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Biblical Foundations of Worship

Old Testament Words for Assemblies and Festivals

Biblical worship is corporate. The worshiper comes to God as a part of a larger community bound to the Lord in covenant and celebrating in festal assembly.

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OLD TESTAMENT VOCABULARY OF WORSHIP

The Hebrew Scriptures, especially the Psalms, employ a rich vocabulary of words denoting acts and features of worship. These words may apply to expressions of speech or music, to movements and gestures, to offering and sacrifice, to the general attitude of worship, and to festivals and places of worship. In the Psalms these terms are often strung together in extended calls to worship (Psalms 9:1–2; 33:1–3; 68:3–4; 81:1–4; 92:1–4; 98:4–6; 100:1–4; and others) or narratives of the worshiper’s activity (Psalm 63:1–5). The following eight entries discuss most of these terms, referring them to their Hebrew equivalents and citing examples of usage. Please note, Hebrew verbs may exist in a number of forms or “constructions,” and a verbal root may have a different meaning in its various constructions. For example, the verb shavar, “break,” in the intensive construction shibber, would mean “shatter.” This discussion will refer to the applicable form. Verse numbers for the Psalms cite the English translation; Hebrew verse numbers often differ, because in the Hebrew text the Psalm superscription, if any, is verse 1.

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if ($user->uid > 0) {
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Old Testament Expressions for Worship

There is no general term for “worship” in the Old Testament.

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Old Testament Terms for Movement and Gesture

Biblical worship is active worship, involving movements of the body as well as of the lips, to express both submission to the covenant God and exultation in his presence.

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drupal_goto('user/register');
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Musical Terms in Old Testament Worship

Music, both vocal and instrumental, played a central role in the worship of Israel. Many Hebrew words refer to musical activity in the praise of the Lord.

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$node_id = $matches[1];
$content = node_load($node_id);
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//Set the reference to this premium content to take the user back to the same article after successful checkout
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$message = 'Full text is available to premium subscribers only. You may subscribe here and start accessing premium content right away!';

if ($user->uid > 0) {
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} else { //for anonymous users
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drupal_goto('user/register');
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Old Testament Words for Expressions of Praise and Acclamation

Vocal expressions of praise abound in the Scripture; many of these terms apply to musical as well as spoken celebration. The biblical worshiper expresses praise to God aloud.

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$content = node_load($node_id);
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$message = 'Full text is available to premium subscribers only. You may subscribe here and start accessing premium content right away!';

if ($user->uid > 0) {
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drupal_set_message($message . '
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drupal_goto('user/register');
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Old Testament Terms for Declaration and Meditation

The worshiper is called on to praise God specifically for his great deeds of salvation. The biblical worshiper offers praise both because of the Lord’s character and because of his saving action in history.

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$content = node_load($node_id);
if ($content->type == "premium_content") {
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$message = 'Full text is available to premium subscribers only. You may subscribe here and start accessing premium content right away!';

if ($user->uid > 0) {
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} else { //for anonymous users
drupal_set_message($message . '
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drupal_goto('user/register');
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Old Testament Words for Offering and Sacrifice

Sacrifice and offering were a part of Israelite worship, and extensive portions of the Pentateuch are devoted to the regulation of these activities (Lev. 1–7; 22–23; Num. 18; 28–29; and others). This brief survey can only mention the major terms associated with the sacrificial cultus.

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Old Testament Terms for the Place of Worship

The places where the Lord’s people met to celebrate the presence of their God are designated by a special vocabulary relating to the sacredness of the place and the actions performed there.

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if ($user->uid > 0) {
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drupal_goto('user/register');
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NEW TESTAMENT VOCABULARY OF WORSHIP

Like the Old Testament, the New Testament contains many terms that refer to acts or features of worship. To a degree, however, there is a difference in the way the New Testament presents these terms.


<?php
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