A Bible open to the verse of Psalm 29:1, captured in a close-up photograph, beautifully illustrating the word "ascribe" and its significance within the biblical context.

What Does ‘Ascribe’ Mean In The Bible? A Comprehensive Explanation

The word ‘ascribe’ appears many times throughout the Bible. But what exactly does it mean when the biblical authors use this word? In this comprehensive article, we’ll provide a detailed explanation of the meaning of ‘ascribe’ in its biblical context.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: In the Bible, ‘ascribe’ means to assign, attribute, or credit something to someone else – usually referring to assigning glory, power, strength or other qualities to God.

The Definition of ‘Ascribe’ in the Bible

Ascribe Means ‘To Attribute To’

The word “ascribe” comes from the Hebrew word “yadhah”, which means to give thanks or praise, acknowledge, or confess. In the Bible, to ascribe means to attribute something to someone as their possession or product. It carries the meaning of giving credit to someone for something.

For example, in Job 36:3, Elihu says to ascribe righteousness to God. This means to recognize that righteousness belongs to or comes from God. We attribute righteousness to God and give Him credit for being righteous.

It’s Used to Credit God

“Ascribe” is often used in the Bible to credit God for various qualities and deeds. As 1 Chronicles 16:28 says, “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. “ This verse uses “ascribe” to mean we should acknowledge that glory and strength originate from God.

He rightfully deserves full credit for possessing true glory and real power.

Some other traits and works the Bible tells us to ascribe to God include:

  • Salvation (Psalm 96:2)
  • Greatness (Deuteronomy 32:3)
  • Righteousness (Job 36:3)
  • Judgment (Psalm 94:2)

Related Words Like Praise and Bless

The word ascribe is often used alongside words like “praise,” “bless,” and “thank” when referring to God. Though subtly different in meaning, these words are very similar. To praise God is to declare His goodness and perfection. To bless God is to confer favor upon Him or speak well of Him.

To thank God is to express gratitude for what He has done.

Word Definition
Praise To express warm approval or admiration of qualities or behavior, especially that of God
Bless To confer favor upon, speak well of, or express gratitude to God
Thank To express gratitude, especially towards God for what He has done

In a sense, ascribing something to God incorporates elements of praising, blessing and thanking Him. By crediting God for an attribute or action, we acknowledge His sovereignty and goodness behind it. This glorifies Him, which is the ultimate goal.

Key Biblical Usages of ‘Ascribe’

Ascribing Strength to God

The word “ascribe” appears over 50 times in the Bible, often in relation to strength. Psalm 68:34 states “Ascribe strength to God; His excellency is over Israel, And His strength is in the skies.” Here, ascribing strength to God means recognizing and attributing power and might to Him.

People are encouraged to acknowledge and praise God as the supreme source of strength. Other verses that connect ascribing and strength include Psalms 29:1, 96:7, and 1 Chronicles 16:28.

Ascribing Salvation to God

Another key biblical usage of “ascribe” is crediting God with salvation. Psalm 124:8 declares “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” This verse calls people to turn to God alone for deliverance.

1 Samuel 2:1 illustrates this too: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.” Hannah ascribes her salvation to the Lord.

Ascribing Glory To God

The Bible also uses “ascribe” in relation to giving glory to God. 1 Chronicles 16:28-29 states: “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name.” Glory is due to God alone.

Similarly, in Revelation 7:12, praise is given to God: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Why ‘Ascribe’ is Important in Scripture

It Highlights God’s Power

The word “ascribe” in the Bible is often used to attribute might, strength, glory, and other powerful qualities to God (Psalm 29:1-2). By ascribing these attributes to the Lord, Scripture highlights that true power belongs to Him alone.

This is an important theme because it reinforces God’s sovereignty and superiority over all other gods or forces. Ascribing power to God reminds believers that He is in control, even when circumstances seem out of control.

It Encourages Worship

Ascribing things like glory and strength to God leads naturally to worshipping and praising Him. In fact, many passages connect ascribing qualities to God with singing praises to Him (Psalm 68:34-35). The act of ascribing greatness to the Lord helps believers enter into an attitude of awe, gratitude, and adoration.

This encourages heartfelt worship, which is the appropriate response to God’s supreme power and love. So using “ascribe” in Scripture serves to promote worship.

It Combats Pride

Human beings are prone to pridefulness and self-reliance. But ascribing power, victory, and honor to God instead of ourselves combats this (Psalm 115:1). It reminds us that all good things come from the Lord, not our own efforts.

And it realigns our perspective to recognize God’s centrality in all things. Regularly ascribing attributes to the Lord fights the tendency to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Romans 12:3). It keeps us humble before Him.


As we have seen, ‘ascribe’ is an important biblical word used to attribute glory, strength and other qualities to God alone. Correctly understanding this term provides deeper insight into praise, worship, pride and giving credit where credit is due.

By ascribing to the Lord the honor due his name, we follow in the footsteps of biblical authors who extolled God’s supreme power and authority in all things.

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