Selah Petra: The City of Refuge

Selah Petra is an amazing place, whose massive rock walls and enclosings make it nearly impenetrable from outside attack of any kind. But it's important to keep in mind that it's not the rocks that will keep the believing Jews safe here, but The Rock, Jesus Christ, who will do that for His people who trust in Him to deliver them from the attacks of Antichrist.

Rock City of Selah Petra

Look at the two men standing at the foot of the walls, and then look up and see the amazing protection that someone would have who was hiding out here.




Today Petra stands as a fortress waiting for a people to inhabit it...



"Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger." Zephaniah 2:3


Petra is the Greek name for Sela, or Selah, a city of ancient Edom. The Hebrew word sela means "lofty, craggy rock, fortress, stronghold, cliff." Petra is located 120 miles south of Jerusalem, almost due south of the southern tip of the Dead Sea, and 60 miles north of Aqaba (Eilat).

Roman geographer Strabo said Petra was 3-4 days journey south from Jericho. It is in the modern nation of Jordan, a few miles from the Israeli border.

Petra is legendary as the rock-cut "rose-red city half as old as time." The rose-red cliffs, nestled in a craggy canyon, are practically invisible from the air and almost impregnable from the ground.

In Abraham's time, Petra was known as Selah. It is located in the mountains of Seir, the land of the Edomites. Petra has many natural caves that are ideal hiding places. In addition, inhabitants have hollowed out many more caves.

From Lebanon to the Gulf of Aqaba (Akaba), piercing through the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan Valley, and the Dead Sea, the rift valley splits the Holy Land in two. Petra is located about half way between the Dead Sea and Aqaba on the east side of the rift, near Jebel Shera, the Mount Seir of the Bible.

The Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses, one of the traditional sites where Moses struck the rock and water gushed forth) is a great ravine running east to west enclosed by crimson cliffs which give the area its name, the Land of Edom, which means red. The Valley of Moses enters Petra from the East through a narrow winding 1 1/4 mile long gorge, or "Siq," 10-30 feet wide with walls over 150 feet high. source - GiveShare

 



The Meaning Of The Word Selah In The Bible
Packed With Prophetic Importance

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Like most people, I am sure that you have been taught that the word 'selah' in the bible meant that God wanted you to 'pause and meditate' at the sections in scripture where the word appears. Pausing and meditating on God's word is always a good thing to do, but having said that, there is so much more to the word 'selah' than pausing and meditating.

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Selah Petra is a real place that exists today

For starters, Selah is an actual, literal place that still exists to this day. We read about the geographic location of Selah in 2 Kings 14:

"He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day. " 2 Kings 14:7


In the ancient world, the rock walled city of Petra was commonly referred to by it's full name of Selah, Petra. This steel engraving of the Ruinen von Selah Petra (the Ruins of Selah Petra) 1850, by Laborde is a great example of that.

So the verse in 2 Kings 14 shows us first and foremost that Selah is a place that existed then and exists now. We call it today the rock walled city of Petra, located in Jordan. Selah (Sela) is also mentioned multiple times in the book of Isaiah:

"Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, [that], as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, [so] the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon." Isaiah 16:1,2

"Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up [their voice], the villages [that] Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains." Isaiah 42:11

What's fascinating about the passage in Isaiah 42:11 is that it refers to the people of Selah as the "inhabitants of the rock". Obadiah also mentions a civilization that lives in the rocks in the Land of Edom. Selah Petra was the capital of Edom:

"The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation [is] high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?" Obadiah 1:1-3

Rock City of Selah Petra
The rock city of Selah Petra

There are many, many more references I could give for showing that Selah (Sela) is an actual geographic location, but I will trust that these will be sufficient. Now that we have established that Selah is an actual place from history past, let's look and see if the bible gives reference to the city of Selah Petra being inhabited and used in a future, prophetical way.

The Jews in the Time of Jacob's Trouble - The Great Tribulation!

The bible mentions that there will come a time known as the "time of Jacob's trouble", and it is a very fierce and ominous period of human history. In the 30th chapter of the book of Jeremiah, the Lord is giving prophecy about a time yet future when the Jews would be regathered into their land, Israel, but it would not be a time of peace. In fact, it would be just the opposite.

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. And these [are] the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Alas! for that day [is] great, so that none [is] like it: it [is] even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." Jeremiah 30:1-5,7

We know this 'time of Jacob's trouble' to be what the New Testament refers to as the Great Tribulation. The time in which the Antichrist will visibly rule, and his main target will the people of Jacob who became Israel - the Jews.

