Friday, 15 February 2019
Where is the first use of the word "Shalom" in the Bible? It's actually part of the covenant promise to Abraham. Genesis 15:13-15 "Then He (God) said to Abram, 'Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions. But you, you will come to your fathers in shalom. You will be buried at a good old age."
We usually think of Shalom as "hello" or "goodbye" or "peace." From this we get the idea that Shalom means "full satisfaction." In context it means wholeness, completeness, lacking nothing, and even perfection.
Following the principle of first use, (a word of Scripture takes all of the future meanings of that word from the first time it is used) we get the sense of the meaning of this often utilized word. It is used 237 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and another 92 times in the New Covenant.
It was the first word spoken by Yeshua in the resurrection to the disciples. John 20:19 "It was evening on that day, the first of the week. When the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Judean leaders, Yeshua came and stood in their midst! And He said to them, 'Shalom aleichem!'"
In Israel we use modern, spoken Hebrew, saying, Ma Sh'lom'cha? (Ma Shomech when speaking to a female.) Literally, "How is your shalom?" Figuratively, "How are you doing?"
Yeshua cares how your shalom is doing. His command to Abraham (Genesis 17:1) is the same to us today, "Walk before me blameless." Blameless means without blemish or defect. Shalom is not a fruit of the spirit, it is all of the fruits of the spirit in one word. Shalom.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,