Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
(John 4:14)

ISSUE: #161


(Messianic Email Message)
Psalms 119:97 - 104
Seeking The Truth
MEM Index
Article Index

And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb
(Rev 22:1)

For His Glory!



This Hebrew word is usually translated as "Peace".

How many different words are translated from the word Shalom?

What is the full meaning of Shalom?

How is it used today among the Jews?

What spiritual benefit does Shalom have for us?

Does mankind have a need for this Shalom?

Did you know there is a Biblical blessing invoking Shalom (peace) for God’s people?

Why do many of the epistles begin with the salutation "Grace and Peace…"?

What does the "Peace Offering" have to do with Shalom?

What is the "Covenant of Peace"?

This and much more in this study on ‘Shalom’, including quotes, commentary and a Wikipedia definition.


MacDonald has said that the combination of "grace and peace" is in one sense "in miniature, the gospel for the whole world." (MacDonald, W. Believer's Bible Commentary). (Much of the bolding is done by MEM)

Question: "What is the meaning of the Hebrew word shalom?"

Answer: Commonly translated as "peace" and used as both a greeting and farewell, shalom has rich meaning in Hebrew. "Peace" is an accurate translation of the term, but shalom implies more than lack of conflict. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, shalom means "completeness, soundness, welfare, peace." It is translated "success" and used as part of an inspired blessing in 1 Chronicles 12:18. Shalom is applicable to an external peace between two entities-such as individuals or nations-and to an internal sense of peace within the individual.

The ESV and NRSV title Isaiah 54 "The Eternal Covenant of Peace." In part, God promises,
"‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you. . . . All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace" (Isaiah 54:10, 13).

One of the names of God is Yahweh-Shalom (Judges 6:24), or the Lord our Peace. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

True shalom comes only from God. Paul explains, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…" (See Romans 5:1-3, 8-10). We are no longer God’s enemies, but He has made peace with us through the blood of Christ.

Even more, in God we are made complete. Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us,
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" First Thessalonians 5:23-24 says, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." Philippians 1:6 assures us, "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

As we await that final completion, we can trust God for our welfare. Jesus encouraged His disciples, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).


NASB Translations for Shalom
close (2), ease (1), favorable (1), friend (1), friendly terms (1), friends (2), greet (6), greeted (1), health (1), how (1), Peace (2), peace (153), peaceably (1), peaceful (2), peacefully (3), perfect peace (1), prosperity (3), rose (1), safe (2), safely (7), safety (6), secure (1), state (1), trusted (1), welfare (14), well (17), well-being (5), who were at peace (1), wholly (1).

Brown-Driver-Briggs: Shalom

1 completeness in number, Jeremiah 13:19 Judah is wholly carried captive

2 safety, soundness, in body Psalm 38:4; Isaiah 38:17; Job 5:24 is safe, secure.

3 welfare, health, prosperity: ask one about welfare Genesis 43:27; be well with Genesis 29:6;

may it be well in; absolute as object of well, be well, Genesis 29:6

Ps 122:8 (NAS) For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, "May peace be within you."

4 peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment, Isaiah 32:17 (to sleep); depart life in tranquility Genesis 15:15; come in contentment; Isaiah 32:18,

5 peace, friendship:

  1. human relations: Jeremiah 20:10 man of my friendship
  2. in Messianic reign Psalm 72:3.

c. peace with God, especially in covenant relation: Isaiah 54:10 of my peace;

6 peace from war: make peace (with) Joshua 9:15; in time of peace; Isaiah 9:5 (Messianic title)

7 as adjective Psalm 55:21 those at peace with.


Kenneth Hemphill (Edited for length - see "Shalom Definition" by Kenneth Hemphill)

shalom means much more than the cessation of violence and hostility. There is a considerable difference between peace and a truce. It is glorious good news that Jehovah is peace....The idea behind the word shalom is wholeness and harmony in relationship with God. When you find yourself wondering where is the blessing of God's presence in your life, you need to remember that He is Jehovah Shalom. He desires to bring peace if you will simply return to Him.

Shalom speaks of the peace or tranquility of death, a state of restful calm, as seen in the passing of godly people (e.g., Ge 15:15; Ex 18:23;1Ki. 2:6; 2Ki. 22:20).

