We’ll start with a more intellectual definition:
Tehillah is a Hebrew word….
OT:8416 – tehillah (teh-hil-law’); from OT:1984; meaning laudation; or specifically (concretely) a hymn:
KJV – praise.
(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Tehillah is from this word Halal
OT:1984 – halal (haw-lal’); a primitive root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence, to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively, to celebrate; also to stultify:
KJV – (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool (-ish, -ly), glory, give [light], be (make, feignself) mad (against), give in marriage, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.
(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
This is much more than simply singing some songs and feeling good or “spiritual” !!
You must Understand the Tabernacle of David
Tehillah is born out of the Tabernacle of David realm and form of Worship, it is different from Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple Worship in Jerusalem where the Presence of God remained Veiled by a Curtain and Intimacy with the Presence of God was restricted by ordinances and righteous ceremonial practices. For a brief period of time during the reign of King David, the Arc of the Covenant (representing the Presence of the Lord ) was made accessible to regular priests and appointed worshippers directly. The Arc was simply placed in a Tent and there was continual worship there for several years. Much of what is recorded in the Psalms are spontaneous worship words and music that were produced by this intimate relationship with God.
Religion and Fear have attempted to rebuild the separation, But…
Eph 2:14-18 says “Christ Our Peace “
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Acts 7:44-50 describes God’s True Tabernacle
“Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen,45 which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David,46 who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.47 But Solomon built Him a house.
48 “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
49’Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool.
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What house will you build for Me? says the LORD, Or what is the place of My rest?
50 Has My hand not made all these things?’
(and continuing the Quote from Isaiah 66 we get our answer!!…)
Isa 66:2
And all those things exist,”
Says the LORD.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
This is the PLACE of His Dwelling, His Tabernacle
He “tents” His very Presence within those who recognize their poverty at being separated from Him, and those who are humble, teachable, ready to move and act and respond to His Words.
Christ is our Peace, This indeed is God’s provision to make this relationship possible, but WE ARE the TENT(s), our temporary bodies individually and collectively are his Dwelling Place on Earth.
This is then a most logical and expected place to see and hear creative praise, and worship and song. We have just been confused about the reality of its operation.
After some debate and discussion concerning the inclusion of “gentiles” with the people of God (Israel)… James settled the argument through explanation of an old testament prophecy.
Acts 15:13-17
13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me:14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16’After! this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the LORD who does all these things.’
This was/is the fulfillment of an Old Testament Prophecy concerning the reconciliation of all people into covenant relationship and true intimacy with God. – There is no veil between us now!
Amos 9:11-15
“On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old;12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name, “Says the LORD who does this thing.
13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it.
14 I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
15 I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them, “Says the LORD your God.

Generated: 17 January, 2013, 07:28
More on the Tabernacle of David
Tehillah is another word that I have found different meanings for… such as:
God breathing into, Spirit of God indwelling, inhabiting, even references to singing in the spirit.
The final and seventh word for praise found in the Old Testament is the word Tehillah, and means to sing, to laud. It is the singing of Halal! This is my favorite Hebrew word for praise. This is where you sing spontaneous songs of praise to the Lord. These are songs that the Holy Spirit gives you at the moment while you are engrossed in worshipping and praising your Father! This word is found 57 times in the Old Testament (See Psalm 22:3; 2 Chronicles 20:22; Psalm 34:1; 35:28; 71:8; 100:4).
Tehillah is mentioned in the New Testament as psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18). Tehillah praise is mention by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14: 14-15, as he encourages believers to pray and sing both with the spirit (in other tongues) and with the understanding. Time spent singing in tongues or in the spirit is time spent in Tehillah praise. This is the praise mentioned in Psalm 22:3 that accompanies God enthroning Himself in the very atmosphere! God actually inhabits our Tehillah praise!
In God’s Presence is fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore, strength, and provision for every need in human life. Make a decision today to practice Yadah, Towdah, Halal, Barak, Shabach, Zamar, and Tehillah praise daily. Your life will never be the same!
Tabernacle of David
© 1999, William H. Hopper
Chapter Five
Table of Contents
Just what is all the to-do about tehillah, this spontaneous praise? Did you know that it is the only type of praise that scripture says God inhabits? I place no restrictions on God — He can inhabit anything He wants to. Fact is though, there is only one place in scripture that says He inhabits the praises of His People:
Ps 22:3
3 But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.
The word enthroned is translated to ‘inhabits’ in some translations. In the actual Hebrew text, it is inhabits. So why would God choose to inhabit tehillah? It is spontaneous, and therefore creative. God is the Creator. If we are to be like Him, we are to be creative. He inhabits the creative song, the spontaneous song from our heart. To inhabit is to dwell on an ongoing basis.
