16 verses use the Hebrew word ‘hodu’ for ‘give thanks’

“Give thanks” (Hebrew: “hodu”) appears in 16 bible verses.

Give thanks (Hebrew: hodu) set in Hebrew font: Frank Ruhl Libre Black
Hebrew font is Frank Ruhl Libre Black from Google fonts

All 16 Bible verses that use the Hebrew word ‘hodu’ for ‘give thanks’:

  1. Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! [1 Chronicles 16:8 ESV]
  2. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! [1 Chronicles 16:34 ESV]
  3. And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” [2 Chronicles 20:21 ESV]
  4. Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! [Psalm 33:2 ESV]
  5. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! [Psalm 100:4 ESV]
  6. Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! [Psalm 105:1 ESV]
  7. Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! [Psalm 106:1 ESV]
  8. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! [Psalm 107:1 ESV]
  9. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! [Psalm 118:1 ESV]
  10. Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! [Psalm 118:29 ESV]
  11. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. [Psalm 136:1 ESV]
  12. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. [Psalm 136:2 ESV]
  13. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; [Psalm 136:3 ESV]
  14. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. [Psalm 136:26 ESV]
  15. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. [Isaiah 12:4 ESV]
  16. the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD: “‘Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD. [Jeremiah 33:11 ESV]

I thought it would be interesting take all 16 verses, and line up every the instance of “thanks”.

To really push the commonality of these 16 verses, I wanted to highlight the word “thanks”.

How did I make this? I knew the layout was going to be a half-circle. A half-circle contains 180 degrees. We have 16 verses to fit into 180 degrees, so divide 180÷16. You get 11.25 degrees for each verse.

Then to figure out the exact rotation for each verse, I made a little Google spreadsheet.

Now that we have the exact rotation degree for each verse, I lay out the verses in Adobe Illustrator. Here’s what the diagram looks like when we pivot each verse using the first word.

This is actually pretty close to the end result. But process of designing something doesn’t always take a straight path.

“Thanks” highlighted at center pivot point

I wanted the diagram to pivot on the word “thanks“—the word in common with all 16 verses. I moved each verse around, so the “a” in “thanks” would overlap.

But this doesn’t make much sense at all. “Give thanks” is completely illegible. Let’s zoom in on the center of this diagram.

Visually, it looks kinda cool. But I like my diagrams to be legible. I had to rethink how this diagram was going to be laid out.

“Thanks” highlighted in rainbow arch

Instead of putting “thanks” at the pivot point of the rays, it worked much better to place the word “thanks” further out in the rays. Here’s how the mockup looked on screen.

Looks pretty cool! I love how “thanks” appears highlighted across all the verses. Honestly, I think the computer version is better than the pencil rendering.

Detail of pencil diagram showing Bible verses with "Give thanks"

Also for the record, to get the verses to fit into the diagram, I had to do a little trimming. Here are the five verses I had to trim. Text in bold is what I trimmed off.

  • And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” [2 Chronicles 20:21 ESV]
  • Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! [Psalm 100:4 ESV]
  • Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! [Psalm 106:1 ESV]
  • And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. [Isaiah 12:4 ESV]
  • the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD: “‘Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the LORD. [Jeremiah 33:11 ESV]

At some point down the road, I’ll re-do this diagram.

Things I’ll fix in the next diagram

  1. This pencil diagram has the verses in reverse order
    Jeremiah, Isaiah, Psalm, 2 Chronicles, 1 Chronicles. Ooops! When I laid this diagram out, I started on the bottom, instead of the top. Honestly, it took me a while to figure out how to lay this out. Once I noticed they sorted in reverse, I didn’t change it. I’m doing these every day. There’s plenty of time to do a different sort in the future. Next time I’ll start the top with 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, so on.
  2. Colored words for “thanks”
    I’m going to remove the arched lines to circle the “thanks”. Instead, I’ll write the word “thanks” in a color, like red.
  3. Highlight “giving thanks”
    The common phrase is actually “giving thanks”, not just “thanks”. The Hebrew word “hodu” includes that word “giving”. It’s essential. Take out the “giving” part, and you have the root Hebrew word “yadah” (strongs 3034). “hodu” is a form/ transliteration of the root “yadah”. If we use “yadah”, there are a whopping 114 occurrences. Yeah, we’ll stick with “hodu” for this diagram. Thus, I’ll include coloring “giving” with “giving thanks”.
  4. Include the Hebrew
    Maybe I’ll include the Hebrew word for “hodu” in the middle of the circle.
  5. Put Psalm 100:4 on one line
    It’s a little weird breaking that verse on one line.
  6. Use a different ordering scheme
    I could sort the verses by length. That might make an interesting pattern.
    Or the verses could be sorted by their content. e.g. Put all the verses that have “steadfast love” next to each other.

Another idea for layout

Instead of rays, maybe I’ll lay out the verses stacked horizontally. I’d like to see how this looks when all the verses sit horizontally, parallel to each other. Each of the verses would line up the word “thanks”. All the occurances of “thanks” would appear in one straight vertical column.

With this layout, I could also draw some commonalities among the verses.

Commonalities among the 16 verses:

  • 7 verses start with “oh”
  • 11 verses include “steadfast love endures forever”
  • 6 verses say “for he is good”
  • 3 verses say “make known his deeds”
  • 4 verses are from Psalm 136
  • 3 verses come from Psalm 105, 106, 107

This diagram is part of the Psalm Every Day project. I hand-write Psalm 100 every day. Technically I didn’t write the entire chapter. This is just Psalm 100:4. But it was really interesting to take one verse from Psalm 100 and compare it against other verses. I might be doing more of this in the future.

Here’s the final pencil diagram again

Pencil diagram of all 16 bible verses that use the exact same Hebrew word hodu for give thanks from Psalm 100:4

If you like this, please follow the Psalm Every Day project on Twitter or Instagram!

1 thought on “16 verses use the Hebrew word ‘hodu’ for ‘give thanks’

  1. Maybe I need to be more loose with the lettering. More flowing, larger text.

    To create these: I lay them out on the computer, print out the design in 5% cyan ink, then trace the printout with a pencil. Maybe tracing static typography is too limiting. I feel like I want to go bigger and loose.

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