Shalom is pictured as the equivalent or close synonym for "prosperity" in a material sense (cf. Ps 72:3ff; Isa. 54:13). Isa. 66:12; Jer. 33:6ff. describes this kind of peace as the gift of God. Isa. 48:22; 57:21 declare that there is no peace for the wicked. The withdrawal of God’s peace is viewed as a curse (cf. Jer. 16:5; Lam. 3:17; Eze. 7: 5; 13:16). Peace is identified as the fruit of righteousness (Isa. 32:17); and as a specific blessing from God (cf. 1Ki. 2:33; Ps 29:11; 85:8; Pr 3:17; Isa. 52: 7; 53:7; Jer. 28:9; Nah. 1:15; Hag. 2:9).

Shalom is also found in formulae such as the greeting "Peace be ..." (cf. Ge 43:23; Jdg 6:23; Isa. 57:19). It is also found in the benediction "Go in peace" (cf. Ex 4:18; Num. 6:26; Jdg 18: 6; 1Sa. 20:42; 2Ki. 5:19). 

Peace in the sense of "absence of military conflict" is indicated in Dt 20:10; Jdg 4:17; 1Ki. 2:5; 4:24; Ec 3: 8; Isa. 39: 8.

Isa. 9:7 refers to the anticipated peaceful rule of the Messianic Servant of Yahweh.

There are a number of associated meanings, including that of "safe," found in 2Sa 18:29, 32 in relation to David’s inquiry after the safety or welfare of his son Absalom. Job 21:9 speaks of houses "safe" from fear.

The peace offering (fellowship offering) (Nu 6:14) is the word shelem which is related to shalom. The peace offering was one of the blood sacrifices of which the shed blood was the atonement on which reconciliation and peace were based (Lev. 3; Lev 7:11-21). In the peace offering this restoration of fellowship between God and man, broken by sin, but now atoned for by the shed blood, was indicated by the fact that both God and man, priest and people, partook of the offering.


The Theological Wordbook states that...

In the Bible the word peace has a wide range of meanings. Basically it includes the ideas of wholeness, well-being, prosperity, and security, all associated with God's presence with His people. The Hebrew word shalom is translated peace over 200 times. Sometimes it is simply a form of greeting (Ge 29:6, 2Ki 4:26), but more often it describes relationships -- individual to individual (Ge 34:21NKJV), nation to nation (Dt 2:26, Josh 10:21JKJV, 1Ki 4:24, 5:12) or God to humans (Ps 85:8, Jer 16:5NKJV).

(Donald Campbell, Wendell Johnson, John Walvoord, John Witmer - Theological Wordbook)


Shalom implies a state of mind that is satisfied and has relationships which are characterized by harmony (a tuneful sound [Great picture! -- Does that describe your/my marriage/family/church relationships? Or would a better word be cacophony {discordant sounds, harshness in the sound of one's speech}?!], a pleasing arrangement of parts, internal calm).

Keep in mind as you study shalom, that the specific meaning is "multi-colored" as indicated by the fact that one modern translation (NIV) renders shalom some seventy different ways!


Mounce reminds us that shalom...

Comes from the Lord, and He is the foundation of peace (1Ki 2:33; Mic 5:5). This peace comes as a result of restored righteousness (Isa 32:17; 48:18; 53:5; 60:17) This is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is "our peace" (Ep 2:14-note).


John Eadie speaking of the Greek equivalent of shalom says that...

Shalom (is) a term of familiar and beautiful significance. It includes every blessing-being and well-being.


HCSB Study Bible has an excellent summary on shalom...

Shalom is in an important OT theological word family.

Shalom usually means peace (Gen 15:15) and can function adverbially (peaceably) and adjectivally (peaceful).

Safety (Zech 8:10) is also a frequent connotation (safe, safely).

The noun indicates welfare (1Sam 17:18), assurance (1Sam 20:42), prosperity (Isa 9:7), success (Isa 45:7), or strength (Ps 38:3).

Shalom can be a favorable answer (Gen 41:16) or allies (Ps 69:22).

Other adverbial ideas are well (Gen 29:6), quietly (1Sam 29:7), completely (Jer 13:19), and all right (2Sam 18:29).

