33; Acts 7:7, b) Galatians 4:25, c) Galatians 4:1-5, 9; Colossians 2:8, 14-23.


Even the prophetic ‘Oracles of God’ used to convert Jews to Christ were considered simple ‘milk’ for infants compared to the ‘solid food’ of learning through practice how to discern good versus evil by the means of the Spirit (a) – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.  However, Christians have been set free from the captivity of the Law (b) by dying with Christ in water-baptism to no longer douleuo serve-as-a-slave God in the palaios ‘old, antiquated, worn-out, useless way’ of the gramma letter, here equated to the Law or old covenant, but in the completely different-in-kind New Covenant Way of the Spirit (c).  Being led by and walking by the steps of the Spirit is where they should be after the Mosaic Law (d).  <Notes> a) Hebrews 5:12-14, b) Galatians 5:1, c) Romans 7:6, d) Romans 8:4, 14; Galatians 5:16, 18, 25.


This douleuo service can be of men being obedient doulos slaves to sin to obey their body’s (a) various passions, pleasures, and appetites of their belly, passing our days in foolishness, disobedience, smooth-talking & flattery for deception, malice, envy, and hatred to one another, which all leads to or ends [as due wages] in death or instead by being obedient doulos slaves to righteous, obedience to God that leads to sanctification/holiness that ends [as a grace-gift] in genuine-life everlasting (b).  However, Paul as a Jewish-Christian wrestles with this present and ongoing battle between serving the Mosaic Law/Principle-Instruction of God within his mind/heart/inner-being and serving the law/principle-instruction of sin within his flesh or bodily members (c), even though as a Christian he was water-baptized so that his old man/self/inner-being was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless/ineffective in order that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (d).  I don’t know one water-baptized Christian who can’t relate to this constant struggle with sin!  Of course, I noticed my greatest victories each time after I was Spirit-baptized or filled by the Spirit, which is what Paul talks about in Romans chapter 8 after describing his struggles in chapter 7 – see the Holiness/Sanctification page!  Maybe that’s why Jesus encourages us to “take up your cross every day and follow Me” (e). <Notes> a) or flesh’s – see Identity, b) Romans 6:12-23, 16:18; Titus 3:3, c) Roman 7:25, d) Romans 6:6, e) Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:38.


This douleuo service can be done by respectfully serving ‘all the better/more’ earthly masters who are fellow, believing brothers (a).  Better yet, obeying with ‘fear and trembling’ reverential awe & respect with a sincere heart as to Christ, not just eye-serving, people-pleasers but as bond-servants of Christ, serving the Lord, doing the will of God from the heart [or heartily] with good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing your reward/inheritance is from the Lord whether a free slave or not (b). This service can be “the older Esau [and descendants] serving the younger Jacob [and descendants]” – no wonder the Pakistani people hate the Jews (c).  <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 6:2, b) Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24.


This douleuo service can NOT be shown to 2 masters at the same time, for either you will hate/despise the one and love/be-devoted-to the other (a).  You could apply this to “sin/fleshly passions versus God/righteousness” (b) or “money versus God” (a).  This service can be Israel’s attempts to obey God as their Father, even if they grumble (c), serving the Law of God with their minds/hearts/inner man, even Paul did (d). <Notes> a) Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13, b) Romans 6:12-23, c) Luke 15:29, d) Romans 7:25.


This douleuo service can be implicitly or explicitly stated as having at one time, being ignorant of the true God, served/worshiped idols or the demons behind them (a).  This service can be serving the Lord Jesus Christ, even with zeal and fervor (b). This douleuo service can be Christians, free from the yoke of slavery to the Law, not using their freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through-the-realizing-channel-of unconditional-love serving one another (c).  This can even be fellow ministers of the gospel serving with each other (d). <Notes> a) 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Galatians 4:8, b) Acts 20:19; Romans 12:11, 14:18; Colossians 3:22-24; Ephesians 6:5-8, c) Galatians 5:1-13, d) Philippians 2:22.


Like other words for “serve” there is a connection between Christian doulos servants/slaves and worship:  In the heavenly city, “a great multitude . . . from every nation . . . standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robes . . . crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb’ . . . these are the ones coming out of the great tribulation . . . before the throne of God and latreuo ritually-worship-serving Him day and night in His temple” (a), and “there will no longer be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His doulos servants will proskuneo worship Him.  They will see His face and His name will be on their foreheads” (b).  When John began to proskuneo worship an angel, the angel told him not to, for “I am a syndoulos fellow-servant/slave with you and your brothers . . .[so] proskuneo worship God” (c) and in another place, “You must not do that!  I am a syndoulos fellow-servant/slave with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book, [so] proskuneo worship God (d). <Notes> a) Revelation 7:9-15, b) Revelation 22:2-4, c) Revelation 19:10, d) Revelation 22:9.


So this doulos and various forms for ‘slave or servant’ is broader than latreuo ritual-worship-serving, but in many cases synonymous.  But we see the NT moving away from the latter, so well described in the gramma writings of the OT, and more to the former because the NT moves away from “a form/appearance of godliness that denies its dunamis, dynamite-like enabling-power of it,” which is “the promise” of the Holy Spirit in the completely different-in-kind New Covenant.



Video: Worship - BT2 - Part 2: Greek Words for Worship in the Old and New Testaments

Part 2


Prokunetes  is a worshipper, the one who proskuneo worships.  It’s used only in John 4:23 for the true/genuine/real worshippers that God is seeking – see below under proskuneo.


