Ok. So here is one for the younger and older spiritual heart alike.
The word selah appears 74 times in the God Story, 71 of these being in the psalms, and three in the prophet Habakkuk. When you look it up a/la/google you will find it is an unknown word, and translators have differing insights. Does it denote a musical interlude or have something to do with groups being directed as they worship together? Some translations omit the word Selah for clarity and/or lack of confusion. Too bad.
Occasionally as you search for word meanings in original languages you will find the descriptor “from an unused word.” This indicates there is minimal help for translation. In my investigation Selah means to lift this up. This led me to ask “up to where?” Ezekiel 1:22 speaks of a gleaming crystal expanse before the throne of God. Revelation 4:6 describes this s a crystal sea of glass. Could this be the pure flow of praise which always flows before the throne of the One True God? Doesn’t this make sense?
Then, from Isaiah 35/a beautiful teaching
“A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness.The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks in that manner, and fools will not wander on it.”
The word highway is used in Isaiah (who I like to call Messiah’s prophet) and comes from a root that may mean to cast up your arrow. Add Jeremiah’s take and it looks as though this ancient highway is valued by some and avoided by many. (Jeremiah 18:15; 31:21)
I have concluded that the word Selah is more than musical interlude, and rather than merely functional to guide players and singers, it is a casting up of personal sentiment to the throne of God. I don’t know if you have every considered the third heaven, but it appears to be a special place, where God is honored and praised continually.
Returning to the prophet Habakuk and use of the word Selah:
3:3 appears to be all about His holiness
3:9 about justice
3:11 concerning vengeance and making all things right
Is it possible that the word and concept Selah means to “cast this up to the highway of praise which flows always before the throne of God Most High?” Could it be every bit as much the result of the music of the heart as well as of instrument or voice? After all, isn’t this the goal of all musical worship and otherwise?
Let us know what you think.
Lifting up holy hands with you,
Dave & Burnadette
1 Timothy 2:8