Rev. 19:1 – After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God, 2 because His judgments are true and righteous, because He has judged the notorious prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality; and He has avenged the blood of His slaves that was on her hands. 3 A second time they said: Hallelujah! Her smoke ascends forever and ever! 4 Then the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who is seated on the throne, saying: Amen! Hallelujah! 5 A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all His slaves, who fear Him, both small and great! (HCSB)
Salvation, glory, and power
John hears a “vast multitude” in heaven praising God. Some commentators say these “heaven dwellers” make up a choir that sings of the Lord’s attributes and great works. This likely is the vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language we encounter in Rev. 7:9. They are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night (Rev. 7:15). They also may be the ones the beast from the sea speaks against as he blasphemes God’s name and His dwelling (Rev. 13:6). But the evil one and his minions cannot harm these saints or disrupt their joyous celebration.
“Hallelujah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word exhorting people to praise the Lord (Heb. halelujah = praise Yah). It is rendered Allelouia in the Greek text and is found 22 times in Ps. 104-150 and four times in Rev. 19:1-6. It is a familiar term in Old Testament prayer language that is documented here in a Christian sense for the first time, according to Jurgen Roloff in Revelation: A Continental Commentary: “Its original meaning was that of a call to praise God, which the worshipping community answers with its praise. However, gradually it developed in Judaism into an independent formula of praise (e.g., Tob. 13:17; 3 Macc. 7:13). The original meaning still flickers through here: the singers summon themselves and others to praise God by means of the Hallelujah. In postbiblical Judaism the perception was represented that this acclamation was reserved for the end time” (pp. 210-11).
Some commentators note that while David spoke 103 sections of the Psalms, he only uttered Hallelujah when he saw the fall of the godless. This fits well with what we see in Revelation 19. Those who witness the fall of Babylon are summoned to join the praise of God, who has defeated His foes.