Proskuneo comes from “pros towards & interfacing with + kuneo kiss = to kiss towards,” but practically it means to kiss another’s hand as a dog licking the hand; kissing the hem of one’s garment; Egyptians did by throwing a kiss toward a deity with outstretched hand; kissing the ground when prostrating in reverent submission before a superior (a); fall before another (b); bow or kneel before another (c) even before Jesus or God in worship (d) or mockingly of Jesus (e); of mistakenly kneeling before angels (i). In the OT, proskuneo bowing or kneeling showed respect for authority, reverence, submission, and worship (f).  In the future, everybody will kneel to worship Jesus (g).  Prophecy in the churches will cause unbelievers to be cut to the heart as their secrets are disclosed, even falling on their faces and thus worshipping God (h). <Notes> a) Revelation 5:14, 11:16; Matthew 18:26; 1 Corinthians 14:25, b) Matthew 2:11; Acts 10:25; Revelation 4:10, 7:11, 19:10, 22:8, c) Matthew 4:9; Mark 15:19; Ephesians 3:14; Acts 21:5, d) Matthew 2:11, 9:18, 15:25, 20:20, 28:9; Mark 5:6; Luke 5:8; Acts 7:60; by angels Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4:10, 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4, 22:3, e) Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:19, f) Exodus 12:27; Hebrews 11:21; Romans 11:4, g) Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10, h) 1 Corinthians 14:25, i) Revelation 19:10, 22:8-9.


The key NT verses for proskuneo worshipping are in John 4:10-24.  Talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus said  “If you knew the grace-gift of God, and WHO it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you ‘living water’ (the Holy Spirit – see Prophetic-Rhema – BT12) . . . The woman said to him . . . Our fathers have proskuneo worshiped on this mountain [of Samaria], but you say that in Jerusalem [in the Temple] is the place where people ought to presently/ongoingly proskuneo worship.’  Jesus said to her, “Woman, have trusting-relying-faith in Me, the hour is coming when in fact neither on this mountain nor in fact in Jerusalem shall you actually proskuneo worship the Father . . . but an hour is coming and now is when the true/genuine/real prokunetes worshipers shall actually proskuneo worship the Father by the means of [singular] Spirit and/coupled [singular] Truth, and/coupled for-this-reason-is-that the Father is presently/ongingly zeteo earnestly-seeking/craving such people who are presently/ongoingly/routinely proskuneo worshipping Him. God [is] Spirit and/coupled to-those who are presently/ongoingly/routinely proskuneo worshipping Him by the means of [singular] Spirit and/coupled [singular] Truth, it is presently/ongoingly dei ‘absolutely-necessary’ to presently/ongoingly proskuneo worship.”  This is another way of saying, don’t stop the true/genuine/real worship you are already doing, but also an exhortation to start doing it if you aren’t already!


Although the definite article isn’t used forSpirit’ or “Truth”, the words are singular in the dative case and always used by Jesus to refer to “by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit of God,” as the context made crystal clear, and always refers to Jesus as “by the means/instrument of The Truth” (b), as the other NT writers routinely do also – see Spirit – Promise and The Truth pages.  <Notes> a) Douglas Petrovich wrote a great master’s thesis “The Meaning of ‘En Pneumati’ in Ephesians 5:18” in 1996, b) Truth without article:  John 1:14, Ephesians 4:21; Truth with article John 1:17, 8:32 [is the Son in 8:38], 14:6, 1 John 5:20.


The Samaritan woman wanted to talk about WHERE to worship, but Jesus redirected the conversation to HOW to worship and WHO the mediator between God and man is for a completely different-in-kind New Covenant – Jesus Christ (a), which is NOW independent of WHERE to worship. This verse absolutely should not be translated as “in human spirit” as some bibles erroneously translate (Message Bible, etc.).  How dare they add words! Translating the preposition en with pneuma in the dative case en pneumati as “in spirit” as if the “dative of location” obscures the meaning of the context – it’s HOW, the means, or instrument by which people are going about worshipping that Jesus is concerned about and addressing, not what location or WHERE they do it at.  By using “in” the translators also make it very vague of what Jesus meant – another case of making the bible “mysterious.”  Are we to envision ourselves praising the Lord while inside the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Godhead, or Universal One?  This is very New Age!  Also, translating “[singular] truth” as or “in sincerity” also misses Jesus making Himself the focal point of the entire conversation and the many references to Himself as being “The Truth,” integrally related to “The Spirit of The Truth” (b), because the Lord is the Spirit (c).  <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 9:15, 12:24, b) John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 1 John 4:6, 5:6, c) Acts 5:9, 16:7; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Galatians 4:6.


Philippians 3:3 confirms this interpretation of “by the means of Spirit and Truth” and of who “the true/genuine/real worshippers are,” not necessarily the Jews visiting their places of WHERE to worship and performing liturgical rituals of worship, for “We [Christians now] are the [true] circumcision, who by the means/instrument of [singular] Spirit of God latreuo ritually-worship-serve and/coupled glory/boast/vaunt/rejoice by the means/instrument of Jesus Christ, that is, absolutely not in fact peitho having already been [with ongoing results] ‘confident, trusting, convinced, persuaded, or compliant with’ by the means/instrument of [singular] flesh.”


