About Selah

niccolo_da_bologna_-_tempera_and_gold_on_parchment_1494-1402Selah is one of the most mysterious words in the Hebrew bible, and found the most commonly in the psalms. Although an accepted translation eludes Hebrew scholars, both Christian and Jewish, there seems to be a general consensus that it means to pause, to stop and think or to meditate. In effect, ‘to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest’ from second collect for Advent dating to at least the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. If its a muscial notation in the psalms, it may be a call for silence.

Selah is an offshoot of my medieval blog Heavenfield, a place to continue a series of posts that began there on the psalms in particular and spirituality in general. I am particularly interested in the evolution of private, lay devotional materials. The psalter (or Book of Psalms) has always been at the heart of private devotional materials. These materials run the entire spectrum from the psalters of early medieval monks (who may or may not have been ordained) to the modern Book of Common Prayer.