hal-e-loo'-ya (halela-yah, "praise ye Yah"; allelouia): The word is not a compound, like many of the Hebrew words which are composed of the abbreviated form of "Yahweh" and some other word, but has become a compound word in the Greek and other languages. Even if the Jews perhaps had become accustomed to use it as a compound, it is never written as such in the text. In some Psalms, Hallelujah is an integral part of the song (Ps 135:3), while in others it simply serves as a liturgical interjection found either at the beginning (Ps 111:1-10) or at the close (Ps 104:1-35) of the psalms or both (Ps 146:1-10). The Hallelujah Psalms are found in three groups: 104 through 106; 111 through 113; 146 through 150. In the first group, Hallelujah is found at the close of the psalm as a lit. interjection (106:1 is an integral part of the psalm). In the second group, Hallelujah is found at the beginning (113:9 is an integral part of the psalm depending on the adjective "joyful"). In the third group, Hallelujah is found both at the close and at the beginning of the psalms. In all other cases, (Ps 115:1-18; 116:1-19; 117:1-2) Hallelujah seems to be an integral part of the psalms. These three groups were probably taken from an older collection of psalms like the group Ps 120:1-7 through Ps 134:1-3. In the New Testament Hallelujah is found as part of the song of the heavenly host (Re 19:1 ff). The word is preserved as a liturgical interjection by the Christian church generally.
A. L. Breslich