Themight and powerof the flesh through works of obedience is the essence of the Jewish old covenant religion, but the gospel logos message prophesied by Zechariah 4:6 is all about replacing this under a completely different-in-kind New Covenant to “by the means of My Spirit through trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ, WHO is The Truth.”  The two always belong together, for Jesus told the Samaritan woman that He was the ONE who would give her the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit (a).  The whole conversation of the gospel revolves around Jesus:  “WHO do you say that I am?” (b), and Christ’s answer of “I am the Son of God” (c) and “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (d) is what got Him killed, but our trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s Identity is our only limitation (e).  See the Spirit-Power page for the dunamis, dynamite-like enabling-power of worship under the completely different-in-kind New Covenant. <Notes> a) John 15:26, 16:7, 20:22; Ephesians 4:8, b) Matthew 16:15; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20, c) John 10:36, d) John 14:10, e) John 4:12.


Worship is related to praise and thanksgiving!  The beginning of the Lord’s Prayer model is ‘hallowing’ the name/authority of God (a).  Mary megaluno magnified/exalted the Lord, her spirit rejoicing in God my Savior for He who is mighty has done great things for me and hagios holy is His name” (b).  Hagiozo means “to regard as special, separate, set-apart, consecrated, sanctified, pure and unmixed, or holy” – see the Holy page.  We see this same megaluno magnifying/exalting of the Lord after the God-fearing Gentiles who while listening to Peter preach to them the gospel had the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on them.  The way Peter knew this was NOT “by faith” but they were speaking in tongues and/coupled megaluno magnifying/exalting of the Lord, which is what happened to the Jews on the Day of Pentecost (c) – see Spirit-Baptism and Grace-Gifts pages!  <Notes> a) Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2; Isaiah 29:23, b) Luke 1:46-49, c) Acts 2:4, 11, 10:44-48.


The name of Jesus was megaluno magnified/exalted in Ephesus after a lot of healing by Paul was done but demons clobbered Jewish exorcists trying to get in on the action (a).  It was Paul’s prayer that Christ would be megaluno magnified/exalted in his body, whether by life or by death (b). In the OT we see “singing praises” related to “bowing down and worshiping” (c).  In the NT, we are encouraged:  “Through Christ, let us continually offer up a sacrifice [as if we were priests] of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips that acknowledge His name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for SUCH SACRIFICES are pleasing to God” (d).  This is patterned after the OT “thanksgiving sacrifice” (e) and exhortation to “offer sacrifices of thanksgiving” (f).  <Notes> a) Acts 19:17, b) Philippians 1:20, c) 2 Chronicles 29:30; Psalms 66:4, d) Hebrews 13:15-16, e) Leviticus 7:12, f) Psalms 107:22, 116:17.


There is also a strong relationship between worship and prayer.  In www.sermonindex.net, the NIDNTT writes that “In OT prayer…the supplicant never forgot that he was addressing the holy, almighty God. The frequent use of the verb proskuneo for worship therefore indicated the customary bowing, kneeling, or prostrate posture in prayer.”


The Hebrew idea of proserchomai drawing-near to God in order that God will draw near to us is actually an idiom for worship (a).  Notice that proseuchomai conversationally-praying and proserchomai drawing-near sound almost the same, both are used 86 times in the NT, and both have the prefix pros for “the bending, kneeling, throwing, or falling on one’s face toward and interfacing with” because both are nearly the same idea!  See the proseuche Conversational-Prayer page to understand this devoted, waiting, watching, listening, worshipful dialogue of prayer and how it differs from the monologue of deesis supplication-prayer or aiteo asking-prayer and other types of prayer. <Notes> a) James 4:8, Hebrews 7:19, Ezekiel 43:19, Zephaniah 3:2, and Isaiah 58:2 actually uses eggizo to emphasize drawing extremely close/near, but these verses use proserchomai:  of approaching God’s grace through full assurance that God exists and rewards those who have trusting-relying-faith in Christ:  Hebrews 4:16, 7:25, 10:22, 11:6; of attaching/connecting oneself to Christ to participate in the benefits procured by Him:  1 Peter 2:4, cf. John 15:1-8 abiding in Christ; warnings of NOT drawing-close-to the  sound-messages of the Lord Jesus Christ but especially not teaching them:  1 Timothy 6:3; of priests about to offer sacrifices: Leviticus 21:17, 21; Deuteronomy 21:5, that can’t make anybody perfect as Jesus can: Hebrews 10:1; of seeking God’s counsel:  1 Samuel 14:36.






As Christian musicians, let us move past the “form and appearance of godliness” with so much emphasis on outward rituals of worship as so many religions have, even that of the Old Testament.  The New Covenant isn’t just more of the old but somehow better.  By definition and all the prophecies and descriptions of it in the Old and New Testament, it is completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, and sharing nothing with its predecessors.  If we borrow from the old “shadow or copy of things to come” we are building a foundation of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit.  If we borrow from the world’s religions or businesses and organizations, we are adding stones to The Great Wall to further quench the Spirit.


Instead of concentrating on what our body is to DO during worship, how many songs to play, the order of the songs to progress the mood, getting the lighting and sound just right, and all the other trappings of external worship that come from religion, let us focus on offering our minds, hearts, and bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord, as rightful slaves of our Master-Owner Jesus Christ, for this is our logical, rational worship-service now.


Instead of worrying about whatmight and power” external resources and internal abilities we can “work-up” FOR God as all religions are about, let us surrender our control completely to the Lord so that worship can become a “by the means of My Spirit” experience within the actual presence of the Lord, instead of some cleverly concocted environment by churches with special mood lighting, wind and fog machines, and million-dollar sound systems!  Let us humbly lay our skills and talents down and trust that God will play in and through us for anointed, prophetic, and spontaneous music!  Let God take our mind and emotions to wherever He wants!


