Selah – A Word Study

Selah - A Word Study what does this delightful sounding word mean?


When reading the Bible, we often come to the word Selah. Every time, my kids ask me what that means. So, I finally decided to find out!


Though it is mentioned 76 times in the Bible (most of them in the Psalms), I found that there is no definite meaning for it! There are several suggestions, though.

“Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” Psalm 3:8

My favorite and the most seemly definition is: “stop and listen.”

Some sources go more in-depth:

“An alternate interpretation is that “Selah, [celah], is from the primary Hebrew root word [calah] which means ‘to hang,’ and by implication to measure (weigh). This is readily understood because in Biblical history, money, food and other valuables were ‘weighed’ by hanging or suspending them on a type of balance (the equivalent of our measuring scale) to determine their value.” This implies a possible meaning is an instruction to measure carefully and reflect upon the preceding statements.” [source]

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” Psalm 24:9-10

Isn’t it beautiful that the Author of the scriptures wanted to remind us to pause, stop, listen, and ponder the depth, the weight, the importance of the words given by God?!

I think that when we come to that delightful sounding word Selah, that we should slow down, go back, and read that passage again.

I’m so thankful for God’s clear and definite instructions for our life, even down to how we should read His Holy Word!

“Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.” Psalm 67:3-5 

5 thoughts on “Selah – A Word Study

  1. This might be a silly question but is it pronounced “say-la” or “see-la”? I have always thought it was “say-la” but I realised I’m not sure!

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