“Shalom”... often used as a greeting or a farewell as a noun, a verb or an adjective. The most common translation of shalom is “peace". The word ”shalom” is derived from the Hebrew root “shalam” which in effect means “to be safe or to be complete”. The salutation of “Shalom” packs into one little word the entire reality and desire of “wholeness, wellness, safety or completeness” for an individual. Perhaps one could translate "Shalom” as “May the God of Peace, make you safe, complete and whole.” In the Gospel of John, chapter twenty, we read of Jesus using “Shalom” in His greeting to His disciples. Three times He specifically says ”Peace be unto you” which, in Hebrew, is “Shalom Aleichem”. The Prince of Peace spoken of by Isaiah the prophet… actually stood and blessed His disciples with the greeting of “rest, wholeness, safety and completeness”… a magnificent "shalom" which He alone could give. It surpasses all understanding. Even today, over two thousand years later, the greeting “Shalom Aleichem” can be heard on the streets of every city in Israel! Shadings of shalom are painted throughout the Word of God, yet the only way it can actually be experienced is in a living relationship with the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. For those who know Him, He is the One true refuge, the Source of all rest, the Author of all peace and the One who completes. He calls for all of us who are weary and heavy laden to come unto Him for the perfect shalom that is His alone to give! Though I have many favorite passages of Scripture which speak of “shalom.” Perhaps one of my favorites is found in the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you shalom”. "The realm" of shalom! The LORD alone ...blesses and guards us... graces us with His presence and favor and looks upon us ... giving us His shalom. In the pages of God's sacred Writ , the cool comfort of His Holy Spirit flows to our souls. His Word pours forth the refreshing rivers of wholeness and completeness. His perfect rest comes to soothe our lives as we abide in Him. Praise be to Him for His goodness and His lovingkindness.... Shalom Aleichem!
LAURIE BARNETT is the founder of Shadows of the Messiah, a Bible teaching ministry that shares the richness of the Hebraic foundations of Scripture with women in the Body of Christ. Laurie began examining the Jewish background of the teachings of Jesus and of the New Testament more than 25 years ago.