Let us put aside the “abc” elementary principles of all religions that focus on rules, regulations, and commandments in order to curb the indulgence of the flesh, but they simply don’t work – even biblical ones.  The New Covenant is about experiential relationship ginosko knowledge of Jesus and being filled with the Spirit to walk by the Spirit!  The ‘milk’ is bible writings to spell it all out for you, to force-feed you like a baby.  The ‘solid food’ is practicing to learn “by the Spirit’ how to discern good from evil!


We are ALL priests and saints, not just some “special people” on stage!  Do those on stage not realize they are only “equipper” coaches and facilitators to help the saints do the actual work of ministry?  Then why are they hogging the stage?  Why are they doing all the work of the ministry?  Did we all come out to see a concert?  Or just to watch the conductors?  Did we all go to the football game to watch the coaches play instead of the players?  Why do we even have a stage and an audience?  Where is that in the family of God model?  Where is the agape love feast the early Church regularly enjoyed?  Where are the “prophets speaking one after another with everybody weighing in to be encouraged and learn together?”  Where is “each one of you bring a teaching, revelation, word of knowledge, prophecy, psalm, hymn, or even a spontaneous song by the Spirit?”  Where is Body-of-Christ-ministry?  Or is church to be more like a seminar or business meeting where 1 person talks and the rest just listen and watch?


Shouldn’t our serving of God be just like worship, in adoration, awe, reverence, praise, and thanksgiving?  Or just out of religious duty?  Or just for a paycheck?  Let us draw very close beside the Lord through prayer that is worship and worship that is prayer, trusting that God will then draw very close beside us!  The Lord’s presence and enabling-power of His Spirit will be our reward!  Let us be in a dialogue conversation with the Lord the whole time, not just offering a monologue of desires and demands, then grumbling when “our vending-machine God gets stuck.”





Let our worship be totally focused on WHO Jesus is, The Truth, and HOW to worship Him – by the means of His Holy Spirit.  Leave all the external details of when, how long, and where to Him!  These things have been the focus of religion for too long now!  Why are we even looking at our watches?  Are we telling God to fit into our plans and schedules?  Are we saying there is somewhere better to be?  If Jesus is there with us “where 2 or 3 are gathered in My name,” why are we grumbling if there aren’t hundreds of people gathering?  Why are we even making buildings to house these hundreds, when we can “teach one another” and “build one another up” and “admonish one another” and all other Body-of-Christ-Ministry any where and any place when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name?  Where are the NT models for all the “might and power” resources the modern church spends?  Haven’t we deviated from “simplicity that is devotion to Christ” and the NT priorities given to us?


Lord, thank You for calling me to be a saint, holy or separated for your special purposes, a priest within a priesthood to latreuo worship-serve You, now under the completely different-in-kind New Covenant by offering my entire Identity – my soul’s intellect, emotions, and will-power along with my body’s members – as a living sacrifice on Your altar.  Burn out of me ALL that is not holy for Your purposes!


Lord, I know that I am NOT my own.  I am not the “captain of my own ship” to say “I did it my way,” but “I pledged my conscience toward You to be a good one” and confessed that ‘Jesus is Lord’ when I was water-baptized.  Therefore I died with Christ and was raised with Him to no longer live for myself but to now as a willing doulos slave of Yours to live for You.  I went from being a doulos slave to sin that “steals, destroys, and kills” resulting in eternal separation from God to being a doulos slave to righteousness that “frees the captives and gives us genuine-life even super-abundantly,” resulting in communion with You forever.  I was also set free from douleuo slave-serving God through the old, antiquated, worn-out, abc’s elementary, ‘milk’ way of gramma written commandments, ordinances, precepts, and regulations to douleuo slave-serving by the completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, ‘solid food’ New Way of the Holy Spirit.  Instead of ‘getting wrapped up’ in the ‘milk’ of bible writings that feed people like babies, I can ‘get wrapped up’ in the ‘solid food’ of learning directly from You by “the One Teacher” of the “Holy Spirit who will guide me into ALL the Truth so that I have absolutely no need of any other teacher.”


Lord, I know that I cannot serve 2 masters at the same time – I will end up despising one or the other!  Now my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit that dwells within me, so I honor and glorify You with my body.  Now I only have 2 commandments to keep watch over – having trusting-relying-faith in the Son and unconditionally-loving one another the way Christ did.  Therefore, I present every part of myself to You as a sacrificial offering, including my voice and instruments in praise and worship.  I draw close beside You in reverential-awe “fear and trembling” through conversational-prayer and worship, trusting that You will draw close beside You and transform me into Your likeness with every increasing glory as I do so.


Lord, I want to be one of the “genuine worshippers that You are cravingly-searching for in order to find.  Find me as I “worship You by the means of singular Spirit and/coupled singular Truth,” which is clearly Your Holy Spirit and Your Son, “the Way, the Truth, and the Genuine-Life” who “sets men free indeed from the slavery of practicing sin!”  As I do, routinely fill me with the “living water” of Your Holy Spirit so that I will never again be thirsty, restlessly “looking for zoe genuine-life in all the wrong places” and thus “miss the target,” which is the definition of sin.  Thank You so much that now I need no longer concern myself with the “outward form or appearance” and “might and power” details of ritual worship as so many religions do, but have been set free to focus instead on “sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” even by “making melody to You with a sincere heart.”


