Psalms 113–118 comprise an important unit called the Hallel, which in Hebrew means “praise.” Composed after the exile, these six psalms are recited together by observant Jews during some of the major holidays on the Jewish calendar. The Gospel writers tell us that Jesus and His disciples sang a song following their last meal together, which was the Passover (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). That may have been the Hallel.
1 Praise the Eternal!
All of you who call yourselves the children of the Eternal, come and praise His name.
Lift Him high to the high place in your hearts.
2 At this moment, and for all the moments yet to come,
may the Eternal’s name ascend in the hearts of His people.
3 At every time and in every place—
from the moment the sun rises to the moment the sun sets—
may the name of the Eternal be high in the hearts of His people.
4 The Eternal is seated high above every nation.
His glory fills the skies.
5 To whom should we compare the Eternal, our God?
From His seat, high above,
6 He deigns to observe the earth and her thin skies,
stooping even to see her goings on, far beneath His feet.
7 He gathers up the poor from their dirt floors,
pulls the needy from the trash heaps,
8 And places them among heads of state,
seated next to the rulers of His people where they cannot be ignored.
9 Into the home of the childless bride,
He sends children who are, for her, a cause of happiness beyond measure.
Praise the Eternal!