Adjectivally, shalom can mean satisfied (Ex 18:23), secure (Job 5:24), or unscathed (Jer 43:12).

"Asking about shalom" is greeting (1Sam 30:21) or asking how someone is (1Sam 10:4).

"Men of shalom" are people trusted (Jer 20:10) or trusted friends (Jer 38:22).

"Speaking shalom" is speaking in friendly ways (Ps 28:3).

Shalom speaks of personal peace, not merely referring to the absence of trouble or conflict, but positively of completeness, wholeness, contentment, welfare, health, prosperity, harmony, and fulfillment. Peace is one of the blessings that flow from a right relationship to God. Shalom is a term that includes all that makes life worthwhile.


John MacArthur...

Close to the meaning of the Hebrew word shalom is the word used by the Kekchi Indians of Guatemala, who define peace as "quiet goodness." The term they use conveys the idea of something that is active and aggressive, not just a rest in one’s own heart away from troublesome circumstances. The biblical concept of peace does not focus on the absence of trouble. Biblical peace is unrelated to circumstances-it is a goodness of life that is not touched by what happens on the outside. You may be in the midst of great trials and still have biblical peace. (How to survive in a world of unbelievers)



Cornelius Plantinga wrote that...

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight-a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom He delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be. (Plantinga, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin)

Martens writes that shalom is...

A Hebrew term for peace which describes comprehensive well-being. Shalom, while used in a daily greeting among the Hebrews, is a weighty theological term in the Old Testament. Shalom embraces concepts of harmony, security, serenity, right relationships, wholeness, health, prosperity, and even success. The term may refer to a condition or a relationship, and in the latter designates a right relationship to God. God is the source of shalom and offers shalom to those who trust Him (Ps. 29:11; Isa. 26:3). Shalom has a social dimension; it is understandably linked with righteousness (Isa. 32:17). (Believers Church Bible Commentary)

Shalom is a state of being as well as an attitude and results from having experienced reconciliation with and forgiveness from God through the gospel of Jesus Christ (recall that the gospel was "available" in the OT - see Gal 3:8).



TWOT says

The general meaning behind the root sh-l-m is of completion and fulfillment-of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.

In the context of God and man, that relationship of shalom was disturbed and in fact died in one sense in Genesis 3 (Ge 2:17, 3:3-7, Ro 5:12), but God immediately made a way for man to return to Him. We see Abram entering into that restored relationship in Genesis 15:6 when he believed God and God imputed perfect righteousness (of Christ) onto Abram's spiritual "bank account" (Ge 15:6). Now because of the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant, the creature can enter into a state of shalom manifested by wholeness, spiritual health and prosperity and oneness with his Creator through the blood of Christ shed for the remission of sin.

Someone has estimated that up to two thirds of the biblical uses of shalom allude to the total fulfillment that comes when a man experiences God’s presence and pleasure. It has been well said that

"Peace in the Jewish sense is the symphony of life made meaningful through a right relationship with God."

The prophet Isaiah explains how sinful (Ro 5:8), helpless (Ro 5:6), God hating men and women (Ro 1:30) can return to righteousness and to the shalom of God...

But He was pierced through (pictures the crucifixion) for (because of) our transgressions, He was crushed for (because of) our iniquities (and no shalom as indicated by Isaiah 48:22); The chastening for our well-being (shalom; Lxx = eirene) fell upon Him ("the punishment that brought us peace" Is 3:5NIV), and by His scourging we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5). All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:6)

Comment: Shalom is the genitive (possessive) of result. In other words this phrase describes the punishment poured out upon Christ that resulted in our peace. Christ's substitutionary (His death in our place) atonement (full and eternal coverage of all our sins, past, present and future) which results in a harmonious ("shalom") relationship between God and man.



Righteousness always precedes peace, the prophet Isaiah recording that...

…the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. (Isaiah 32:17)

In Romans Paul reminds us of what really matters in life declaring that...

…the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Ro 14:17)

Comment: … Peace is the loving tranquility, produced by the Spirit of Christ that should characterize believers’ relationships with God and each other.

