No Translation Necessary


In contrast with the difficulty of vocalizing YHWH, what is the English equivalent of the Hebrew phrase Hallelu-YAH? It’s simply Hallelu-YAH. How do you say the Hebrew phrase Hallelu-YAH in Greek? in Spanish? in German? in French? in Swahili? in Chichewa? in Luganda? It’s all the same in these languages, with minor differences in spelling. No translation is necessary. Indeed, the phrase may be rendered “Praise the LORD.” Yet it has achieved spontaneous universality.

The Psalter has shown the way for the universe to praise its Creator and Redeemer. The Psalms consummate with Hallelu-YAH, and all nations and peoples can join in the joyful, spontaneous celebration. Even the ease with which the expression can be articulated deserves notice. In a remarkable way, the word Hallelu-YAH is particularly suitable for opening wide the mouth, dropping the jaw, and loudly shouting God’s praise. Try it!

— O Palmer Robertson, The Flow of the Psalms: Discovering Their Structure and Theology, Kindle Location 4411


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