Introductory Definitions of Terms Used in the Psalms

Introductory Definitions of the Terms Used in the Psalms


1. Aijeleth-Shahar, “the day dawn”

2. Al-Alamoth, “relating to maidens” 

3. Al-Taschith, “destroy not” 

4. Gittith, “winepresses” 

5. Higgaion, “soliloquy; meditation” 

6. Jeduthun, one of the three “chief musicians,” along with Asaph and Heman. 

7. Mahalath, “the great dancing” 

8. Mahalath Leannoth, “the great dancing and shouting” 

9. Maschil, “contemplative, instructive psalm” 

10. Michtam, “engraven,” from the Heb. word katam, “to cut in or engrave,” referring to truth being a permanent writing 

11. Muth-Labben, “the death of a champion” 

12. Neginoth, “smitings or strikings” (or Neginah, the singular form) 

13. Nehiloth, “concerning inheritances, or the great inheritance” 

14. Selah, “a thought-link, telling us to pause and look back at what has been said and mark its connection with what is to follow” 

15. Sheminith, “the eight or eighth” 

16. Shiggaion, “a loud cry of danger or joy” 

17. Shoshannim, “lilies,” relating to Passover and Wave-sheaf offering 

18. Shushan or Shoshannim Eduth, “instruction as to the Spring Festival, or the Second Passover