Ray Stedman adds: … That (peace) comes across visibly as a kind of calmness, an inner core of unflappability that is undisturbed by the minor irritations of the moment. It is that quiet and calm assurance that God is present in the situation; that He will work it out for His glory, and therefore, we need not get upset or angry, or vindictive toward someone. It is hard for the world to get that impression of peace and calmness if they see two people screaming at one another over what they disagree on. That does not look very calm. The important thing, therefore, is that you manifest that gift of God, which is peace (shalom).

The psalmist writes that...

Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (Psalm 85:10)

See sections: All related to Peace (Shalom/shalem)



Proverbs Making Peace (Shalam)

Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes H7999* even his enemies to be at peace H7999 with him.

Proverbs 13:13 The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded.

Proverbs 13:21 Adversity pursues sinners, But the righteous will be rewarded with prosperity.

Proverbs 19:17 He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.

Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, "I will repay evil"; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

*H7999 (Strong) - Transliteration: Shalam - Phonetic: shaw-lam'

- Definition:

1. to be in a covenant of peace, be at peace

2. to be complete, be sound

- Origin: a primitive root

- Part(s) of speech: Verb


Charles Wesley sums up the God-focused nature of a believer's peace...

I rest beneath the Almighty's shade,
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.


"Peace Illustrated - Jim Walton was translating the NT for the Muinane people of La Sabana in the jungles of Colombia. But he was having trouble with the word peace. During this time, Fernando, the village chief, was promised a 20-minute plane ride to a location that would have taken him 3 days to travel by walking. The plane was delayed in arriving at La Sabana, so Fernando departed on foot. When the plane finally came, a runner took off to bring Fernando back. But by the time he had returned, the plane had left. Fernando was livid because of the mix-up. He went to Jim and launched into an angry tirade. Fortunately, Walton had taped the chief's diatribe. When he later translated it, he discovered that the chief kept repeating the phrase, "I don't have one heart." Jim asked other villagers what having "one heart" meant, and he found that it was like saying, "There is nothing between you and the other person." That, Walton realized, was just what he needed to translate the word peace. To have peace with God means that there is nothing--no sin, no guilt, no condemnation--that separates us. And that peace with God is possible only through Christ (Ro 5:1). Do you have "one heart" with God today? (see "Shalom Definition" by Kenneth Hemphill)

Covenant of Peace


The phrase "covenant of peace" is specifically recorded four times in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace (shalom; Lxx = eirene = the promise of the New Covenant to be fulfilled in Christ - Jer 31:31-34) will not be shaken," Says the LORD who has compassion on you.

Ezekiel 34:25 "And I will make a covenant of peace (shalom; Lxx = eirene) with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land, so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

Spurgeon (Faith's Checkbook): It is the height of grace that Jehovah should be in covenant with man, a feeble, sinful, and dying creature. Yet the Lord has solemnly entered into a faithful compact with us, and from that covenant He will never turn aside. In virtue of this covenant we are safe. As lions and wolves are driven off by shepherds, so shall all noxious influences be chased away. The Lord will give us rest from disturbers and destroyers; the evil beasts shall cease out of the land. O Lord, make this thy promise good even now! The Lord’s people are to enjoy security in places of the greatest exposure: wilderness and woods are to be as pastures and folds to the flock of Christ.

If the Lord does not change the place for the better,
He will make us the better in the place

The wilderness is not a place to dwell in, but the Lord can make it so. In the woods one feels bound to watch rather than to sleep, and yet the Lord giveth His beloved sleep even there. Nothing without or within should cause any fear to the child of God. By faith the wilderness can become the suburbs of heaven, and the woods the vestibule of glory.

Ezekiel 37:26 "And I will make a covenant of peace (shalom; Lxx = eirene) with them; it will be an everlasting covenant (Ge 17:7, 2Sa 23:5, Jer 50:5) with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever (This promised is described and fulfilled in the great name Jehovah Shammah - The LORD is There; Zech 6:12, 13).

Numbers 25:12 Therefore say, 'Behold, I give him (Phinehas) My covenant of peace (shalom; Lxx = eirene) 13 and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the sons of Israel.'"

Psalm 106 while not using the exact term "covenant of peace", does help us understand this covenant with Phinehas...

Ps 106:30 Then Phinehas stood up and interposed; And so the plague was stayed. 31 And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to all generations forever.

