Days of Praise

Selah

“Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.” (Psalm 3:2)

The word “Selah” occurs 74 times in the Bible (three of which are in the prophetic psalm of Habakkuk, with the other 71 in the book of Psalms). The first of these occurrences is here in Psalm 3:2, and it also occurs at the end of verses 4 and 8, thus in effect dividing Psalm 3 into three “stanzas.”

However, its exact meaning is uncertain. Most authorities think it is some kind of musical notation, to be applied when the psalm was being sung with accompanying musical instrumentation. It suggests a pause of some kind, perhaps to allow the instruments to play a few notes while the singers were silent before proceeding with the next portion, possibly changing to a different key.

When the psalm is merely being read, however, as must often be the case, this explanation would be pointless. Thus, some think it indicates a brief pause for reflection on the truth just revealed before proceeding to the next point. “Selah” might, therefore, mean something like “Think of that!”

In Psalm 3, as the first instance, verse 2 notes that many (perhaps originally those involved in Absalom’s rebellion against King David) are saying: “Not even God can help him now!” But then the psalmist remembers God’s promises and he prays, and God answers, so now he can say: “Well, what do you think about that?” Both exclamations are implied by his “Selah.”

Then in the third stanza, he stresses his security in his Lord. He can sleep and “not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about . . . Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people” (Psalm 3:6, 8). “So, what can you say about that, you enemies of God and His Word?” (“Selah”). HMM

A Model Church

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) More...

Labor--The Gift of God

“And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:13) More...

Neither Wine nor Strong Drink

“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15) More...

The Worldwide Flood

“And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11) More...

More Articles

List of previous Days of Praise Articles