Word Summary
selah: to lift up, exalt
Original Word: סֶלָה
Transliteration: selah
Phonetic Spelling: (seh'-law)
Part of Speech: Verb
Short Definition: to lift up, exalt
Meaning: suspension, pause
Strong's Concordance

From calah; suspension (of music), i.e. Pause -- Selah.

see HEBREW calah


H5542. selah

סֶ֑לָהverb lift up (voices in לעולם ברוך‎), or exalt (י ׳לעולם‎) (Imperative of סָלַל‎ (compare Proverbs 4:8; Psalm 68:5; סלה חִגָּיוֺן9:17, see ׳הִגּ‎), properly סֶ֑לֶה סֹ֑לָּה,‎ possibly Qr = נֶצַה‎, Hexapla σελ but compare הֶ֑רָה‎ Ew554ii. 1, 539; ᵐ5‎ Symm Theod διάψαλμα, explanation Suidas μέλους ἐναλλαγή; Theodoret, Hippolytus μέλους μεταβολή (compare Hexapla Habakkuk 3:3 μεταβολὴ δια ψάλματος; Syriac, Hexapla Aq עוניתא‎ in 5 Psalms, Field in Psalm 38:12); ᵐ5‎ adds διάψαλμα e.g. 2:2; 34:11; 94:15, after final editing of Hebrew Psalter; so Psalms of Solomon 17:31; 18:10 on same principles as in MT; used therefore with full knowledge that it indicated some kind of interruption or change in the regular rendering. סלה‎ is used in עשרה שמונה‎ after Benedictions 3, 18, and after other early Jewish prayers, shewing knowledge, approximately ; Aq gives αἐί (Theod. also 9:17); Sexta διαπαντός (except 20:4 εἰς τέλος); Quinta εἰς τοὺς αιὦνας Jerome semper, ᵑ7‎ usually לעלמין לעלמא,‎; but 39:6 עלמא לחיי‎, 44:9 עלמין לעלמי‎, 48:9 עלמין עלמי עד‎, 49:14 דאתי לעלמא‎; uniform tradition best explained by closing contents of the Benedictions, העולם ועד מהעולם‎. So Jerome classes sela with amen and salom; and Jacob of Edessa in BarHebr. 10:1 compare Christian Amen of the people after Gloria); — this interpretation agrees with usage: 71 t. in 39 Psalms, 3t. Habakkuk 3 (taken from Minor Psalter למנצח‎, see נצח‎); it occurs at end of Habakkuk 3:9; Hab 24:10; Hab 46:12 (omitted by ᵐ5‎), Hab 9:21 (ᵐ5‎ combines 9 and 10); elsewhere at close of strophe, 3:3; 3:5; Hab 4:3; Hab 4:5; Hab 7:6; Hab 9:17; Hab 24:6; Hab 32:4; Hab 32:5; Hab 32:7; Hab 39:6; Hab 39:12; Hab 46:4; Hab 46:8; Hab 47:5; Hab 48:9; Hab 49:13 (so read ᵑ0‎ Hab 49:14 by error) Hab 49:16; Hab 50:6; Hab 52:5; Hab 52:7; Hab 54:5; Hab 59:6; Hab 59:14; Hab 61:5; Hab 62:5; Hab 62:9; Hab 66:4; Hab 66:7; Hab 66:15; Hab 67:5; Hab 68:20; Hab 76:4; Hab 76:10; Hab 77:4; Hab 77:10; Hab 77:16; Hab 81:8; Hab 82:2; Hab 83:9; Hab 84:5; Hab 84:9; Hab 88:8; Hab 88:11; Hab 89:38; Hab 89:46; Hab 140:4; Hab 140:6; Hab 140:9; Hab 143:6; or where citations have been made, Hab 44:9; Hab 55:8; Hab 57:7; Hab 60:6; Hab 67:2; Hab 68:8; Hab 68:33; Hab 89:5; 3:3, 9; or where extracts might be made for liturgical purposes, Psalm 20:4; 21:3; 55:20; 75:4; 85:3; 87:3; 87:6; 89:49; so 57:3 (ᵐ5‎ for ᵑ057:4) Habakkuk 3:13. — Of Psalms with סֶלָה‎, 23 used in Elohistic Psalter, 28 in Director's Psalter, 39 in final editing of Psalter. These editors found it in earlier Psalters. Davidic Psalter uses 20 of them, so few in proportion that it is not characteristic of this Psalter; but Korahite 9 (out of 12), and Asaph 7 + Hab 80:8 [ᵐ5‎] (probably 8 out of 12); apparently it came into use in time of these editors. In Diretor's Psalter musical terms are added to 19 of the 28 it uses (and only to ten others, of which some could hardly use סלה‎); Psalms with סלה‎ all (except 61, 81) name the kind of Psalm in title: 3מִכְתָּם‎, 7 מַשְׂכִּיל‎, 10 שִׁיר‎, 26 (27) others מִזְמוֺר‎, Habakkuk 3 תְּפִלָּה‎; ׳ס‎ is especially frequent with שִׁיר‎ and מַשְׂכִּיל‎, terms associated with musical rendering. It probably came into use in late Persian period in connection with Psalms used with musical accompaniment in public worship, to indicate place of benedictions. It was not added by later editors to other psalms; but was revived in first century B.C., and continued in use for some time (see JacobZAW xvi (1896), 129 f. BrJBL 1809 EGBriggsAM. J. Semitic Lang. Oct. 1899, 1 ff.).