Proper Pronunciation of "Selah?"

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by ChristopherPaul, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    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?
     
  2. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I vote for See-Lah
     
  3. Poimen

    Poimen Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Seh-lah.

    Both the vowels are short.
     
  4. DavidCPorter

    DavidCPorter Puritan Board Freshman

    See-lah in the UK.
     
  5. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    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". :smug:
     
  6. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    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.
     
  7. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    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
     
  8. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I have also heard some define it as a musical term.
     
  9. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    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. ;)
     
  10. Michael

    Michael Puritan Board Senior

    From e-sword:

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

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    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. :)
     
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