A Hebrew word of uncertain meaning used in the titles to thirteen Psalms (32, 42, 44, 45, 52–55, 74, 78, 88, 89, 142) and once in context (Ps. 47.7). Although related by some to the root śkl, meaning “to be wise,” most of the psalms in which it occurs cannot be classified as wisdom literature. It is more likely an ancient technical classification whose precise sense is no longer known, like other words used in psalm titles such as “song,” “psalm,” “prayer,” “miktam,” and “shiggaion” (Ps. 7.1; “lament”?).

Michael D. Coogan