Ps 34:1
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
The word praise here is tehillah, and notice that it says continually. Our desire is to have God dwell in us. If we tehillah continually, He is in us continually. Does this mean we sing all day long? We could, but we’d get little else done. Is it possible to praise Him with our very lives?
Actually, continually can mean all the days of our lives and not necessarily with every utterance of our mouth. If we only speak truth, we have praised him and if we abide in truth we have praised Him continually. We’re talking about tehillah here, though, so I am convinced that this means daily throughout our lives.
In the New Testament we find that Jesus lives within us. So why bother to tehillah at all, since Jesus is in us? Are we not already, then, inhabited by God? Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that we should cease to offer God our tehillah. In fact, when the early church was formed, they did not have the New Testament to go by. It had not yet been written. They used the Word of God for their instruction in worship and praise. This would be the Old Testament pattern established by God through His servant, David. Since it has not been modified in the New Testament, it is still a principle of praise.
Some argue that if it is not in the New Testament, it is not valid. I choose not to enter that argument. The New Testament scriptures do validate that we are to offer up hymns, psalms and spiritual songs… (Eph 5:18, Col 3:16 and I Cor 14:26) We know that this is the pattern established by God in the tabernacle of David in that David used the Psalms (set pieces of music) hymns (spontaneous songs that were recorded as they came forth) and spiritual songs (as evidenced by prophecy in the psalms).
Jesus is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. Our God delights in doing a ‘new thing’, and yet He never changes. He gave us a pattern for praise, and how to worship. Nowhere did He tell us to modify that or to cease.
Jesus did not abolish praise and worship. He abolished the ceremonial law of sacrifice, having offered Himself up as a sacrifice once and for all. The rest of the scriptures still stand. We were not given a choice between worshiping and not worshiping, between praising and not praising. We were not given liberty to praise and/or worship as we see fit. That is an idea of man.
If we are still to praise Him, we need to learn how He wants it done and give Him the praise that He desires.
There are 57 references to tehillah in the Old Testament, found in 57 separate verses. You will find that some of these scriptures are very familiar.
Here are a few scriptures using tehillah (spontaneous praise) that I feel stand out. I like to substitute the specific word tehillah for the translated word praise. It helps to drive the message home. You will find all 57 verses listed at the end of this chapter for your convenience.
Ps 33:1
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.
God says spontaneous praise is beautiful!
Ps 35:28
28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long.
How long?
Ps 40:3
3 He has put a new song in my mouth– praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.
The unsaved will see this manifestation of God in His people and will fear and trust the Lord. This is evangelism.
Ps 48:10
10 According to Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; your right hand is full of righteousness.
How far is tehillah extended?
Ps 66:8
8 Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard,
This is commanded is it not? Whose praise? What kind of praise? Tehillah. To be heard!
Ps 79:13
13 So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations.
How long will the people of God ‘tehillah’? Who do you suppose wants us to stop? Why? Who would want to silence God speaking through His people?
Ps 100:4
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
We are to enter His courts with tehillah.
Ps 119:171
171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
The KJV most closely follows the Hebrew text. When will we utter tehillah? If we are in Him and love Him, we will keep His commandments. If we keep His commandments, we know His statutes. We then should tehillah.
Ps 111:10
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.
How long does tehillah endure? Shouldn’t we be doing it?
Ps 147:1
1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.
It is good to sing praises to our God. Tehillah is beautiful. Some translations use the word comely which means pleasing and wholesome in appearance.
Isa 60:18
18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
You shall call your gates tehillah. Lift up your heads all ye gates! Hmm…
Isa 61:3
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
We all know this verse. This is the one Jesus references when He read in the temple and then closed the book and sat down. This is talking about when and/or after Jesus came the first time. The garment He gave us in exchange for heaviness is tehillah! This clearly tells us that we are to tehillah even to this day. His tehillah endureth forever!
Isa 61:11
11 For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Where is He going to cause tehillah to spring forth? Before ALL the nations. He is going to raise up the tabernacle of David so the REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK HIM! We are talking about the great day of evangelism that we hear about in the church. We must not stand in the way because we are not comfortable with ‘some forms of worship’! We must embrace tehillah and make it normal in our church. God planned it and wants it. He will cause it to happen with or without us!
