Hebrew Words for Praise — Barak

Praise as adoration (from barak).  According to Erpestad in his Ten Studies in Prayer, “Adoration overlaps with praise in its meaning, yet it goes even further in its contemplation of the glory of God.  In adoration, the worshipper permits his consciousness of the reality and the nature of God to move him to genuine and spontaneous expressions of the deepest devotion.”

As you can see, Erpestad seems to separate praise from adoration; but I think, since praise is so broad in it’s meaning we may see adoration as a heightened form of praise.  It is a praise that goes beyond words to include acts of worship such as, taking off the shoes, bowing the knee, or lifting the hands, etc.

Our Hebrew word, barak, may describe (and translate) this kind of praise in most cases as “bless,” but also as “praise,” as “extol,” and as “kneel down.”  The Psalmist, using this word in Psalms 63:3-4 writes,

Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. 4  So I will bless Thee (barak) as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name.

 Here, when the Psalmist says, “I will bless thee as long as I live,” he is not just saying the words or lifting up his hands; he is committing himself to God in devotion and service for the rest of his life, which is what adoration is all about.

 In Psalms 103:20-23 we see the word bless (barak) used in conjunction with service and obedience, as the Psalmist calls on the angels to bless the Lord. And rightly so, for the one who wishes to bless the Lord must also serve Him in obedience. 

 Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His Word, obeying the voice of His Word!

21  Bless the  LORD, all you His hosts, you who  serve Him, doing His will. 22  Bless the LORD all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; bless the LORD, O my soul!



About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
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