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(139 words)

[German Version]

The word סֶלָה/selāh occurs in 39 psalms and in Habakkuk (three times), a total of about 70 times; it appears three times in several psalms (including Pss 3 and 32) and four times in Ps 89. Its meaning has not been explained conclusively. Its etymology from סלל/sll, “heap up, lift,” has suggested two meanings: (1) a musical term (“lifting the voice”), denoting a pause or repetition or referring to an “interlude” (cf. LXX διάψαλμα/diápsalma; Kraus, 23f.); (2) a graphical term (“heap up a ramp,” “leave a road [a line] free”) used as a scribal direction (cf. Masor. parashah [Per…

Cite this page
Liess, Kathrin, “Selah”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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