Isa 62:7
7 And give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Jer 13:11
11 ‘For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the LORD, ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’
“THAT THEY MAY BECOME MY PEOPLE, FOR RENOWN, FOR TEHILLAH, AND FOR GLORY; BUT THEY WOULD NOT HEAR”. I don’t want to be counted among those that would not hear.
Zeph 3:19-20
19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,” says the LORD.
Where, in verse 19, does it say we will be appointed for tehillah?
These are by no means all of the references to tehillah, just the ones that grabbed me. Clearly it is to continue forever and we are to practice it to, before and in all the nations of the earth!
So let’s look at a key here. Tehillah is inhabited by God. If this is true, then He literally is in each utterance that comes forth. If we realize this and yield to Him, then it is Him speaking or singing through us. We have just transitioned to the spiritual song.
Wow! Pretty easy, huh? Just begin to sing spontaneously and listen to God. When you hear Him, yield and let Him sing and you have the spiritual song. If God is doing the singing, then could it be said that this is prophetic? Certainly! If you say you can’t sing spontaneously, then how do you pray? Do you pray a prayer someone wrote for you? I think you pray spontaneously. If you sing your prayer, it is tephillah. Tephillah is a type of tehillah is it not?
Prophesy is not just foretelling the Word of God, but is also forthtelling the Word of God. If He gives you a scripture and you sing it, you have prophesied. If He gives you new words and you sing them you have prophesied. This spiritual song is the ‘new song’ that you find throughout the Bible. The ‘new song’ is the prophetic ‘song of the Lord’.
So we can prophecy, can’t we? Do you have to be a prophet to prophesy? No. Paul said he would that all would prophesy. We can prophesy. We do not all hold the office of a prophet, but we can all prophesy.
Some people get stuck here because they feel that they simply can’t. I would like to dwell on this just for a moment. The Word of God says:
Phil 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I can do all things. Put your name in this and see. You can do all things. Proverbs 23:7 says “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is”. The word thinks means:
8176 sha` ar (shaw-ar’);
a primitive root; to split or open, i.e. (literally, but only as denominative from 8179) to act as gate-keeper (see 7778): (figuratively) to estimate:
KJV– think.
We are to act as a gatekeeper. What does a gatekeeper do? He tends the gate, and only lets in or out that which should come in or go out. This verse says we are what we gatekeep or allow in.
If we say to ourselves ‘I can’t’, then we are in direct conflict with the Word of God. The word of God says we can do all things through Jesus. When we hear ‘I can’t’ in our minds, we need to tend the gate and keep it out. If we let it in, we become that thought and we become out of alignment with the Word of God.
ANY inroad of the enemy is a big deal. The fact is, everyone can sing. How well is a matter of subjective taste. We should not fear man’s opinion of our singing. God wants to hear it, why should man stand in the way? Just who is it we are singing to anyway? Does man’s opinion matter when we are singing to God?
It is God’s opinion that matters, and I know that He loves to hear me sing. He loves to hear you sing! He wants to hear you sing! People who are gifted in the performance of song should not in any way make those that are not gifted uncomfortable about their ability to praise. The reality is that all can sing praise to God. The quality of the voice or the song coming forth is not of concern. It is God that gives us the fruit of our lips. Should I judge God? Why then judge His servant, or the voice He created within His servant?
The bottom line in the matter is that you can sing and praise God spontaneously. If you think you can’t, read the above portion again. Think you can’t preach or evangelize? Read the above again.
Here are the 57 references to tehillah:
Exo 15:11
Deu 10:21
Deu 26:19
1 Chr 16:35
2 Chr 20:22
Neh 9:5
Neh 12:46
Psa 9:14
Psa 22:3
Psa 22:25
Psa 33:1
Psa 34:1
Psa 35:28
Psa 40:3
Psa 48:10
Psa 51:15
Psa 65:1
Psa 66:2
Psa 66:8
Psa 71:6
Psa 71:8
Psa 71:14
Psa 78:4
Psa 79:13
Psa 100:4
Psa 102:21
Psa 106:2
Psa 106:12
Psa 106:47
Psa 109:1
Psa 111:10
Psa 119:171
Psa 145:1
Psa 145:21
Psa 147:1
Psa 148:14
Psa 149:1
Isa 42:8
Isa 42:10
Isa 42:12
Isa 43:21
Isa 48:9
Isa 60:6
Isa 60:18
Isa 61:3
Isa 61:11
Isa 62:7
Isa 63:7
Jer 13:11
Jer 17:14
Jer 33:9
Jer 48:2
Jer 49:25
Jer 51:41
Hab 3:3
Zep 3:19
Zep 3:20

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