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Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings
Praise ~ halel
By Jeff A. Benner

The word praise is an abstract word that has no relationship with the ancient Hebrew's concrete way of thinking. While the word halel is translated as "praise" it is also translated as "shine" as in Job 29:3. The original meaning of halel is the North Star. This star, unlike all of the other stars, remains motionless and constantly shines in the northern sky and is used as a guide when traveling. In the Ancient Hebrew mind we praise God by looking at him as the guiding star that shines to show us our direction. The first letter in this Hebrew word (from right to left) is a picture of a man with his arms raised up as pointing toward something of greatness. The second two letters are pictures of a shepherd staff which is used by the shepherd to move his flock toward a direction. When these two letters are combined the idea of looking toward something is formed.

AHLB# 1104-B (V)