". . . .When David brought the ark to Jerusalem, he appointed musicians, the Levites who were to serve before the ark of the Lord, to ‘invoke, to thank and to praise the Lord the God of Israel’ (1 Chron 16.4). Music invoked the presence. The Holy One was ‘enthroned on the praises of Israel’ (Ps 22.3), and the congregation praised and the glorified the Lord and stood in awe of him (Ps. 22.23). Now ‘hallelu-jah’ is probably the most familiar word that has survived from temple worship, and is said to mean ‘Praise the Lord.’ Apart from Psalm 135.3, it always occurs at the beginning or end of the psalm, and is often kept in its original form even today. … It must have been a significant temple term, whose meaning was known to those who needed the Scriptures in Greek. At the beginning of a psalm, hallelu-jah addresses the congregation: it is a plural form ‘Praise the Lord’. The Hebrew root hll, however, means not only ‘praise’ but also ‘shine’. Were the people commanded to make the Lord shine? Should we perhaps understand Psalm 22.23 as ‘Make him shine … make Him glorious … stand in awe of Him,’ rather than ‘praise Him … glorify him … stand in awe of Him’? The hallelujah at the beginning of the Psalms would then be an instruction to the musicians to cause the Lord’s face to shine, to invoke His presence: ‘Make the Lord shine forth!’ This was the first duty of the Levites: ‘To invoke, to thank and to praise the Lord’, and so they sang: ‘Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth!’ (Ps 80.1). The Levites made music when the temple was consecrated, singing ‘with one voice’, and then the presence of the Lord came; the cloud of the Glory of the Lord filled the temple (2 Chron 45. 11-14). Once the Lord had been enthroned in his temple, the music invited the Lord to shine forth from the holy of holies, to show Himself as King: ‘For dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations (Ps. 22.28). He established his Kingdom. “

A new set of questions. Not “Is it singable? Do we like it? Is it pitched too high? Is it old? Is it new?” But rather, “Will it make the Lord’s face shine? Will it summon God? Will it invoke His presence that we may fall down and worship?”