Lord, I will magnify, exalt, thank, and praise You for the great things You have done and will do in and through me.  I will also draw close by You in humble, kneeling, bowing, devoted, worshipful, patiently-waiting, watching, and listening dialogue of conversational-prayer so that I will see and hear from You in order that I may live, keep in step, and walk by the means of Your Spirit of holiness.




Click on Pic



Spiritual Education, Worship, Worship Music, Greek words for worship of God, Liturgy, Worship Services, Worship rituals, Serving God, Bond-Servants for God, True Worship by Spirit and Truth, Praise and Thanksgiving, Magnify, Exalt, Worshipful Prayer, Conversational-Prayer, Drawing-Near Prayer, Intimacy with God

Categories: Worship

Worship – BT1:  Old Testament Hebrew Words for Worship




Video:  Worship - BT1:  Old Testament Hebrew Words for Worship



Worship – BT1:  Old Testament Hebrew Words for Worship



Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.


YADAH (yaw-daw’):  to revere, worship, adore, praise, laud, give thanks, or confess (a) with the extended hand (b) like towdah, to “lift up holy hands unto the Lord” in the same manner as “physically throwing a stone or arrow at or away (c), or to bemoan by the wringing of the hands, or to cast or throw down (d).”  It carries the meaning of surrender as a young child says to a parent – “pick me up, I’m all yours.”  See Genesis 29:35; 2 Chronicles 7:6, 20:21; Psalms 9:1, 28:7, 33:2, 42:5, 11, 49:18; Isaiah 12:1. <Notes> a) the name of God, b) Hiphil and Hithpael forms, c) Qal form, d) Piel form.


Yadah in practice: I lift my hands to Him and list the ways I am surrendering myself to Him.  With my hands uplifted, I surrender to my God my spirit, soul, and body, totally committing myself to Him.


TEHILLAH (teh-hil-law’):  to praise, adore, or give thanks to God, to sing especially a spontaneous kainos/chadash completely-different-in-kind, superior “NEW song,” singing from a melody in your heart by adding words to it, a special kind of singing that is unprepared or unrehearsed. This brings tremendous unity to the Body-of-Christ.  It’s singing straight to God.  You can move into tehillah anytime. Singing it the second time would be zamar.  Is it true that “God inhabits the praises of His people” as we’ve often heard people say Psalms 22:3 means?  See note ‘a’ below for the answer.  God certainly has manifested Himself in the midst of such exuberant singing!  For verses of Hebrew tehillah praise, see Psalms 22:3, 34:1, 40:3, 66:2, 2 Chronicles 20:22.  For verse of Greek epainos praise see Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; Philippians 1:11; 4:8; cf. 1 Peter 1:7.


<Notes> a) Psalms 22:3 in the Hebrew says:  “You [are] qadosh holy-set apart-pure, [You are] yashab continually sitting-on-a-throne/inhabiting-dwelling-in-a-house [?] [plural] praises of Israel.”  The Hebrew yashab as Qal, Active Participle is a simple, casual action of unbroken continuity in any tense but commonly in the present, as here.  Looking at the uses of this Hebrew verb, God “was from old and still is doing this [Psalms 55:19], and will be forever throughout all generations [Psalms 9:7, 29:10; 102:12; Lamentations 5:19] sitting in the heavens [Psalms 2:4], and sitting in Zion [Psalms 2:11] enthroned between the cherubim of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies [1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 1 Chronicles 13:6; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalms 99:1], sitting as king [Psalms 29:10] on a throne [Exodus 11:5, 12:29 of Pharaoh; Deuteronomy 17:8 of Israel’s kings; 1 Kings 1:13, 17, 20 of Solomon on David’s throne] as a place of just judgment [Psalms 9:7 of God; Psalms 122:5 of David’s judges] over any earthly calamity [Psalms 29:10].


Yashab also has the meaning of “abide, remain, stay, or tarry” or “dwell in as one’s abode, house, or home” and “even of as a dwelling for marriage,” much like the Greek word meno for “abide, remain connected to, or inhabit” does.  See A 11-21-2021 Vision about Meno abiding.  There are so many OT & NT references to God viewing His people as married to Him, part of a household, family, and home, so naturally in the OT where the people gathered before/with Him this was the temple.  Many texts correctly insert the verb [are] before the adjective qadoshholy-set apart-pure’ because to treat it as a predicate adjective.  The next [You are] is inserted because the verb yashab is in the 2nd person singular and it’s in the Active Participle “You are continually sitting.”


The next [?] insertion is where too many bibles get crazy!  It makes the most sense to insert [of the] because of the meaning of yashab regarding God from many other verses as “sitting on a throne, as a king, inside the His house or temple where He permanently dwells, inhabits, or dwells.”  Thus His ‘temple or house’ is the place “[of the] praises of Israel.”  Without the insertion you have:  “[You are] yashab continually sitting-on-a-throne/inhabiting-dwelling-in-a-house [plural] praises of Israel” which sounds very awkward, though some translations leave it alone like TPT, EHV, GNT, NIRV, and NIV.  Some try smooth it out by treating “[plural] praises of Israel” as an appositive telling us what kind of “House” God dwells in, so “God inhabits a house, [the] praises of Israel” interpreted as “God inhabits the praises of Israel” as with: KJV, AKJV, NKJV, ASV, BRG, GNV, MEV, WEB.


