Shalom is often translated “Peace”. But it’s meaning is much broader than just peace. Here are a few ways that the word is used in Scripture. You will get a feel for the richness of the word as you read it in context.
In 1 Kings 2:13, when Bathsheba asked Adonijah, “Is your coming shalom?”, she was not asking if he had come peacefully. Rather, she was asking if he had come with friendly intent. Although he answered, shalom, he was lying. Even though he did not come in war, he did not come with friendly intent, but rather with treachery in his heart.
In 2 Kings 4:26, the Shunamite woman was asked by Elisha’s servant if it was well with her, her husband and child. In the original Hebrew text the question was simply, “Do you have shalom?” It would be like asking someone today “How are you doing”.
in Judges 11:31, Jephthah tragically vowed that if he returned from the battle “in shalom,” that he would sacrifice to the Lord the first living thing that came out of his house to meet him. Shalom here is used with the same meaning as in Isaiah 41:3, “He pursues them, advancing in shalom (the NIV translates this “unscathed”)
And check out Isaiah 52:7, ” How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring shalom.” Sound familiar. Paul references this verse in Romans 10:15. We often hear it translated “good news.”
Isaiah 9:6 – “And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Shalom.”
With those verses in mind, I will leave you with this blessing. And the next time you see me instead of saying “Hey man”, or “What’s up”, or “How you doing”, or “Dude” – just say “Shalom my friend!” and I will know exactly what you mean.
Numbers 6:24-26 – “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you; the lord turn His face toward you and give you SHALOM.”