The Most Mysterious Word In Biblical Psalms

An Ancient Hebrew Term

In Psalm 3 you will find the following verse, “Salvation belongs unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah” (Psalms 3:8). What is this final word? Selah is a mysterious word sprinkled throughout the Book of Psalms over 70 times. As with Amen and Hallelujah, Selah is not English. It is an ancient Hebrew term that has not been translated because of its special sanctity. When we look at the Hebrew, there are a few possible interpretations.

Selah and the Levites

It is telling that Selah always appears at the end of a block of verses. Since the Psalms were originally sung by the Levitical choir in the Temple, many of them contain musical directions. Some scholars say Selah comes from the Hebrew root (SLL סלל), meaning “to raise up,” instructing the Levites to lift their voices. Others say Selah comes from the Hebrew word sal (סל) meaning “basket,” referencing a drum that was beaten at certain interludes.

The Bible speaks Hebrew, Learn to Listen

The word Selah is a rare remnant- one of very few Hebrew words that was not translated. Listen to the Bible just as David and Jesus heard it.

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