This seems to be a stretch from the context and other ways yashab is used in the OT.  Is the type of “house” really the main point of the verb yashab?  Isn’t it the action of the verb “sitting on a throne located in house where God permanently dwells?”  It makes more sense to simple insert [of the], so “God continually is sitting on a throne while permanently residing in a house [of/belonging-to] [the] praises of Israel.”  That’s where Jews went to praise God collectively!  The bigger understanding is:  “You . . . [are] continually sitting on the throne [in the Holy of Holies between the cherubim] while inhabiting or dwelling in Your house [of prayer and worship] [of/belonging-to] [the] praises of Israel” and this connects so well with the first part:  “You [are] holy-set apart-pure,” because God’s throne is in the Holy of Holies!  This also fits the Greek translation that makes the 2 associated parts also very clear.


In Psalms 22:3 the Greek says: “You [are] en ‘in, by, or with’ [plural] [the] Holies [as predicate adjective requiring the verb ‘are’ to be added], [You singular] actually, presently/ongoingly katoikeo ‘down-from-dwelling-into, inhabiting or settling down as a permanent residence or home in’ the [singular] epainosfitting or apt commendation, praise, or laudation’ [of] Israel.”  This very well could be saying 2 ideas:  The 1st idea:  “You [are] located-in [the] Holies” – that is “The Holy of Holies” special, separate, purified place behind the curtain in the temple, sitting between the cherubim of the ark of the covenant, in Zion as the holy city of Jerusalem, because there are so many references to this – followed by the 2nd idea of: “[You singular] actually, presently/ongoingly katoikeo ‘down-from-dwelling-into, inhabiting or settling down as a permanent residence or home in’ the [singular] epainos ‘fitting or apt commendation, praise, or laudation’ [of/belonging-to] Israel.”


Certainly, the temple is “My Father’s oikos inhabited-house/home/resident-dwelling-place, even of a household or family” [John 2:16] and “My oikos house that shall be called an oikos house of prayer” [Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46 citing Isaiah 56:7 where the Hebrew bayith means “a dwelling habitation, even belonging to a household or family”].  The 2nd idea is dependent on the 1st idea:  God comes down from heaven to continually inhabit, settle down, or dwell in His house or temple where Israel gathers as a household/family in prayer with Him only because is sits on this throne between the cherubim of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, thus God is “located-in [the Holies].  The ‘household’ praises God in His house where He is enthroned in ‘the Holies.’


The Amplified Bible indicates these 2 ideas:  “You are holy, O You who are enthroned [in the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].”  Similar is The New English Translation:  “You are holy; You sit as king receiving the praises of Israel.”  The Contemporary English Version also says:  “You are the holy God, ruling from your throne and praised by Israel.”  The Evangelical Heritage Version says:  “You are seated as the Holy One, praised by Israel,” and similarly is The Good News Translation and New International Version:  “You are enthroned as the Holy One, the One whom Israel praises.”  The Passion Translation comes close but adds words:  “I know that you are most holy.  You are God-Enthroned, the [singular] praise [like the Greek instead of the Hebrew plural ‘praises’] of Israel.” The Living Bible loosely translates:  “You are holy.  The praises of our father surrounded your throne.”


However, as mentioned above, there are a lot of bibles that try to say that God “inhabits or dwells, as in a house [IN or IN the midst of: JUB] or enthroned ON or UPON [NASB] or [sit as King’s UPON: ERV] the praises of Israel [or the praises are Your throne: EXB, ICB, NCV, and NLV]” without correctly perceiving the more natural connections of singular “Holy” and plural “Holies” and so many references to the temple that contains “the Holy of Holies” as God’s house/household where God’s people joined Him as a family.  Many that do make this mistake are patterned after the King James Version:  AKJV, NKJV, ASV, BRG, CSB, ERB, ESV, GNV, GW, HCSB, ISV, LEB, MEV, NOG, NLT, NRSV, OJB, RSV, VOICE, and WEB.  The Message Bible really takes liberty:  “You are indifferent, above it all, leaning back on the cushions of Israel’s praise.”


Can you see how the Greek and Hebrew texts can say different things and how so many bibles can even change the meaning of these so we end up with so many different doctrines – see Bible Info?  Many charismatic churches quote this verse to say “God inhabits the praises of His people” to justify LONG worship services, but is that what the text really says?  Definitely not explicitly!  Certainly, God’s Holy of Holies in Israel’s temple was His dwelling place and house.  It was also where Israel gathered as a family or household to meet Him in prayer and worship, and many times God manifested Himself to them right then and there.  However, there were many times God said their actions in the temple were in vain because it was just lip-service.


However, NOW the house of God or dwelling place is in Christian hearts by the Holy Spirit, and “wherever 2 or 3 gather in My name/authority,” Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “there I am IN the midst of you.”  It doesn’t take much to be a ‘family or household together WITH God.’  Now, God is “enthroned in” our hearts, for “the kingdom of God is inside you” – see Kingdom – BT1.  In a church service, God is “enthroned or inhabits/dwells in a house” ONLY because Christians are there with God inside them!  The church is NOT the building, but “the called-out ones.”


So, is it really true that “God is enthroned or dwells/inhabits in/on/upon the praises of God’s people” as if “the praises were His throne?”  The text doesn’t say this, though it sure sounds like a neat idea!  Certainly as we “perserchomai/eggizo draw near/close-beside God” – a Hebrew idiom for worshipful, listening proseuche conversational-prayer – He will likewise “draw near/close-beside us” per James 4:8.  There are other verses like Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 that imply a “filling-to-completion [and overflowing] by the Spirit” that “allows the logos message of Christ dwell in us richly” when we share together in Body-Ministry “psalms, hymns, and Spirit-kind-of odes (spontaneous psalms or hymns by the Spirit).  We also see “singing and praying” closely associated in Acts 16:25 and James 5:13, even in tongues per 1 Corinthians 14:14-15.