Comment: Phinehas is an OT example of "justification by faith". You ask "But where was his faith?" The "works" (action) he undertook because he was jealous for Jehovah (Nu 25:7-8) were an outworking of his faith (Ep 2:8, 9 with Ep 2:10 for this integral relationship between faith and works). Faith alone saved Phinehas, but the faith that saves is not alone (See James' dissertation on this vitally important topic - Jas 2:14-26).

Malachi 2:5 My covenant with him (Aaron of the tribe of Levi) was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood in awe of My name.

Joshua 9:15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.

This "covenant of peace" is distinct from the preceding covenants of peace in that the covenant in Joshua was not divinely but humanly initiated. Apparently without consulting God, Joshua was deceived by the Gibeonites into cutting a covenant of "peace" with them in which he made an oath not to destroy them but to have them serve as laborers for the Israelites. This treaty committed Israel to come to the defense of their "covenant partners" the Gibeonites if they were threatened by enemies. (see "Shalom Definition" by Kenneth Hemphill)

English for Shalom

(Note: This chart is only a representative sampling)

Scripture NAS LXX
Ge 15:15; 26:29 peace eirene
Ge 26:31, 28:21 in safety soteria
Ge 29:6 well (x2) hugiaino
Ge 37:4 friendly terms eirenikos
Ge 37:14 welfare (x2) hugiaino
Ge 41:16 favorable soterios
Ge 43:23 be at ease - NAS
everything is fine - NET
(God be merciful)
Ge 43:27 welfare, well
(alive, healthy)
Ge 43:28 well
(alive, healthy)
Ge 44:17 peace
(farewell benediction)
Ex 4:18 peace
(farewell benediction)
Lev 26:6 peace
(freedom from war)
Ps 35:27 prosperity eirene

Shalom - Wikipedia

Shalom (Edited)

From Wikipedia:

Shalom (שָׁלוֹם) (Sephardic Hebrew/Israeli Hebrew: shalom; Ashkenazi Hebrew/Yiddish: sholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem) is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, and welfare and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. As it does in English, it can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals.


In Hebrew, the root of the word (usually in a three or occasionally four letter format), and depending on the vowels that are used, has several meanings (that are relevant to the general meaning of the word Shalom); as for example: One meaning is "Whole", another could be the actual verb "Pay" usually in command form. The conjugated verb has other spins that are worth noting, such as: "Hishtalem" meaning "it was worth it" or "Shulam" as "it was paid for" or "Meshulam" as in "paid in advance." Hence one can jokingly say that, "when it's paid-for then there is peace."

The Hebrew term shalom is roughly translated to other languages as peace, from the Latin pax. Pax, in Latin, means peace, but it was also used to mean truce or treaty. So, deriving from the definition and use in Latin, most Romance terms simply use the word peace to mean such, and also provides a relational application (be it personal, social or political) - a state of mind and affairs. Peace is an important word in the Christian sacred scriptures and liturgy. Eirene, the Greek term translated to peace, also means quietness and rest.

Shalom, in the liturgy and in the transcendent message of the Christian scriptures, means more than a state of mind, of being or of affairs. Derived from the Hebrew root shalam - meaning to be safe or complete, and by implication, to be friendly or to reciprocate. Shalom, as term and message, seems to encapsulate a reality and hope of wholeness for the individual, within societal relations, and for the whole world. To say joy and peace, meaning a state of affairs where there is no dispute or war, does not begin to describe the sense of the term. Completeness seems to be at the center of shalom as we will see in the meaning of the term itself, in some derivatives from its root, shalam, in some examples of its uses in Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and in some homophone terms from other Semitic languages.

The noun shalom means safe, for example, well and happy. On a more abstract application, its use points to welfare, for example, health, prosperity, and, peace.

