“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah”

“Praise the Lord, O my soul” (Ps. 146:1)

     INTRO.:  A song which exhorts us to praise the Lord with our soul is “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah.”  The text, a paraphrase of Psalm 146, is taken from The Psalter, 1912.  The tune was composed by John Bunyan Herbert (1852-1927).  Herbert also provided the melody for “What Shall It Profit?”  The Psalter paraphrase is sometimes set to other tunes, such as one (Ripley) by Lowell Mason, and another (Hyfrydol) by Rowland H. Prichard.  The Herbert tune was originally used with an 1866 paraphrase of Psalm 148, the same one that William J. Kirkpatrick used for his hymn “Hallelujah! Praise Jehovah!”, and was copyrighted in 1923 by the Gospel Advocate Co. in Choice Gospel Hymns edited by Thomas B. Mosley.  Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, this version appeared in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson.  However, the Psalm 146 paraphrase is in the same meter, so I have used it with Herbert’s tune, though each of the original stanzas must be divided into two.  The entire text may be seen in the 1961 Trinity Hymnal from Great Commissions Publications of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church with the Lowell Mason tune.

     The song is a paean of praise to the Lord from our souls for all His good things.

I. Stanza 1 tells us to praise Jehovah (vs. 1-2)
“Hallelujah, hallelujah, Hallelujah, praise Jehovah!
Hallelujah, hallelujah, O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises Of my God through all my days.”
 A. We should praise Jehovah because He is worthy to be praised: Ps. 18:3
 B. We praise Him by blessing Him with our very souls: Ps. 103:1
 C. And we should sing praises to Him all our days, as long as we live and have being: Ps. 104:33

II. Stanza 2 tells us to put no confidence in princes (vs. 3-4)
”Hallelujah, hallelujah, Put no confidence in princes,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Nor for help on man depend;
He shall die, to dust returning, And his purposes shall end.”
 A. We should praise the Lord instead of putting confidence in princes, many of whom take counsel against the Lord: Ps. 2:1-3
 B. Indeed, we cannot depend on man for help: Isa. 2:22
 C. The reason is that while God is eternal, man is dust and will return to it: Gen. 3:19

III. Stanza 3 tells us to choose God to be our aid (v. 5)
“Hallelujah, hallelujah, Happy is the man that chooses,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Israel’s God to be his aid;
He is blest whose hope of blessing On the Lord his God is stayed.”
 A. God wants us to choose Him: Josh. 24:15
 B. To those who choose God, He will be their aid or help: Ps. 46:1
 C. The person who thus trust in the Lord will be blessed: Jer. 17:7

IV. Stanza 4 tells us to remember that the Lord created heaven and earth (vs. 6-7a)
“Hallelujah, hallelujah, Heaven and earth the Lord created,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Seas and all that they contain;
He delivers from oppression, Righteousness He will maintain.”
 A. Another reason to praise Jehovah is that He created heaven and earth: Gen. 1:1
 B. The sea is His and all that is in it: Ps. 95:3-5
 C. The same power that created the universe is available to deliver from oppression and maintain righteousness: Ps. 103:6

V. Stanza 5 tells us to be thankful for the food He gives us (vs. 7b-8a)
“Hallelujah, hallelujah, Food He daily gives the hungry,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, Sets the mourning prisoner free,
Raises those bowed down with anguish, Makes the sightless eyes to see.”
 A. By His power He also gives daily food to the hungry: Ps. 107:9
 B. In addition, he sets the mourning prisoners free: Isa. 61:1
 C. And He makes the sightless eyes to see: Matt. 9:27-31

VI. Stanza 6 tells us to be among the righteous whom Jehovah loves (vs, 8b-9)
“Hallelujah, hallelujah, Well Jehovah loves the righteous,
Hallelujah, hallelujah, And the stranger He befriends,
Helps the fatherless and widow, Judgment on the wicked sends.”
 A. While God loved the whole world enough to send Jesus to die for all men, He especially loves the righteous in that He bestows His special favor upon them: 1 Pet. 3:12
 B. Yet, He also cares for the stranger, and he takes care of the fatherless and widows: Deut. 10:18
 C. However, He sends judgment upon the wicked: Ps. 147:6

     CONCL.:  Each stanza ends with the chorus:
“Hallelujah, praise Jehovah, Praise, O praise His name;
Hallelujah, praise Jehovah, Praise His name.”
The parts of the Psalm 146 paraphrase (v. 10) not used here are thus:
“Hallelujah, praise Jehovah, O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises Of my God through all my days.
Over all God reigns forever, Through all ages He is King;
Unto Him, thy God, O Zion, Joyful hallelujahs sing.”
Most of us are familiar with William J. Kirkpatrick’s, “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah,” and it is a great psalm, while Herbert’s version is no longer well known, if it ever was.  However, I have always been impressed with the joyful exultation that Herbert’s tune exudes and think that it is a fitting accompaniment to Psalm 146 as we say, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah.”


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