The Lord did show me that AS we express our love to Him we become receptive to His Unconditional-Love for us and so we begin to experience more of Him and we feel more ‘in love’ with Him, just like this happens in a marriage relationship.  However, that doesn’t mean He just showed up because we praised Him, or decided to set up His throne among us or somehow “on top of our praises” – like it could ever hold Him!  This is very transactional, conditional, and manipulative on our part!  He “never left us” but is “always with us” as so much of the NT emphasizes!  Prayer and worship is not somehow ‘wooing’ God to come to us, but moving ourselves closer ‘in awareness’ or ‘acknowledgment” – another meaning of ginosko experiential, relational knowing – to God who is already “within us, closer than our breath” by “opening the eyes and ears of our heart,” as NT often prays per Acts 26:18, 27; Ephesians 1:18; and Revelation 3:18, to eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know and genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know this to be true.  It already is true, but we have to get past gnosis informational-knowledge in our head from the bible!


Tehillah in practice:  A “NEW song” is singing (a) spoken praise (b) – see Spontaneous Music – BT7!  This can be done in the Spirit (c) or by the mind’s understanding (c). Out of the 7 Hebrew and Greek words for worship, tehillah is the only praise that scripture says God inhabits, the kind that is spontaneous praise and worship. Consequently, this is where prophetic words are sung.  Corporate worship is one thing but wait until you experience tehillah praise!  It is purely orchestrated and conducted by the Spirit alone – an awesome experience indeed. Only anointed musicians can enter into this type of praise, and only if God is making a point of showing up. Generally, only the anointed will be able to feel this move of God.  This is exactly what I’ve experienced as a musician many times – and what I want much more of through this BLOG website, and the reason you should read about “might and power” skill vs. “by My Spirit” anointing! <Notes> a) like zamar, b) like halel, which is yadah, towdah, and shabach combined, c) in tongues vs. the mind’s ‘fruitful’ productivity – 1 Corinthians 14:14-15.


Barak (baw-rak’):  To bless (a) by kneeling or bowing (b). To give praise, salutation, and reverence to God as an act of adoration.  It implies continually and consciously giving place to God, blessing the Lord, extolling virtue. There is a sense of kneeling and blessing God as an act of adoration. <Notes> a) Piel, Niphal, Pual, and Hithpael forms, b) the primitive root, Qal and Hiphil forms.


Barak in practice: To bow, kneel or to do this with the intent in my heart that He is my KING and I yield to HIM. I am acknowledging Him as KING and GOD. Sing the scripture Psalm 103, which tell us how to bless the Lord and then goes on to enumerate His blessings:  unconditionally-loving kindness, satisfaction redemption, honor, and renewal. We bless the Lord by remembering all of these things.


Halal (haw-lal’):   As a primitive root it means to be clear (a); to shine, figuratively of God’s favor (b); to flash forth light (c); to praise, boast, glory or commend (d); to make a show or appear foolish or absurd or even mad, even through clamorous noise of celebration (e).  See 1 Chronicles 16:4, 23:5, 30, 25:3, 29:13, Nehemiah 12:24.  This word appears over 110 times in the OT! <Notes> a) originally of sound, but usually of color – I’ve often seen colors in visions of music, b) Qal form, c) Hiphil form, d) Qal, Piel, Pual, Hithpael forms, e) Poel and Hithpoel forms.


Halal in practice:  This combines the spoken praise of yadah, towdah, and shabach.


Towdah (to-daw’):  To give worship by the extension of the hand (a) in adoration or confessional agreement with what has or will be done according to God’s promises. Specifically, this can refer to a choir, line, or company of worshipers. This word is commonly found in connection with sacrifice – applying the giving of thanks or praise as a sacrifice, i.e., a thank-offering, before reception or manifestation of our request. This is thanking God for something that I don’t yet have in the natural realm. This form of praise goes in operation just because God’s promises are true. <Notes> a) like yadah.


Towdah in practice:  Declare, “Father, I thank YOU that YOUR promises are TRUE.”  As we raise our hearts and hands in praise to the Lord, it involves a sacrifice, especially if one is very sick in the body. The fleshly mind would fight and ridicule this particular action, but there is great exercise of trusting-relying-faith in towdah as praise. The lifting of the hand symbolizes confessional agreement. The right hand symbolizes my confessional agreement/covenant with my Father.  As I go through bible verses for logos messages and especially His prophetic rhema words to me, God is eido mentally ‘seen’ extending His right hand to me. That’s this covenant. When He extends His right hand to me, He’s saying to me – “ALL THAT I AM IS YOURS,” and when I extend my right hand to Him, I am saying “All that I am is yours and I confessionally agree with what You are saying.” It is the ‘sacrifice’ that God honors through performing a miracle in our lives. The attitude for towdah is:  I’m thanking God. I’m confessionally-agreeing with God that it is as He says. I don’t care what the situation looks like. I’m agreeing with what His logos message or rhema words say.  Example:  “Father, I thank You that I am healed.”  See Psalm 42:4, 50:23; Jeremiah 17:26.


