What Does Shalom Mean & Why Is it Important? (2023)

There is something special and moving about being greeted by the word Shalom! It can warm the heart and comfort the spirit. But what is it about the word shalom that can evoke such a unique response? My experience in understanding the meaning of Shalom begins in Israel. One of the most moving travel experiences I have ever had was when my wife and I were able to spend time in Israel. It is truly a land unlike any other, where ancient and modern mesh seamlessly together in a unique tapestry of color and culture, sights and sounds. Yet more than that, it is a place where timeless faith fills the air, and the Bible seems to come alive.

We experienced many beautiful things, but perhaps the most beautiful thing we encountered was being greeted by the word ‘shalom.' In a simple way, the Hebrew word shalom means ‘peace.' But in a deeper way, shalom is a beautiful word with powerful, complex, and ancient meanings, and it can be heard throughout the land of Israel.

What Does Shalom Really Mean?

In modern Israel, when someone greets you or says goodbye, they will typically say, Shalom. In saying this they are actually saying more than just hello or goodbye, and more than just a simple ‘peace be with you’. They are actually saying something more along the lines of, “may you be filled with a complete and perfect peace and be full of well-being” or, “may health, prosperity, and peace of mind and spirit be upon you.” Beyond being just a simple wish for peace and happiness, the word suggests a state of fullness and perfection; overflowing inner and outer joy and peaceful serenity.

The word Shalom is as ancient as the land itself. It is peppered throughout Scripture, embedded in the familiar names of cities and people such asJerusalem(foundation of peace) and KingSolomon(peaceful), and is a linguistic building block of Jewish language and history. Shalom is regularly used as a familiar greeting, but it holds a meaning that was used by Jesus to describe his kingdom, and speaks to the very hopes and longings of the human heart.

The word “shalom” appearsover 200 timesin theBible, a strong indicator of its importance. “Rest” might work as a translation for shalom, but it wouldn’t do justice to the word; this is probably why “peace” was the chosen translation, rather than the word “rest” we find in the popular expression. Though “peace” is a more apt translation of shalom, it still doesn’t quite capture the nuance or importance of the word.

(Video) Shalom - Peace

“Shalom” was used as both a greeting and farewell. It wasn’t just meant to wish a person a lack of war or struggle; rather, shalom goes deeper. Shalom might be called the peace of the Lord. It is completeness, soundness, wellbeing, complete reconciliation. One of the names of God isYahweh-Shalom, or The Lord Our Peace (Judges 6:24), and Jesus is called the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). True shalom is only reached through God.

Shalom in the Bible

The below Scriptures are from the Hebrew Names Version as well as the Complete Jewish Bible.

Shalom I leave with you. My shalom I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. -John 14:27

You will keep [him] in perfect shalom, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on you]; because he trusts in you. -Isaiah 26:3

The God of shalom brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Yeshua, by the blood of an eternal covenant. -Hebrews 13:20

Seek the shalom of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in the shalom of it shall you have shalom. -Jeremiah 29:7

(Video) What Shalom means, and when to use it.

Now may the Lord of shalom himself give you shalom always in all ways. The Lord be with all of you. -2 Thessalonians 3:16

And God, the source of shalom, will soon crush the Adversary under your feet. The grace of our Lord Yeshua be with you. -Romans 16:20

There is no shalom, says my God, for the wicked. -Isaiah 57:21

The Loss of Shalom

In the beginning, all creation was in a state of shalom, and this is the environment that Adam and Eve entered into. In this perfect shalom was a perfect peace, where the infinite creator of all things was in complete communion with his created beings Adam and Eve. Yet sin destroyed that shalom, and cast the world into a place of brokenness. The fallen world we live in, with its violence, heartache, pain, and death are very visible results of the shalom that was lost so very long ago. Yet, there is good news in the gospel. For through Christ, that shalom has been restored as God is again making all things new to his glory.

A Hope for Future Shalom

In the Old Testament,propheciespoint towards a future restoration of shalom. There are reminders that the peace of this world is not the shalom peace that God offers. The peace that God gives is referenced inNumbers 6:23-26, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace (shalom)’”.

InJeremiah 6:14, the prophet Jeremiah speaks out against those who would falsely claim shalom: “they dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace”. They say there is shalom when there is no shalom. They act as if all is okay when, really, all is not okay.

(Video) "Shalom" in ancient Hebrew!

Yet, in the midst of this broken lack of shalom, a wonderful promise is given, and prophetic words of hope emerge through this messianic prophecy that we generally remember at Christmastime, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Shalom. Of the increase of his government and shalomthere will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Isaiah’s prophecy of a future messiah continues in chapter 53, verses 4-5, “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us shalomwas upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”.

In these words, humanity is given a hope of a messiah. Those living in a tumultuous, hopeless time were given hope that there will someday be one who will re-establish our perfect shalom with God.

The Restoration of Shalom

InJohn 14:27, Jesus was nearing the end of his earthly ministry and prepared the disciples for what lay ahead, knowing that it would not be easy or comfortable. As he comforted and prepared them, he said this, “Shalom I leave with you; my shalom I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”. Shalom, true shalom, will be a restoration of the peace that existed in the beginning and will be the peace that we experience in the New Jerusalem, the New City of Peace.

