International Standard Bible EncyclopediaHALLEL
ha-lal', hal'-el: In the fifth book of the Psalms (107-50) there are several groups of Hallelujah Psalms: 104-106; 111-113; 115-117; 135; 146-150. In the worship of the synagogue Psalms 135-136 and 146-150 were used in the daily morning service. Psalms 113-118 were called the "Egyp Hallel," and were sung at the feasts of the Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles and Dedication. At the Passover, Psalms 113 and 114 (according to the school of Shammai only Psalm 113) were sung before the feast, and Psalms 115-118 after drinking the last cup. The song used by our Lord and the disciples on the night of the betrayal (Matthew 26:30), just before the departure for the Mount of Olives, probably included Psalms 115-118.
John Richard Sampey
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Praise, the name given to the group of Psalms 113-118, which are preeminently psalms of praise. It is called "The Egyptian Hallel," because it was chanted in the temple whilst the Passover lambs were being slain. It was chanted also on other festival occasions, as at Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of Dedication. The Levites, standing before the altar, chanted it verse by verse, the people responding by repeating the verses or by intoned hallelujahs. It was also chanted in private families at the feast of Passover. This was probably the hymn which our Saviour and his disciples sung at the conclusion of the Passover supper kept by them in the upper room at Jerusalem (Matthew 26:30
; Mark 14:26
There is also another group called "The Great Hallel," comprehending Psalms 118-136, which was recited on the first evening at the Passover supper and on occasions of great joy.