Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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selah Summary and Overview

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selah in Easton's Bible Dictionary

a word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning "silence" or "pause;" others, "end," "a louder strain," "piano," etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., "a division."

selah in Smith's Bible Dictionary

This word, which is found only in the poetical books of the Old Testament, occurs seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. It is probably a term which had a meaning in the musical nomenclature of the Hebrews, though what that meaning may have been is now a matter of pure conjecture. (Gesenius and Ewald and others think it has much the same meaning as our interlude,--a pause in the voices singing, while the instruments perform alone.)

selah in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SE'LAH . Hab 3:3, Gal 1:9, 2 Kgs 11:13. This is a musical term, and occurs seventy-one times in thirty-nine Psalms, also in Hab 3:3, Gal 1:9, 2 Kgs 11:13 - in all, therefore, seventy-four times in the Bible. The most probable definition of it is that it "directs the falling-in of the sound of the priests' trumpets into the Levites' psalm-singing and playing on stringed instruments. It occurs, therefore, where very warm emotions have been expressed." "Higgaion," joined with "Selah," Ps 9:16, some render "a louder strain," others, "piano." We know nothing definite about it. See Marginal Reading.

selah in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Seventy-one times in the Psalms, three times in Habakkuk. From shelah, "rest." A music mark denoting a pause, during which the singers ceased to sing and only the instruments were heard. Septuagint diapsalma, a break in the psalm introduced where the sense requires a rest. It is a call to calm reflection on the preceding words. Hence, in Psalm 9:16 it follows eeiggaion, "meditation." The selah reminds us that the psalm requires a peaceful and meditative soul which can apprehend what the Holy Spirit propounds. Thus it is most suggestive, and far from being, as Smith's Bible Dictionary alleges of this sense, "superfluous." Delitsseh takes it from saalal "to lift up," a musical forte, the piano singing then ceasing, and the instruments alone playing with execution an interlude after sentences of peculiar importance, so as to emphasize them.