After the crucifixion, the disciples of Jesus were experiencing anything but shalom. They were not at peace, but were in fear, confusion, and were lacking in purpose of what they were to do next. It is in the midst of this that Jesus appears to them, and once again, speaks shalom over them and their fears inJohn 20:19: “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace (shalom) be with you!”. What an encouragement that the first thing Jesus speaks over his bewildered disciples is a proclamation of peace, a reassurance of his promised shalom.

A Reminder of Shalom

Paul reminds us inRomans 5:1-2that Christ has covered our sins and restored us to a place of shalom with God: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace (shalom) with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God”.

(Video) A new definition of shalom (peace)

Again, inPhilippians 4:4-7he writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, byprayerand petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace (shalom)of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Through the work of Christ, the shalom that was lost in the garden has been restored and is again available to us today. Simply hearing the greeting shalom is a reminder of the deep human longing for peace, for a true peace that is greater than all understanding. For those who are in Christ, it is a reassurance that his peace, his shalom, is real, present, and greater than anything the world has to offer.


Jason Soroskiis a homeschool dad and author ofA Journey to Bethlehem: Inspiring Thoughts for Christmas and Hope for the New Year. He serves as worship pastor at Calvary Longmont in Colorado and spends his weekends exploring the Rocky Mountains with his family. Connect onTwitter,Instagram, or atJasonSoroski.net.

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/FilipeFrazao


Why is shalom important? ›

In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights.

What does shalom mean and answer? ›

One such word is shalom, which, in everyday usage, can mean either “hello” or “goodbye.” The traditional greeting among Jews is shalom aleichem, peace unto you; to which the response is aleichem shalom, to you, peace.

What is God's promise of shalom? ›

God's Promise of Shalom

The Hebrew word translated “prosper you”, is the word “shalom”. So, the promise of prosperity that God makes in this passage is actually a promise of Shalom. We usually take this word to mean “peace”, but its true meaning is far more than this! “Shalom” refers to whole of community restoration…

What is the power of shalom? ›

Shalom covers the other person with the highest good God has for that person and means, 'upon you be peace. Shalom contains the full measure of peace, for, without it, no one can be truly whole.

What is the meaning of the name shalom? ›

Meaning:Peace. Shalom is a gender-neutral name of Hebrew origins meaning “peace.” Borrowing its definition from the eponymous Israeli greeting, Shalom carries an air of unity and worldliness that names rarely do.

What is peace in one word? ›

peace. noun. : a state of tranquility or quiet: as. : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.

What is the meaning of peace in the Bible? ›

The concept of "peace" in the Old Testament primarily refers to wholeness, total health, total welfare. It covers the sum total of God's blessings to a person who belongs to the covenant community.

What is the meaning of the peace of God? ›

According to the Bible, the peace of God, “which transcends all understanding,” is the harmony and calmness of body, mind, and spirit trusting in the power and grace of God.

What is the blessing of shalom? ›

In Israel today, when you greet someone or say goodbye, you say, Shalom. You are literally saying, “may you be full of well-being” or, “may health and prosperity be upon you.” In a way, it is a blessing for coming and going, in any time frame, in any situation.

What are the 3 promises of God? ›

3 Promises That Are Essential to Christianity
  • The promise of the resurrection. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (14:18).
  • The promise of the Holy Spirit. “He lives with you and will be in you” (14:17).
  • The promise of Christ's return.

What is God's name for peace? ›

One of God's names in the Bible is Yahweh-Shalom, which means the Lord is Peace. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means wholeness in all of life, completeness, welfare, safety. God is our source of all of these blessings.

What is shalom in Jesus name? ›

The English phrase, “The Lord is Peace”, translates the Hebrew, Jehovah Shalom. The name Jehovah conveys the thought of being, or existing, or becoming known, while the term shalom refers to soundness, completeness, harmony and the absence of strife.

What is the teaching about shalom? ›

Shalom includes healthy external relations among people, creation, and God, but also the healthy internal relations that sponsor the healthy external relations. A person who acts justly toward others also has the internal virtue of righteousness that makes him disposed to do justice.

Does shalom mean prosperity? ›

“Shalom” is a Hebrew word which translates as “Prosperity” in English. It provides a deeper meaning to the English word “Prosper”. Shalom means peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquillity.

What is the origin of the word shalom? ›

Jewish word of greeting, Hebrew, literally "peace," properly "completeness, soundness, welfare," from stem of shalam "was intact, was complete, was in good health." Related to Arabic salima "was safe," aslama "surrendered, submitted" (compare Islam).

What are the 4 types of peace? ›

If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.

What are the 5 levels of peace? ›

Additionally, these concepts illuminate at least five interrelated and interdependent spheres of peace and right relationships that need to be nurtured toward the full development of the peacebuilder: the personal, the social, the political, the institutional, and the ecological.

What is the spiritual meaning of peace? ›

Galatians 5:22-23) Peace is knowing that the Lord of the universe is by your side and resting in that. It's not just knowing, but it is also living it out. Peace is sitting in comfort and knowing that God is next to your side no matter what.

