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Tracey May 1, 2014 at 6:36 am

I came across this because somebody giving a retirement speech in my office today said that the word “selah” in Psalms meant “rock.” I was trying to figure out where he got that from, because it’s not what I learned. It turns out there are two different words.

Strong’s 5541 is סלה, which appears 71 times in Psalms, 3 times in Habakkuk and nowhere else in the Bible. It is usually not translated.

Strong’s 5553 and 5554 are סלע, which appears in a number of places, and means “rock.” (5554 is a separate entry for a place name; 5553 is a regular noun)

ה is usually silent at the end of words and ע is understood by most English speakers to be a silent consonant, so they tend to sound the same (seh-lah) and look the same in our alphabet. But actually ע is supposed to be a guttural sound. You can see this in the city name Gomorrah (as in Sodom and), where ע is the first letter.

Rebecca Worley November 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Just looking up the meaning of Selah for my daughter.

paul denton May 5, 2015 at 5:30 am

Hi pamela, thanxxx for the article and your interpretation … many people dont think of this word… and as a psalmist and writer myself – I believe the writer wants to make a statement like amen – which means so be it… but I believe selah – a feminine word is more ” so shall it be”…or Ive always believed this word at the end of the psalms means ” so shall it be” – but it is a word that has many meanings and even the greatest scholars still havnt solved this mystery… I see it as the psalmist saying… ” YES… It certainly is… forever… – so shall it be…amen… lift Gods Name High for it truly is…but that’s the interpretation the Holy Spirit has given me and I’m sure a lot of scholars will disagree.. I see it as an affirmation by the writer saying that this is certain… an emphasis of the previous statements made. Selah!

paul denton May 5, 2015 at 5:35 am

also i visited new mexico in 1985. i came across some native american indians praying for rain. i joined them and we prayed for it to rain. it hadnt rained for 2 and a half years. after 30 mintues of singing and praising God…it rained… i was only 22 at the time… since then i became a christian and i am planning to visit the same place and those same indians who left me with the verse…dont forget to entertain strangers… i read it years later and relaised they were all christian indians… im involved now in reaching the lost for jesus – particularly the rainbow people and the indigenous. ive travelled to over 100 countries and im still travelling…i believe i will visit america in 2016/2017. Bless u. paul

Pamela Rose Williams May 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing your experience as a young man in New Mexico. It is beautiful here and we know many native Christians. I hope you stop by WCWTK again and continue reading what we are sharing here to equip, encourage, and energize Christians.

Stephanie Sands May 16, 2016 at 8:37 am

My daughter’s name is Selah…. The Lord put it on my heart that it means “Promise”…..He put the promise on my heart that I would be blessed with a daughter, and that her name should be Selah….. And so it was…. SELAH.

Pamela Rose Williams May 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Hi Staphanie, Well that is the first time that I have ever seen “Selah” to mean promise. Sweet name for a baby girl. I did a little more searching and have found some other female names that mean promise. Here they are with the country of origin: Amaris (Israel), Amaryah (Israel), Giselle (France), Jazzell (America) and Lilybet (England/Welsh). Just thought I would share. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment here.

Ayumba June 28, 2016 at 7:20 am

I am delighted to have come across this article -last i thought of the meaning to the word was the year 2005 in may but never got an answer,today reading through the bible have come a cross it and decided to look for the meaning and so to say i am happy i have a revelation-The psalm book is poetic and music is poetic in its composure -the writer uses the word to let the reader sustain that verse and meditate on its meaning.God bless.

William A Fancher Jr July 19, 2019 at 9:29 am

I love reading my bible, and when someone ask me what so and so mean(like in Psalm 24:6 and 10) at the end of the verse the word Selh is there, a friend asked me what it was and what it stood for, I asked a pastor and he said (the end) and again I have been asked what it means by others, So as much as I know and love reading my bible when someone asks I want to be ready to give them an answer or let them know I will find out for them and pass it on to them, Thank you for your answer. I now truly understand what Shela is

Nomvelo Masilo March 1, 2020 at 8:40 am

Divine greetings to the church of the Most High God, I also was very interested on what Selah means, upon reading some of the comments above the Holy Spirit has pressed it in my spirit for the meaning to being “there is no end to the promises of God” The Lord almightys goodness is forever increasing from glory to glory, He being the rock of all ages can only do better now than what He had done previously, so as you read each commentary and meditate on what has been written expect and search the Lord for far greater and glorious than what it appears to being presented. We serve a Living unlimited God and in this ages we must draw from within far greater than what David and the likes of Paul had encountered.

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