It is the verb form shalam, though, that provides a deeper understanding of this term in theology, doctrine, and liturgy. Literally translated, shalam signals to a state of safety, but figuratively it points to completeness. In its use in Scripture, shalom describes the actions that lead to a state of soundness, or better yet wholeness. So to say, shalom seems not to merely speak of a state of affairs, but describes a process, an activity, a movement towards fullness. Using the King James Version as reference, James Strong lists the rendering of shalom and shalam, among others, as:

  • To make amends
  • To make good
  • To be (or to make) peace
  • To restore
  • Peace
  • Prosperity
  • Wellness

The use of shalom in the Scriptures always points towards that transcendent action of wholeness. Shalom is seen in reference to the wellbeing of others (Genesis 43.27, Exodus 4.18), to treaties (I Kings 5.12), and in prayer for the wellbeing of cities or nations (Psalm 122.6, Jeremiah 29.7). Coincidentally, the root shalem, means peaceful - though it is sometimes posited that this root is found in the name of the city Jerusalem (combined with yara, meaning to lay or found), this is likely a re-etymologization. Yet, its transcendence lies in its relationship to truth and justice (Psalm 85.10, Isaiah 48.18, 22, 57.19-21). The wholeness of shalom, through justice and truth, inspires the words of hope for the work expected by the messiah, and to refer to its revelation as the time of peace (Haggai 2.7-9, Isaiah 2.2-4, 11.1-9), and to even grant this anointed one the title Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9.6, Micah 5.4-5a).

In the Christian Scriptures, the term eirene is employed to mean peace, but in its application, seeking for it the transcendence of its Hebrew counterpart, peace is better understood in relation to terms like grace (Romans 1.7), righteousness (Romans 14.17), and life (Romans 8.6). It is also employed in benedictions, like that in I Thessalonians 5.23 and Hebrews 13.20-21, perhaps making echo to prayers of peace common throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish benedictions (Numbers 6.22-27).

This sense of completeness, central to the term shalom could also be confirmed in homophonic terms found in other Semitic languages. The term shelam, of Chaldean origin, seems to mean both peace and restoration. Aramaic derivations of the terms shalom and shalam are said to mean peace, safety, completeness and welfare. The Assyrian term salamu means to be complete, unharmed, paid/atoned. Sulmu, another Assyrian term, means welfare. A closer relation to the idea of shalom as concept and action is seen in the Arabic root salaam. Meaning to be safe, secure, and forgiven, among other things. It also proposes a personal commitment to the concept, action, and transcendence of peace - Salaam is also the root for the terms Muslim and Islam, literally translated, he/she who submits to God and submission to God, respectively.

In expressions

The word "shalom" can be used for all parts of speech; as a noun, adjective, verb, adverb, and interjection. It categorizes all shaloms. The word shalom is used in a variety of expressions and contexts in Hebrew speech and writing:

  • Shalom aleichem (שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם; "well-being be upon you" or "may you be well"), this expression is used to greet others and is a Hebrew equivalent of "hello". Also, for example: "shabat shalom!" The appropriate response to such a greeting is "upon you be well-being" (aleichem shalom). This is a cognate of the Arabic Assalamu alaikum. On Erev Shabbat (Sabbath eve), Jewish people have a custom of singing a song which is called Shalom aleichem, before the Kiddush over wine of the Shabbat dinner is recited.
  • In the Gospels, Jesus often uses the greeting "Peace be unto you" (e.g., Matt 10:12), a translation of shalom aleichem.
  • Shalom by itself is a very common abbreviation and it is used in Modern Israeli Hebrew as a greeting, to which the common reply is, Shalom, Shalom. It is also used as a farewell. In this way it is similar to the Hawaiian aloha, the English good evening and the Indian namaste. Also in Israel, "bye" (English) and "yallah bye" (a mixture of Arabic and English) is popular. Shalom is also used by Jewish people around the world, and even by many non-Jewish people.
  • Shabbat shalom is a common greeting used on Shabbat. This is most prominent in areas with Mizrahi, Sephardi, or modern Israeli influence. Many Ashkenazi communities in the Jewish diaspora use Yiddish Gut shabbes in preference or interchangeably.
  • Ma sh'lom'cha (מַה שְׁלוֹמְךָ; "what is your well-being/peace?") is a Hebrew equivalent of the English "how are you?" This is the form addressed to an individual male. The form for addressing an individual female is Ma sh'lomech? For addressing several females, Ma sh'lomchen? For a group of males or a mixed-gender group, Ma sh'lomchem?
  • Alav hashalom (עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם; "upon him is peace") is a phrase used in some Jewish communities, especially Ashkenazi ones, after mentioning the name of a deceased respected individual.
  • Oseh shalom is the part of a passage commonly found as a concluding sentence in much Jewish liturgy (including the birkat hamazon, kaddish and personal amidah prayers). The full sentence is עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עַלֵינוּ, וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן (Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleynu, ve'al kol Yisrael ve'imru amen), which translates to English as "He who makes peace in His heights may He make peace upon us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen." It originates from Job 25:2.
  • U.S. President Bill Clinton ended his eulogy for Yitzhak Rabin with the words Shalom, chaver (Goodbye, friend).

