I often end my posts with “shalom” and I know some wonder what the heck that means and why it is there. Well wonder no more!

Shalom is Hebrew and means “peace”. But it connotes much more than that English rendition. It also implies a completeness or wholeness. Safety and wellness are also packed into that little word.

Judges 6.21-24 (NAS)

When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the Lord, he said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” The Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace (???? ????: Yahweh-Shalom). To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

The closest thing we see to that in the New Testament is ?????? (eir?n?) which, again, is translated as “peace” but will also sometimes have the deeper meaning like its Hebrew counterpart. The Septuagint (LXX) uses ?????? as the translation of ???? which then influenced Christian understanding and deeper meaning of ?????? used in other instances.

Ephesians 6.23-24 (NAS)

Peace (??????) be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace (?????) be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.

Paul often used ?????? with a deeper connotation (possibly originally using ?????) along with ????? to close out his letters to offer a blessing of good will and best wishes. ???? was used in the same way.

So how is that? Make sense now? I hope so!


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  1. June 15th, 2005 at 08:15 | #1

    Perry Yoder has a great book by the same name - Shalom.

  2. June 15th, 2005 at 19:08 | #2

    Humm… I’m not familiar with him. Good book?

  3. JillW
    June 16th, 2005 at 06:58 | #3

    Say, student of Hebrew, could you figure out what “Osse Shalom” means? We have a handbell piece by that title and I like to know the meaning of what we play.

  4. June 18th, 2005 at 11:00 | #4

    Hummm, I have no idea!! But I haven’t taken any Hebrew yet, only Greek. But ANDY should know! I couldn’t find any word that looked like that, I am wondering if it is more of a modern Jewish phrase than an OT one because it doesn’t seem to be in the Old Testament. But I could be wrong…

  5. JillW
    June 18th, 2005 at 14:29 | #5

    OR - it could be something the composer made up because it sounded good! I’ll check with Andy, though.

  6. June 19th, 2005 at 11:05 | #6

    Heh, yeah, composers are like that…

  7. Irena Ostrov
    October 6th, 2006 at 02:56 | #7

    Osse shalom bimromav
    Hu ya’ase shalom aleynu
    Ve’al kol Israel
    Ve’imru imru amen

    Ya’ase shalom
    ya’ase shalom
    Shalom aleynu
    Ve’al kol Israel

    If it’s the same Osse Shalom you have in mind, here are the words, which basically translate to “G-d, bring peace to the whole world, and to the children of Israel. Amen.”

  1. October 26th, 2005 at 22:11 | #1