God prepares a hiding place

God has promised that once the Jews were restored that they would never again be driven out. But the onslaught that the Antichrist whips up against them is so fierce and so terrible that God moves them out of the way, He hides them, in a place where Satan cannot get them. Jesus tells us to pay close attention to the prophet Daniel for a whoppingly important clue...and here it is:

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matthew 24:15-22

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." Luke 21:20-23

We who take the bible literally can clearly see that during the Great Tribulation, the Jews of necessity will be forced to temporarily flee to 1) a place in the wilderness, that is also in 2). the mountains.

The book of Revelation sheds even more light on the 'flight' that God will cause the Jews to take to get away from the Antichrist:

"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:14-17

Rock City of Selah Petra
The massive stone walls which completely encircle the city of Petra make it nearly impossible to get at anyone who would be hiding inside. This is a perfect spot for the Jews to flee to.

So we see that the believing Jews will be flown into a pre-prepared place in the wilderness for a 'time, times and half a time', or three and one-half years as foretold by the prophet Daniel. We believe that in this red rock city of Selah Petra is where God will hide the Jews while the Antichrist installs himself in the rebuilt Temple as if he was very God himself.

Selah as a clue to the Second Coming Of Jesus Christ

We have thus far shown that instead of being a signal to "pause and meditate', that the word Selah in the bible is 1). an actual, literal, historical place that still exists today, and 2). it is the likely hiding place of the Jews in the Tribulation due to the many descriptive clues given it from scripture. Now we will attempt to tie it all together with a little-taught insight as to the placement of the word Selah in the bible.

Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, of the Pensacola Bible Institute, has taught for years that the placement of the word Selah in the bible brings to light precious new insight as to events that will be going on during the Great Tribulation, and offers a tantalizing connection between Selah Petra and the believing Jews when they flee to hide from Antichrist. It goes like this:

Anywhere you find the word Selah in the Old Testament, you will find, bearly always, either in the few verses above it or below it, a reference to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. For example, in Psalm 24, we find the word Selah twice:

"This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah." Psalm 24:6

"Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah." Psalm 24:10

And all through this passage we see direct references to the Second Coming:

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. " Psalm 24:8,9

Moving on to Psalm 46, we see it again:

"The LORD of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge. Selah." Psalm 46:11

"The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted." Psalm 46:6

It doesn't matter where you look, the word Selah is almost always associated together and found with direct, overt references to the Second Coming of Jesus. And it is the opinion of this author that that is exactly why the Lord placed the word Selah where He placed it. So that as we, the generation of the last days, saw these things approaching, we would have renewed confidence that everything in God's word could be trusted totally and completely.

Think about this as we conclude:

• Jesus is called the Rock, Selah Petra means rock in Hebrew (Selah), and Greek (Petra). The bible was first written in Hebrew (OT), and in Greek (NT).

• Jesus shed blood, which pays for our sins and covers us, is red. Petra is a red, rock city of refuge. The Lord is both a rock AND a fortress - "The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer" Psalm 18:2. As you read the rest of Psalm 18, you find reference after reference to God being the 'rock', the 'refuge', setting His people on 'high places', 'leaping over walls', etc.

• Petra is located next to the city of Wadi Musa, which means the 'Valley of Moses'. The Jews fled by Moses out of Egypt in the Old Testament the same way that the Jews in the Tribulation will flee to Petra. And just as God supernaturally parted the Red Sea (there's that word 'red' again!), God will supernaturally keep the Jews safe and protected in Petra.

• Petra is at the entrance to the land of Edom. The prophet Daniel says that when the Antichrist appears, he will devour all the areas around Israel, except for Edom where Petra is. "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many [countries] shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon." Daniel 11:41

• In Isaiah 16, we see the Lord's 'outcasts' hiding in the land of Moab right before He returns at the end of the Tribulation to set up His 1,000 year reign. "Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, [that], as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, [so] the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness." Isaiah 16:1-5

• "Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger." Zephaniah 2:3

• "Who [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Isaiah 63:1

Could it be that when Jesus returns to save His people from the Antichrist, that He will stop at Petra, which is Bozrah, and bring His people home?

Remember the Old Testament saints that where waiting in Abraham's Bosom for Jesus to come and get them and bring them home? Jesus went down there and preached to those who were not getting out, sealing their doom, and then preached to the ones in Abraham's Bosom and took them with Him to Glory. We believe that at His Second Coming, Jesus will stop at Selah Petra, wipe out the rebellion, 'dying His garments red' in their blood, and then release those hiding in the rocks and take them with Him to Glory on earth for His 1,000 Year Reign of peace on this earth.

We shall see...keep looking up!


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