My husband has been studying Hebrew over the past year and tonight at dinner he made a comment that intrigued me. He told me that the word "shalom" means more than just peace. I always thought it was a friendly greeting of someone telling you either they came in peace or they were wishing you to have peace but there is much more to it than that.When someone says shalom, they are literally asking, "How is your peace?"
According to Strong's Hebrew Concordance, shalom means: completeness, soundness, welfare, peace. Are you complete? Are you sound? Are you faring well and truly at peace?
As Christians, we believe that humanity became "broken" at the time of the fall. Separated from God, we were no longer complete, or sound in either body, mind or soul. We became subject to bodies which break down, age and eventually cease to function and return to dust. Our mind and our soul has been tainted and corrupted by sin. We are spiritually dead. Far from who and what we were designed to be we are incomplete and unsound.
Hunger, poverty, disease and loneliness are only a few of the things we experience which tarnish are welfare. Humanity as a whole is not "well" and we know it. Something is horribly wrong.
Do you see why Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace? (Isaiah 9:6) It is through Jesus Christ alone that we are made complete and sound. Tenderly cared for as a child of God, our well-being is secure. Regardless of our circumstances we can truly sing, "It is well with my soul!" He is the source of our peace and it cannot be obtained through any other.
How is your peace?
Almost a year ago I met a man from Israel, he was fluent in Hebrew. I know he must have thought me crazy because I had so many questions. I wanted to know if the OT differed much from Hebrew to the English version. He told me when he moved to this county 20 years ago he felt he should do everything in English even read the Bible so that he could learn the language better. But after he began he just could not continue reading the English version because it does loose something. He told me that he thought the Hebrew was so much more, there are some words you just cannot translate. It was a fascinating conversation and in the end he told me the meaning of Shalom, how is you peace? The conversation comes to my mind often and whenever someone says Shalom to me that is what I hear, "how is your peace?"
I LOVE this! That is really neat...unfortunately my "peace" is in "pieces" I'm going to keep "shalom" in mind!!!
ps. I wonder...why is Christ called Prince of Peace? Shouldn't He be King of Peace? Lord of Peace? Is this a trinity thing where Jesus "the Son" is therefore the Prince?