diapsalma == selah

Steven Avery

it appears that Diapsalma was similar to Sela. it was an instruction for a musical interlude in the singing of the psalm to give time to meditate on what the singer had just sung.

8. But again, as we found in the Seventy, and in Theodotion, and in Symmachus, in some psalms, and these not a few, the word διάψαλμα inserted, we endeavoured to make out whether those who placed it there meant to mark a change at those places in rhythm or melody, or any alteration in the mode of instruction, or in thought, or in force of language. It is found, however, neither in Aquila nor in the Hebrew; but there, instead of διάψαλμα
an intervening musical symphony), we find the word ἀεί
ever). And further, let not this fact escape thee, O man of learning, that the Hebrews also divided the Psalter into five books, so that it might be another Pentateuch. For from Ps. 1 to 40 they reckoned one book; and from 41 to 71 they reckoned a second; and from 72 to 88 they counted a third book; and from 89 to 105 a fourth; and from 106 to 150 they made up the fifth. For they judged that each psalm closing with the words, “Blessed be the Lord, Amen, amen,” formed the conclusion of a book. And in them we have “prayer,” viz., supplication offered to God for anything requisite; and the “vow,” i.e., engagement; and the “hymn,” which is the song of blessing to God for benefits enjoyed; and “praise” or “extolling,” which is the laudation of the wonders of God. For laudation is nothing else but just the superlative of praise. Hippolytus of Rome. “Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books of Scripture.” Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Novatian, Appendix. Ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Trans. S. D. F. Salmond. Vol. 5. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886. 201. Print. The Ante-Nicene Fathers.

Its usual position is at the end of a poem or of a strophe, the only instances of its occurrence in the middle of a verse being Ps 55:19; 57:3, Hab 3:3, 9. These exceptions, however, are apparent rather than real: the first passage is full of impassioned feeling, and the Ṣelah immediately follows a Divine title; in the second the LXX has διάψαλμα at the close of the verse; the other two are connected with loose quotations from Dt 33:2, Ps 77:16–20. Taylor, John. “SELAH.” Ed. James Hastings et al. A Dictionary of the Bible: Dealing with Its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology 1911–1912: 431. Print.

SELAH m. rest, silence, with ה parag. סֶ֫לָה (Milêl), to silence, silence! Such seems to be the probable import of this musical note, so often found in the Psalms (only occurring elsewhere, Hab. 3:3, 9, 13), which has been so much discussed and tortured by the conjectures and blunders of interpreters. It seems to have been used to mark a short pause in singing the words of the psalm, so that the singer would be silent, while the instrumental music continued. This interpretation is supported—(a) by the authority of the LXX. who always render it διάψαλμα, i.e. an interlude, Zwifchenfpiel (although Hesych. renders it μουσικο͂ μέλους ἢ ῥυθμοῦ ἐναλλαγή).—(b) by the place where סֶלָה commonly stands in the Psalms. For it stands in the middle of Psalms, at the place where a section of the Psalm is finished; thus in some Psalms it occurs once (Ps. 7:6; 20:4; 21:3), or twice (Psalm 4:3, 5; 9:17, 21), in others three times (Ps. 3:3, 5, 9; 32:4, 5, 7; 66:4, 7, 15; 68:8, 20, 33), and even four times (Ps. 89:5, 38, 46, 49), sometimes also it is put at the end (Ps. 3, 9, 24, fin.); it thus serves to divide a Psalm into several strophes. It rarely occurs in the middle of a verse (Psa. 55:20; 57:4; Hab. 3:3, 9). Also—(c) Psa. 9:17, where for the simple סֶלָה there is more fully הִגָּיוֹן סֶלָה, which should apparently be rendered “Instrumental music,—pause,” i.e. the instrumental music to continue while the singer paused. With a similar meaning others derive סֶלָה from סָלָה No. I, to lift up, and they understand it to be, a lifting up of the voice in singing with the music (compare נָשָׂא Job 21:12), but I prefer the former explanation. Gesenius, Wilhelm, and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles. Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures 2003: 588. Print.

three authoritative definitions