As a Jewish religious principle

In Judaism, Shalom (peace), is one of the underlying principle of the Torah. "Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are shalom (peace)". The Talmud explains, "The entire Torah is for the sake of the ways of shalom". Maimonides comments in his Mishneh Torah: "Great is peace, as the whole Torah was given in order to promote peace in the world, as it is stated, 'Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.'"

In the book Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin, author Cornelius Plantinga described the Old Testament concept of shalom:

The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophet’s call shalom. We call it peace but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight - a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.

Heart of God

How does God feel about issues we face today?

Do you ponder matters such as the age of the earth or current events or politics? What is your level of awareness that a being of infinite intelligence and love watches over you? The former questions may be difficult to answer, having many competing viewpoints. Even if you were able to answer them their significance may not be of any importance in your life. The latter issue affects everything in your life. If you walk in the awareness of this reality it gives you confidence and peace, and the ability to move forward without fear. Set your mind on things above. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. (Adopted from a blog post by Dale Cresap)

SHALEM – Whole – Perfect


NAS Exhaustive Concordance - Peace

Word Origin from shalem

Complete, Whole, Full (08003) (shalem/salem) is an adjective which describes something that is full, whole, made ready, perfected, and complete.

Transliteration: Shalem - Phonetic: shaw-lame'

- Definition:

1. complete, safe, peaceful, perfect, whole, full, at peace

a. complete

1. full, perfect

2. finished

b. safe, unharmed

c. peace (of covenant of peace, mind)

1. perfect, complete (of keeping covenant relation)

Shalem describes … stones which were whole (uncut) (Dt 27:6, Josh 8:31), stones that were whole or finished (for the Temple 1Ki 6:7), a weight that is full (Dt 25:15, Prov 11:1), wages that were full (abounding) (Ru 2:12), a heart that was whole (wholly devoted, complete, perfect - 1Ki 8:61), an army at full strength (Nah 1:12), a population, as entire or whole (Amos 1:6, 9), of hearts that were whole or undivided, wholly centered on the Lord.

Shalem - 27 verses in the NAS - This Hebrew word shalem is translated a number of ways in the NAS depending on the contextual use - blameless(1), complete(1), completed(1), completely(1), entire(2), friendly(1), full(4), just(1), perfect(2), prepared(1), safely(1), uncut(2), whole(5), wholeheartedly*(1), wholly devoted(4).

1 Kings 8:61 "Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted (Perfect = KJV; wholly true = ESV, wholehearted devotion = NET) to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day."

1 Chronicles 29:19 and give to my son Solomon a perfect (shalem; Lxx) heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision."

2 Chronicles 8:16 Thus all the work of Solomon was carried out from the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed. (shalem; Lxx)

Young's Literal: "And all the work of Solomon is prepared till the day of the foundation of the house of Jehovah, and till its completion; perfect (shalem) is the house of Jehovah."

2 Chronicles 16:9 "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars." (NAS)

2 Chronicles 19:9 Then he charged them saying, "Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and wholeheartedly (shalem).

Comment: (KJV = pure heart; ESV = whole heart; NET = pure motives; NLT = an undivided heart)

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just (shalem) weight is His delight.

Comment: Shalem describes weights that had to be solid, accurate, and fair for use in the marketplace

Psalm Promise

Psalm 4:8 (NAS)

In peace I will both lie down and sleep,

For Thou alone, O LORD, dost make me to dwell in safety.

Therefore we say to the children of Elohim - Grace and Peace To You

Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless you, and keep you;

25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;

26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'

Blessed be YHVH (Genesis 14:20 And blessed be God Most High…)