Shalom in Hebrew specifically means ‘peace. The word ‘shalom’ is found in the Complete Jewish Bible 96 times. Shalom is rooted in wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity, and implying permanence. This is why shalom is used as a greeting in Isra’el: “May you be filled with a complete and perfect peace and be full of well-being.”
“Yissa Adonai panav eleikha v’yasem l’kha shalom. [May Adonai lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]’ (Numbers 6:26).
This ‘shalom’ was spoken to put God’s Name on His people through the blessing of Aaron. The entire blessing is found in Numbers 6:24-26.
“Therefore say, ‘I am giving him [Phineas] my covenant of shalom, making a covenant with him and his descendants after him that the office of cohen will be theirs forever’ (Numbers 25:12-13).
God made an eternal covenant of ‘shalom’ with Phineas who was a priest. This covenant promised a perpetual priesthood because of Phineas’ faithfulness to God.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation [Yeshua] and saying to Tziyon, “Your God is King!” (Isaiah 52:7).
The ultimate good news of ‘shalom’ is proclaiming to those in Tziyon (Zion) that ‘Our God is King,’ ‘Our God is Sovereign,’ ‘Our God is in Control’ when everything seems chaotic. This ‘shalom’ announces that Yeshua is our God, our King.
“Pray for shalom in Yerushalayim; may those who love you prosper. May shalom be within your ramparts, prosperity in your palaces” (Psalm 122:6-7)
This Psalm says we are to pray for the ‘shalom’ of Jerusalem. Praying for ‘shalom’ in Jerusalem is a way of expressing love for the city of our God, and for the Prince of ‘Shalom’ to fill the city with his ‘shalom.’
Hebrew Word Pictures
Shalom – שלום
ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’
ל Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘to urge forward.’
י Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’
ם Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for shalom: consume and destroy and urge the binding of chaos.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; dominion will rest on his shoulders, and he will be given the name Pele-Yo‘etz El Gibbor Avi-‘Ad Sar-Shalom [Wonder of a Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace] ” (Isaiah 9:4-5).
Isaiah prophesied about a coming Sar haShalom, a Prince of Peace. The Prince of Peace would bring God’s ‘shalom’ into the world ‘binding the leader who causes chaos.’ Yeshua is the Sar haShalom. He battled the ‘one who causes chaos’ and came out victorious both in the wilderness and on the cross. As the commander of Adonai’s Army, Yeshua will return and utterly destroy the ‘one who causes chaos’ forever.’
“My servant David will be king over them, and all of them will have one shepherd … I will make a covenant of shalom with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give to them, increase their numbers, and set my sanctuary among them forever” (Ezekiel 37:24-26).
Ezekiel prophesied about an everlasting covenant of ‘shalom’ when David would be an eternal ‘king’ and live in Jerusalem, God’s sanctuary.
“When you enter someone’s household, say, ‘Shalom aleikhem!’ (Matthew 10:12)
“In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom aleikhem!” (John 20:19).
Shalom aleikhem means ‘shalom upon you.’ The response is to return the ‘shalom’ by saying Aleikhem shalom or ‘upon you shalom.’ This is what Yeshua told his disciples as he sent them out to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Shalom aleikhem was the greeting he spoke when he appeared to his disciples after his resurrection.
“What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened” (John 14:27).
Yeshua’s ‘shalom’ is different from the concept of ‘world peace.’ His ‘shalom’ begins in the heart and soul of each person. With the Holy Spirit, we have power of ‘shalom’ to defeat the ‘one who causes chaos.’ We can overcome the fear that chaos brings in our personal lives and also in the world around us.
“For God [Elohim] is not a God of unruliness but of shalom” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
This verse is a reminder that where there is ‘chaos,’ God is not present. Sha’ul specifically tells this to those in Corinth who were using the gift of tongues in an out-of-control manner.
“The way of shalom they do not know, their goings-about obey no law, they make devious paths for themselves; no one treading them will ever know shalom” (Isaiah 59:8).
“For from the least to the greatest of them, all are greedy for gains; prophets and cohanim [priests] alike, they all practice fraud — they dress the wound of my people, but only superficially, saying, ‘There is perfect shalom,’ when there is no shalom” (Jeremiah 6:13-14).
“My hand will be against the prophets who have futile visions and produce false divinations; they will not be allowed into the council of my people, or be written in the register of the house of Israel, or enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Adonai Elohim. They deserve this, because they have led my people astray by saying there is peace when there is no peace” (Ezekiel 13:9-10).
There is a shalom that humanity desires, but it is external and superficial because it does not include the Sar haShalom. It is a false deceptive peace that leads people away from God and and toward the ‘father of lies:’ the ‘one who causes the chaos’ (John 8:44). Those who preach ‘shalom’ while leading people astray through fraud and devious paths will never find ‘shalom.’ Instead, they will reap judgment.
“You will keep in perfect shalom those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
“Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4:7).
Adonai’s ‘shalom’ is ‘perfect.’ Adonai’s ‘shalom’ eclipses human understanding because it is a ‘shalom’ that touches the soul. Adonai’s ‘shalom’ protects every heart and mind from the present ‘chaos.’ Those who remain united with Yeshua, the Sar haShalom, will know enduring ‘shalom.’
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