Zamar (zaw-mar’):  To ‘sing’ with the use of instruments, i.e. to psalm, strike with the fingers. To make music, which can also be accompanied by the voice.  It is one of the musical verbs for praise in the book of Psalms.  It carries the idea of making music in praise to God as in Psalm 92:1. The word zamar also means to touch the strings, and refers to praise that involves instrumental worship as in Psalm 150.  This word is usually translated “sing praises.”  There is much written in the BLOG about instrumental worship being anointed, prophetic, and spontaneous, even if there is no vocal accompaniment.  See those links!


Zamar in practice:  This is likely the attitude and practice of singing and playing the Psalms.


Shabach (shaw-bakh):  to soothe, stroke or pet, still, or pacify (a); to laud, praise, commend, boast in, congratulate (b) by addressing in a loud tone, by a loud adoration or shout!  This word implies that testimony is praise. The phrase “shout unto the Lord” can be understood as the action of shabach. It is not just being loud!  I’ve seen a lot of Worship-Teams think that playing louder is better, that it stirs the congregation up to be more fervent towards God.  It may work for some, but others see it as a manipulating “fleshly” gimmick, and those with hearing aids are simply overwhelmed – they can’t hear a word sung!  Instead you should have the attitude of putting your whole being into it, an attitude of being totally uninhibited.  I’ve heard some prophetic worship leaders correctly hear/speak about this during worship – see Media-BT2.  See Psalm 117:1, 63:3-4. <Notes> a) Piel and Hiphil forms, b) Piel and Hitpael forms.


Shabach in practice:   I will testify and proclaim with an unashamed, loud voice the GLORY, TRIUMPH, POWER, MERCY, and Unconditional-LOVE OF GOD!


Selah:  This is another word possibly used for praise. Many will tell you it means to pause and reflect. This word is found in the Psalms of David and the book of Habakkuk.  Scholars have speculated its meaning since 270 B.C., when the OT was translated into Greek.  Since the Psalms were actually songs set to music, many conclude that selah are simply directions to musicians. They feel that selah was not a sung word at all. Rather, it told musicians to play louder or faster, reprise a verse, etc. But a Jewish expert, Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, offers a different, more fitting view. Her book, The Music of the Bible Revealed, written in French, states that selah was not an instruction. In fact, she concludes that it is part of the lyrics. Though she gives no formal definition for the word, she believes that, like “Amen” at the close of a prayerselah stressed the importance or reality of what was said. Personally, I believe this is where the Lord could come in to reveal what He was saying in the music through prophecy, logos messages of wisdom or knowledge. That is why no one can figure out what it really means. However we know that the musicians were all anointed and prophetic!  So this only makes sense to me.


Selah in practice:   I always have felt it a little strange that during prayer in many churches, the keyboardist feels the need to fill in the silence with some kind of quiet music.  Maybe silence is exactly what we need to hear the “still, quiet voice” of the Lord (a).  There has been much written in the Knowledge page about “being still (or quiet) to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know the Lord” (b). This element is also present in devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, proseuche conversational-prayer.  Privately and in assembly, we shouldn’t be afraid (or too quickly bored) to “be still and quiet” before the Lord so that we can actually hear directly-spoken prophetic rhema words from Him! <Notes> a) 1 Kings 19:11-13, b) Psalms 46:10.






As Christian musicians, would it hurt us to lovingly lift our hands up to our heavenly Father like a little child wants to be picked up?  Will we surrender to the Lord?  Will we adore and give thanks to Him?  Do we believe that God will actually inhabit the “new song” tehillah praise that is done spontaneously from the heart unto the Lord?  This is where anointing and prophecy happens!  Will we be humble enough to bow or kneel before His throne?  Do we have the faith to thank God ahead of time for His promises to listen to our prayers and to care for us, even if we feel terrible and it’s a sacrifice to do so?  Will we strike (percussion) or pluck to psalm for the Lord, whether we sing or not?  Will we shout unto the Lord?  Will we even jump up and twirl unto the Lord?  Will we be still and reflect on God’s goodness?  The Jews sure could teach Gentile Christians a thing or two about worshiping the Lord – it’s a shame many don’t know who the Lord is!  What I see throughout all these words is the attitude of the heart, which is what the Lord is looking at anyway.  If we get this right before God, the bodily manifestations will naturally reflect this with love, joy, and peace!





Lord, I lift up my hands to You like a little child wanting you to hold me in Your arms.  I stick out my right hand in confessional agreement with You!  I need Your comforting love, wisdom, and strength!  I surrender every part of myself to You.  As a priest you called me to be, I give You the sacrifice offerings of thanksgiving and praise.  I will sing and even “pluck or strike the strings” of my heart unto You, even while playing an instrument as with a Psalm, even spontaneously as a “new song,” even prophetically, and even in tongues – all as You anoint me by Your Holy Spirit.  I know that You “oppose the proud but give grace to the humble.”  Therefore I will also bow or kneel down in surrender to You as I adore, salute, laud, boast-in, commend, extol, exalt, revere, glorify, praise, bless, or in other ways worship You.  I will even jump, twirl, and dance in celebration with shouts of joy to You!  I will even be still and silent and patiently wait for You in worshipful, conversational-prayer to reveal Yourself so that I may experientially know You.  You can see that I completely surrender my pride and inhibitions as a sacrificial offering to You!




Click on Pic



Spiritual Education, Worship, Worship Music, Hebrew words for worship of God, God inhabits the praises of His people, Christians are NOW the Temple of God, The throne of God is within Christians

Categories: Worship