Shortly after I started typing out my expressions that were in my journal, I realized that I wanted to use the term ‘Selah’ as a closing. I had known for some years that my last name spelled backward was the word used throughout the book of Psalm, but the term was not clearly defined for me. The searches I had done revealed that most scholars felt the term was of “uncertain meaning”, “some obscure meaning” that denoted “a rest or pause”, and was “intimating something emphatic”. Some theologians believed it indicated “to lift up”, “exalt”, a “sudden shouting of ‘Amen’”, or “an emphatic word marking the point for ‘lifting up’ one’s thought to God”. Other definitions said it was “a technical musical term”, “showing accentuation and interruption”, “a moment of silence”, a “musical interlude”, or “marking a change of tempo”. Expounding on these definitions I have heard other people say it meant “to think about it”, to “pause and in reverence to God consider it”, or to simply just “consider it”. The latter versions of the meaning I liked for the reason to use it at the end of my writings (besides for the secondary use as a unique, albeit, reverse signature of my name). So I prayed about it. I asked the Lord if it was okay to use ‘Selah’ and asked for an understanding of the term used in Psalm as relating to a closing in my writings. God is great, and He answered my prayer to my satisfaction and enjoyment. This is what I learned:
While on a church tour in Israel I asked a shop keeper in Jerusalem about the term. I also inquired of our guide about it. Two things were told to me. Selah means “rocks”. If a person had a name of “Stone” in English, translated to Hebrew it would be “Selah”. But that term used by King David in the book of Psalm is unknown and is spelled differently. David’s use was spelled in Hebrew, (reading from right to left), Samekh Lamedh He, the 15th, 12th, and 5th letters in the 22 lettered Hebrew alphabet. That was the spelling and the word I wanted. I had the shop keeper build me a logo of the word ‘Selah’ over the fish, the sign of Jesus. I then checked again with our guide for accuracy of meaning and correctness of spelling to ensure I had the word used in Psalm. The logo was born. The Lord then directed my heart to Psalm 119 and I drew out the three letters spelling ‘Selah’ from the twenty-two Hebrew letters David used in the chapter. Each letter was an acrostic writing (using the subject letter to start each verse) and had eight verses. Samekh, Lamedh, He totaled 24 verses of the 176 verses in the entire Psalm of 119 that used all twenty-two Hebrew letters. Each verse in the eight-verse stanza of each individual Hebrew letter began with the same Hebrew letter. Each verse of the eight verses in Samekh (Psalm 119:113-120) started with the Hebrew letter ‘Samekh’ and each verse of the eight verses in Lamedh (Psalm 119:89-96) started with Lamedh, and so on and so on. I had an epiphany! Why then wouldn’t ‘Selah’, the word, be defined by the letters used to spell the word, which are 24 verses in God’s Word? I thought, “Yeah, why not?” So I read the verses and said, “Let God’s Word define the word Selah”. And my intended meaning for ‘Selah’ at the end of my writings was born.
So think of Psalm 119:113-120, Psalm 119:89-96, and Psalm 119:33-40 when you read the word ‘Selah’ at the end of my writings. Let a word out of The Holy Bible draw you back into God’s Word. I believe that is the true purpose of the word ‘Selah’, to take the reader back into the endless depths of God in order to seek Him and learn more about His eternal mercies. What a glorious cycle to be caught up in!