God Is The Best!

The Last *Hallelujah Psalm

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 150

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Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.

 

Jesus said, "If people *held their *peace, the stones would immediately start shouting" (Luke 19:40). ("Held their *peace" means "they said nothing".)

Psalm 150

v1   *Hallelujah!
  Shout, "You are the best" to God the *LORD.
  Do it in his *temple. Do it in the skies.

v2   Shout, "You are the best" to him because he is very strong.
  Shout, "You are the best" to him because he is very powerful.

v3   Sing, "You are the best" to him with music.
  Use *horns and *harps and *guitars.

v4   Sing, "You are the best" to him with music.
  Use dancing and *drums, *strings and *pipes.

v5   Sing, "You are the best" to him with music.
  Use big and small *cymbals.

v6   Everything that is alive, shout to the *LORD, "You are the best".
  *Hallelujah!

The Story of Psalm 150

Christians and *Jews say that this is a very special psalm. Someone wrote it to finish the Book of Psalms. This was perhaps after the *exile. The *exile was 600 years before Jesus came to the earth. Babylon was a country 800 kilometres east of Jerusalem. Today we call it Iraq. The army of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. They also destroyed the *temple in Jerusalem. The *temple was Godís house in Jerusalem. The army of Babylon took many *Jews to Babylon. They made them live there. This was the *exile.

The *Jews went back to their own land 70 years later. They built Jerusalem and the *temple again. Then the *Jews made the Book of Psalms. It was to sing in the new *temple. They used psalms by Moses, by David, by Isaiah, by the sons of Korah and by many other people. But Bible students think that they wrote two new psalms for their book. They were Psalm 1 and Psalm 150. Maybe they wrote other psalms also, perhaps Psalms 146 - 149.

What Psalm 150 means

The *Jews spoke Hebrew and wrote their psalms in Hebrew. The word hallelu is in every verse of this psalm in the Hebrew Bible. We usually translate it "*praise", or "tell someone that they are great". But here we translated it "you are the best". Nobody is better than God. *LORD is another name for God. It is his *covenant name. A *covenant is when two people, or groups of people, agree. Here, God agreed to love and send help to his people. His people agreed to love and obey God.

Many Christians still use the Hebrew word *hallelujah. This means:

 Halel

 u

 jah

 

tell someone that they are great

*PRAISE

 

all of you

YOU

 

a name for God that we translate "*LORD"

THE *LORD

 

You will see that the *Jews spelled *hallelujah as "halelujah" in this psalm.

The psalm says that we must shout to God. We must sing to him and make music. To make music we use *musical instruments. In Bible times, there were three groups of instruments:

    the ones that you hit; examples are drums and cymbals.

    the ones that you blew into; examples are horns and pipes.

    the ones that had *strings; examples are harps and guitars.

The *Jews did not have guitars. We translated "lyre" as "*guitar". Today we also have *musical instruments that use electricity, such as the electric *guitar. *Strings now include the violin and the cello. Christians believe that we should use these new instruments to *praise the *LORD, as well as the old ones!

Music in the Bible

The people of God have always praised him. This means that they have always told him that he is very great! There is nobody else as good as he is. God is the best!

In Exodus 15:1 we read, "Moses and all the people sang this song to the *LORD. They said, I will sing to the *LORD". This was after God led them out of Egypt. In Judges 5:1-2 we read, "Then Deborah and Barak sang this song, *Praise the *LORD". This was when God beat their enemies. These enemies were the Canaanites. We believe that David wrote many songs. We call them psalms. David wrote in Psalm 18:3, "The *LORD is someone that I always *praise". Psalm 18 is one of the best psalms that David wrote. Try to study it.

After the *exile, the *Jews put 150 psalms into a book. We call it The Book of Psalms. They sang them in the *temple in Jerusalem. They sang them in other places also. Jesus knew the psalms. We read in Matthew 26:30, "When they had sung a psalm, Jesus and his friends went out into the *Mount of Olives". There the soldiers caught him. They took him away and crucified (killed) him.

We believe that Jesus still sings in Church with his friends! Why? Because Jesus said in Hebrews 2:12, "In the Church I will sing *praise". Paul told us, "Make music in your *heart to the *Lord. Sing psalms and *hymns and songs about God" (Ephesians 5:19). The word "*Lord" here means "master" or "someone with authority". At the end of the Bible, John saw a picture of *heaven, where God lives. John tells us that "they sang a new song" (Revelation 5:9). One day we will sing that song in *heaven if we believe in Jesus Christ ... *hallelujah!

Something to do

Make up some music for Psalm 150. If your friends can make music, get them to help you. Then you can sing a new song!

Word List

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

cymbals ~ a *musical instrument.

drums ~ *musical instruments that you hit.

exile ~ away from your own country.

guitar ~ a *musical instrument.

hallelujah ~ say that the *LORD is great. (Jah is *Hebrew for *LORD.)

harp ~ a *musical instrument.

heart ~ part of the body. *Jews believed that you thought in your heart.

heaven ~ the home of God.

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

held their peace ~ said nothing.

horn ~ hard bone on head of animal; people used them to make *musical instruments.

hymn ~ song that shows our love for God; some are in the book of Psalms and in the Bible.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).

Mount ~ a short word for mountain; small mountain.

musical instrument ~ something that makes music when you hit it (cymbals, drum), blow in it (flute, trumpet, horn, shofar) or touch it in a quiet way (harp, lyre). Many of these are in Psalm 150.

peace ~ when there is no fighting with God or with people; when there is no war and everybody is happy.

pipe ~ a *musical instrument that you blow into.

praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.

string ~ very long and very thin piece of material.

temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.

 

© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

December 2002

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