What are the 2 types of peace? ›

There are two common conceptions of peace — Negative Peace, or actual peace, and Positive Peace.

What are the three types of peace in the Bible? ›

As we head into 2017, the Lord specifically wants to give you three different kinds of peace.
  • Peace with God. This is spiritual peace — and it's the most important. It affects everything else. ...
  • Peace within. The Bible has a word for this: emotional peace. ...
  • Peace with others. Then the Lord offers relational peace.
Dec 22, 2016

What Jesus said about peace? ›

John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Why is the peace of God important? ›

God's peace is ours because Jesus heals our root of sin.

In Christ, we are offered peace with God because we who “once were far off” (Ephesians 2:13) have been reconciled to God through Jesus' death and resurrection. Jesus' sacrifice addresses the root of the problem that the world ignores.

Why is peace important? ›

Peace as a human right

Peace is a way of living together so that all members of society can accomplish their human rights. It is as an essential element to the realisation of all human rights.

Is peace a gift of God? ›

God's peace—shalom—gives assurance that all is right in your soul, even if you can't resolve all the issues affecting you or predict the outcome of anything at this point. God's peace provides the assurance that God is still in control.

How many times did Jesus say peace? ›

After His death and resurrection, Jesus used this greeting three times when He met with His disciples (John 20:19-29). The first thing to notice is that Jesus used this greeting of peace after His resurrection. He did not use this greeting before His resurrection.

What is the blessing of peace? ›

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” Most of the New Testament Epistles end with a prayer-benediction, and 2 Thessalonians is no different.

What is the greatest promise of God? ›

1. He has promised to supply every need we have. The Bible says: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus".

What was God's first promise to man? ›

There God said, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." This is called the protevangelium or "the first gospel." Here we have the first announcement of the coming Savior and Redeemer of mankind.

What is God's one promise? ›

God promised to destroy evil. He was saying to the serpent “What you have done will not stand. You will be destroyed, and all that is evil will be destroyed with you.” This is the promise of God and it is the hope of the universe. Then God turned and said to Adam “Cursed is the ground because of you.” (Genesis 3:17).

What is a good Bible verse for peace? ›

John 14:27. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

What is Jesus name for peace? ›

Shalom is a gift from God. It is the byproduct of God's righteousness. It is the blessing that comes when we are in a right relationship with God and our fellow man, but it can only be received when we accept Jesus as our Prince of Peace, the messiah who restores shalom.

Does Shalom mean hello? ›

The word Shalom is a very important word. It has several meanings: it is a greeting word (like Hello, but also Goodbye), it means peace and health and stems from the root S.L.M. that means complete or perfect.

What is the vision of shalom? ›

“[The Biblical concept of] shalom means just relationships (living justly and experiencing justice), harmonious relationships and enjoyable relationships. Shalom means belonging to an authentic and nurturing community in which one can be one's true self and give one's self away without becoming poor.

How do you explain shalom to a child? ›

Challenge your family to use the word Shalom as a greeting, but also as a way of saying, “I forgive you,” “I want the best for you, not myself,” or “I share with you in the joy of your success.” Explain that whenever a family member says Shalom to another, they are saying, “I choose to let God bring peace to this ...

Where in the Bible does it talk about shalom? ›

The very first time we see “shalom” used as a direct word of greeting in the Bible, it is an angel who says it. In judges 6:23 the angel tells Gideon “Shalom to you, do not fear, you shall not die.” In the very next verse, Gideon builds an altar and calls it “YHVH Shalom” – the Lord is Peace.

What are the roots of shalom? ›

It has several meanings: it is a greeting word (like Hello, but also Goodbye), it means peace and health and stems from the root S.L.M. that means complete or perfect.

Does shalom mean health? ›

Shalom is a Hebrew word that is often translated as peace or wholeness.

Does shalom mean nothing broken? ›

The word peace is the Hebrew word shalom, which speaks of wholeness; nothing missing and nothing broken.

What does the word peace mean in the Bible? ›

The term "peace" is used in the New Testament in at least five different ways: (1) peace as the absence of war or chaos, (2) peace as a right relationship with God or with Christ; (3) peace as a good relationship among people; (4) peace as an individual virtue or state, that is, tranquillity or serenity; and (5) peace ...

Who called God shalom? ›

The Meaning of Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah Shalom, translated “The Lord is Peace,” is one of many Old Testament names for God and is first used by Gideon when the angel of the Lord appeared to him at Ophrah in Judges chapter six.


1. Shalom। What does shalom mean to us?।Hindi Bible शल्लोम
(Hindi Bible Fellowship)
2. The Importance of Saying Shalom Aleichem - Rabbi Steven Weil
(Kol Hatorah Kulah)
3. The Meaning and Importance of Peace [SHALOM] by Amanda le Roux
(Ariella Ministries)
4. What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath
5. Shalom for the Religious World (Session 2 Brian Crawford)
(Chosen People Ministries)
6. “Shalom” means more than just “peace” in Hebrew...
(Inside The Epicenter Podcast Clips)


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