Bible Notes: Thanksgiving

Originally appeared on spirituality.com

Hebrew: 1 Chronicles 29:13  Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

This verse closes one of the best loved and known praises of the Lord in the Old Testament. Thank is yadah (yaw-daw’), which has a primary meaning of to throw, cast, but in causative forms becomes to give thanks, to praise, confess, thank, and can also be translated extol, or acknowledge. Thanksgiving is often paired with hallal (haw-lal’), which means praise. When paired with the ending, yah, we get Hallellu-jah, or Praise the LORD. The works of the God of Israel were encapsulated in His name, shem, which in ancient cultures expressed the reputation and essential quality of a deity. The Israelite name for God was a verb that arguably means self-creative, self-existent being, and this verb for what God also indicated that he was the only self-creative, self-existent Being. Consequently to praise His name is a kind of shorthand for acknowledging all that God is and does.

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