Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings
Peace ~ shalom
By Jeff A. Benner
When we hear the word peace we usually associate this to mean an absence of war or strife but, the Hebrew meaning of the word shalom has a very different meaning. The verb form of the root word is shalam and is usually used in the context of making restitution. When a person has caused another to become deficient in some way, such as a loss of livestock, it is the responsibility of the person who created the deficiency to restore what has been taken, lost or stolen. The verb shalam literally means to make whole or complete. The noun shalom has the more literal meaning of being in a state of wholeness or with no deficiency. The common phrase shalu shalom yerushalayim (pray for the peace of Jerusalem) is not speaking about an abcense of war (though that is part of it) but that Jerusalem (and by extension all of Israel) is complete and whole and goes far beyond the idea of "peace".
The strongs concordance would claim that there are 430 references to the word peace. However I found five different Hebrew words that are translated to the word peace. Let's look at them.
1.The word here is Shalom
Gen 15:15 “Now .as for you, you are to go to your fathers in peace, you are to be buried at a good old age.
בשׁלום H7965 in peace;
2.The actual word here is "charash" and in the context it is "to keep silent".
Gen 34:5 Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; and his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they came.
והחרשׁ H2790 held his peace.
3. The actual word here is "Shelem" a voluntary offering.
Exo 20:24 ‘Make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall slaughter on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause My Name to be remembered I shall come to you and bless you.
שׁלמיךH8002 and thy peace offerings
AHLB # 2845 - Payment: Given to make a completion of an action or transaction.
4. The actual word here is "chashah".
2Ki 2:5 And the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came near to Elisha, and said to him, Do you know that Yahweh will take away your master from your head today? And he answered, Yes, I know it; hold your+ peace. H2814 חשׁה châshâh
A primitive root; to hush or keep quiet: - hold peace, keep silence, be silent, (be) still.
5. The actual word here is "hasah".
Zep 1:7 Hold your peace at the presence of the Sovereign YHWH; for the day of YHWH is at hand: for YHWH has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.
H2013 הסה hâsâh A primitive root; to hush: - hold peace (tongue), (keep) silence, be silent, still.
So we cannot truly say that every time we see the word "peace" that we can automatically insert the word "shalom". Here is where the study gets interesting. The translators could have easily used these five definitions to better translate or convey the meanings of these words in the "tanakh-old testament". But why did they feel the need to create brand new definitions in the "Renewed Conenant-New Testament". So let's take a look.
In the "New Testament" there are 5 different words that they translated from, here they are.
1. Mat 10:13 “And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
G1515 εἰρήνη eirēnē i-rah'-nay
Probably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: - one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.
2. Mar 9:50 “Salt is good, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how shall you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace among one another.”
From G1515; to be (act) peaceful: - be at (have, live in) peace, live peaceably.
3. Luk 14:4 But they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go.
G2270 ἡσυχάζω hay-soo-khad'-zo
From the same as G2272; to keep still (intransitively), that is, refrain from labor, meddlesomeness or speech: - cease, hold peace, be quiet, rest.
4.Luk 20:26 And they were not able to take hold of what he said before the people: and they marveled at his answer, and held their peace.
G4601 σιγάω sigaō see-gah'-o
From G4602; to keep silent (transitive or intransitive): - keep close (secret, silence), hold peace
5.Mat 20:31 But the multitude rebuked them, that they might hold their peace. But, they, the more, cried aloud, saying—Lord, have mercy on us! Son of David!
G4623 σιωπάω siōpaō see-o-pah'-o
From σιωπη siōpē (silence, that is, a hush; properly muteness, that is, involuntary stillness, or inability ot speak; and thus differing from G4602, which is rather a voluntary refusal or indisposition to speak, although the terms are often used synonymously); to be dumb (but not deaf also, like G2974 properly); figuratively to be calm (as quiet water): - dumb, (hold) peace.
Phew! Basically in my humble opinion all these definitions are a bunch of mumbo jumbo. For the remainder of this study though I will focus on the first greek definition. This is the one where it should be translated to "shalom".
Mat 10:13 “And if the house is worthy, let your peace(shalom) come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace(shalom) return to you.Once again we'll look at the greek translation and the definition.
eirēnē i-rah'-nayProbably from a primary verb εἴρω eirō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: - one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.
Why, I ask again would the translators need to create a new definition? It took me awhile to find it so here it is.
Eirene (Greek goddess)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Statue of Eirene with the infant Ploutos: Roman marble copy of bronze votive statue by Cephisodotus the Elder, now in the Glyptothek, Munich
Eirene, or Irene (Ancient Greek: Εἰρήνη, pronounced IPA: [eiˈrɛːnɛː]; Greek for "peace"; the Roman equivalent was Pax), one of the Horae, was the personification of peace, and was depicted in art as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia, sceptre and a torch or rhyton. She is said sometimes to be the daughter of Zeus and Themis.
She was particularly well regarded by the citizens of Athens. After a naval victory over Sparta in 375 BC, the Athenians established a cult for Eirene, erecting altars to her. They held an annual state sacrifice to her after 371 BC to commemorate the Common Peace of that year and set up a votive statue in her honour in the agora (marketplace) of Athens. The statue was executed in bronze by Cephisodotus the Elder, the father of the famous sculptor Praxiteles. It was acclaimed by the Athenians, who depicted it on vases and coins.
Although the statue is now lost, it was copied in marble by the Romans; one of the best surviving copies (right) is in the Munich Glyptothek. It depicts the goddess carrying a child with her left arm – Ploutos, the god of plenty and son of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Eirene's missing right hand once held a sceptre. She is shown gazing maternally at Ploutos, who is looking back at her trustingly. The statue is an allegory for Plenty (Ploutos) prospering under the protection of Peace (Eirene); it constituted a public appeal to good sense. The copy in the Glyptothek was originally in the collection of the Villa Albani in Rome but was looted and taken to France by Napoleon I. Following Napoleon's fall, the statue was bought by Ludwig I of Bavaria.
Now I know why they created a new definition. ha satan is an imitator and a liar. What better way to deceive than to hide the names of "ba'alim(gods)" than to put them in the place of words that would be common off of a believers tongue? Is this just an innocent error on behalf of the translators? I would say no. The greek spelling is the same for the g-ddess as it is for the word "peace".
The word "Shalom" has great depth of meaning for us. In it we are to understand that it means "whole and complete". I pray that you remain "shalom(whole and complete) in Mashiach's beauty(gr-ce)", until next time when we will uncover the "g-ddess wisdom"