The word ‘Selah’ appears seventy-four times in forty Psalms and three times in Habakkuk 3 as a marginal note or musical instruction. Have you wondered what this means or why is it mentioned in these books of the Bible?
Selah essentially signifies a “pause”, “reflect” or “interlude.” Scholars view that this word was used by musicians to change instruments or to call for both musicians and listeners to reflect on the meaning and personal application of the truth that had been sung. Some scholars say that it was a call for the instruments to enter, raise the pitch of volume, affirm what has been said, or serve as a breath marker.
But, is it relevant to be read out loud in public during Psalm reading especially in a non-church setting?
Let me give my personal thought and i invite your views below. In public reading of the Psalms, we are to pause for few seconds than actually say it loud for various reasons. In my view, reading it loud equals to how it would sound, if we are to read out loud all the punctuation marks in English. It can be very distracting. More so, in the case of Selah as many listeners would be wondering what is “Selah” than listen to the actual Psalm and may be distracted from the Word of God.
Dr. JAMES CHACKO, PhD.
Founder, President & CEO at JC Mentors Private Limited, Founder and Lead Pastor at LifeBridge and CEO & Founder at New and Living Way Charitable Trust (Regd.)