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Thread: Proper Pronunciation of "Selah?"

  1. #1

    Proper Pronunciation of "Selah?"

    I have heard it pronounced "Say-lah" but the secular dictionary lists it as "See-Lah" and the Hebrew etymology (from the same Merriam Webster source) lists it as See-Lay.

    So what is the most recognized pronunciation by the Church?
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), Zoë (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

  2. #2
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    I vote for See-Lah
    Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser, M. Div, ARP
    Pastor, Ellisville Presbyterian Church, ARP
    Ellisville, Mississippi

    ‎‎""The Christian religion is the religion of sinners, of such as have sinned, and in whom sin in some measure still dwells. The Christian life is a life of continued repentance, humiliation for and mortification of sin, of continual faith in, thankfulness for, and love to the Redeemer, and hopeful joyful expectation of a day of glorious redemption, in which the believer shall be fully and finally acquitted, and sin abolished for ever."
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  3. #3
    Seh-lah.

    Both the vowels are short.
    Rev. Daniel Kok
    Teaching Elder in the St. Lawrence Presbytery of the RPCNA
    Calgary, Alberta CANADA

    "What sort of pledge and how great is this of love towards us! Christ lives for us not for himself!"
    John Calvin, Commentary on the Hebrews (7:25)

  4. #4
    See-lah in the UK.
    David Porter
    Presbyterian Church in Ireland
    Minister of Second Dromara Presbyterian Church
    Dromara, County Down, Northern Ireland

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Poimen View Post
    Seh-lah.

    Both the vowels are short.
    I agree. The vowel pointing in the Hebrew seems pretty clear.

    Unless you are talking about the town in Washington State. Then it is pronounced "See-lah".
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- How to access Politics and Government forum

  6. #6
    The word is pronounced See-lah; but when the Scriptures are read aloud you do not read the word. It means pause, rest, meditate. It is appropriate to pause when the word comes up and then to continue without saying the word. It is more of a written cue to the reader.
    Pastor Nathan Eshelman
    Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)
    Master of Divinity, Master of Theology (candidate) Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
    Doctor of Ministry, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
    Gentle Reformation

  7. #7
    Selah — a word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning “silence” or “pause;” others, “end,” “a louder strain,” “piano,” etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., “a division.”
    Easton, M.G.: Easton's Bible Dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897
    Pastor Nathan Eshelman
    Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCNA)
    Master of Divinity, Master of Theology (candidate) Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
    Doctor of Ministry, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
    Gentle Reformation

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nleshelman View Post
    Selah — a word frequently found in the Book of Psalms, and also in Hab. 3:9, 13, about seventy-four times in all in Scripture. Its meaning is doubtful. Some interpret it as meaning “silence” or “pause;” others, “end,” “a louder strain,” “piano,” etc. The LXX. render the word by daplasma i.e., “a division.”
    Easton, M.G.: Easton's Bible Dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897
    I have also heard some define it as a musical term.
    J Baldwin
    Keowee Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Pickens, SC
    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by nleshelman View Post
    The word is pronounced See-lah; but when the Scriptures are read aloud you do not read the word. It means pause, rest, meditate. It is appropriate to pause when the word comes up and then to continue without saying the word. It is more of a written cue to the reader.
    Hmm. Given that the vowel pointing in Hebrew: a segol on the first consonant and a patah on the second, I wonder why you'd say the first syllable is "See".

    No big deal, but the "See" pronounciation seems to be an English variant.

    Also, the word (spelled the same way) is used for a city in 2 Kings 14:7, so at least in one place it was probably pronounced.
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- How to access Politics and Government forum

  10. #10
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    From e-sword:

    H5542
    סלה
    selâh
    seh'-law
    From H5541; suspension (of music), that is, pause: - Selah.

  11. #11
    Thank you for all the helpful responses.

    My family just found out yesterday that the baby we are expecting in August is a girl. My wife really likes the name "Selah" for her middle name. I am not so sure - it is growing on me more and more, but I want to know how to pronounce it.
    Christopher Reeder
    Husband to Kara, Father to Abigail (11), Caleb (10), Grace (9), Zoë (7), Elijah (6), Hannah (4), Mary (2), Philip (1), and Boy (in womb)

    Member: Greenville Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), Greenville, SC

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