Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament
2401 שָׁלֵם (šālēm) be complete, sound.
Carr, G. L. (1999). 2401 שָׁלֵם. In R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (930). Chicago: Moody Press.
The general meaning behind the root š-l-m is of completion and fulfillment—of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.
Of this group, some take their meanings from the comparatively infrequent simple stems while the others šillēm, šillûm, and possibly šalmôn reflect the intensive Piel sense. The apparant diversity of meanings between the two stems can be accounted for in terms of the concept of peace being restored through payment (of tribute to a conqueror, Josh 10:1), restitution (to one wronged, Ex 21:36), or simple payment and completion (of a business transaction, II Kgs 4:7).
The payment of a vow (Ps 50:14) completes an agreement so that both parties are in a state of šālôm. Closely linked with this concept is the eschatological motif in some uses of the term. Recompense for sin, either national or personal, must be given. Once that obligation has been met, wholeness is restored (Isa 60:20; Joel 2:25).
Adjectivally, šālēm is used of an attitude (a “perfect” heart; e.g. I Kgs 8:61; I Chr 28:9), and of a complete amount (of money, Ruth 2:12; of sin, Gen 15:16; of a whole nation, Amos 1:6, 9). An accurate weight is called “perfect” (Deut 25:15) or “just” (Prov 11:1).
Interesting is that šālēm is used of the whole (i.e. uncut) stones for the altar (Deut 27:6; Josh 8:31) and also of the dressed stones used for the temple (I Kgs 6:7). 2401a שָׁלוֹם (šālôm) peace.
שָׁלוֹם (šālôm). Peace, prosperity, well, health, completeness, safety. ASV and RSV similar.
šālôm, and its related words šālēm, šelem and their derivatives, are among the most important theological words in the OT. šālôm occurs over 250 times in 213 separate verses (so Durham, p. 275. BDB lists 237 uses). The KJV translates 172 of these as “peace.” The remainder are translated about 30 different ways, many only a single time each. The LXX uses various members of the sôzô, eirēnē, and teleios word groups to translate šālôm. šālôm which occurs in other members of the Semitic language family, was influential in broadening the Greek idea of eirēnē to include the Semitic ideas of growth and prosperity.
šālôm means “absence of strife” in approximately fifty to sixty usages; e.g. I Kgs 4:25 [H 5:4] reflects the safety of the nation in the peaceful days of Solomon when the land and its neighbors had been subdued.
“Peace,” in this case, means much more than mere absence of war. Rather, the root meaning of the verb šālēm better expresses the true concept of šālôm. Completeness, wholeness, harmony, fulfillment, are closer to the meaning. Implicit in šālôm is the idea of unimpaired relationships with others and fulfillment in one’s undertakings.
About twenty-five times in the OT, šālôm is used as a greeting or farewell (Jud 19:20; I Sam 25:6, 35). To wish one šālôm implies a blessing (II Sam 15:27); to withhold šālôm implies a curse (I Kgs 2:6). In modern Hebrew šālôm is used for “hello” and “goodby.” Note the cognate Arabic salaam.
šālôm is the result of God’s activity in covenant (bĕrît), and is the result of righteousness (Isa 32:17). In nearly two-thirds of its occurrences, šālôm describes the state of fulfillment which is the result of God’s presence. This is specifically indicated in those references to the “covenant of peace” (bĕrît šālôm, Num 25:12; Isa 54:10; Ezk 34:25; Mal 2:5) with his chosen representatives, the Aaronic priests and the Davidic monarchs. The peace that marks the conclusion of an agreement between adversaries (Isaac and Abimelech, Gen 26:29), business partners (Solomon and Hiram, I Kgs 5:12 [H 26]), and man and God (Abraham, Gen 15:15) is couched in terms of covenant agreement.
This sort of peace has its source in God. He is the one who will speak šālôm to his people (Ps 85:8 [H 9]). His promise to David in I Chr 22:9–10 puts šālôm in context with mĕnûḥâ “calmness,” nūaḥ “rest,” and šeqeṭ “to be quiet,” as these are gifts from God. The classic statement of this concept is the Aaronic benediction (Num 6:24–26) which identifies the man to whom God has given šālôm as the one who is blessed (bārak), guarded (šāmar), and treated graciously (ḥānan), by Yahweh. This is fulfillment through the divine gift.
There is also a strong eschatological element present in the meaning of šālôm. Messiah, “David’s greater son,” is specifically identified as the Prince of Peace śar šālôm—the one who brings fulfillment and righteousness to the earth.
Paul (Eph 2:14) links these themes in his identification of Christ as our peace. He is the messianic prince who brings wholeness, but he is also God’s last word—the “concluding sacrifice” that brings redemption to mankind.
Bibliography: Delling, Gerhard, “τέλος” in TDNT, VIII, pp. 49–87. Durham, John “שׁלום and the Presence of God,” Proclamation and Presence: Old Testament Essays in Honor of G. H. Davies, John Knox, 1970, pp. 272–93. Fohrer, Georg, “σώζω and σωτηρία in the Old Testament,” in TDNT, VII, pp. 970–72. JTOT, pp. 126, 179–80, 259. Kohler, Ludwig, Old Testament Theology, Westminster, 1958, p. 240 n. 21. Rad, Gerhard von, Old Testament Theology, Harper and Row, 1962, 1965, I, p. 130, 372; II, p. 170., “שׁלום in the Old Testament,” in TDNT, II, pp. 402–6. AI, pp. 254f.
Carr, G. L. (1999). 2401 שָׁלֵם. In R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (930–931). Chicago: Moody Press.
8934 שָׁלֹום (šā∙lôm): n.masc.; ≡ Str 3073, 7965; TWOT 2401a—1. LN 22.42–22.47 peace, prosperity, i.e., an intact state of favorable circumstance (1Sa 1:17); 2. LN 59.23–59.34 completeness, i.e., the state of a totality of a collection (Jer 13:19); 3. LN 21.9–21.13 safeness, salvation, i.e., a state of being free from danger (Ge 28:21); 4. LN 23.129–23.141 health, i.e., a state of lack of disease and a wholeness or well-being (Ps 38:4[EB 3]); 5. LN 25.80–25.84 satisfaction, contentment, i.e., the state of having one’s basic needs or more being met and so being content (Ex 18:23); 6. LN 34.1–34.21 friend, companion, i.e., one who has an association with another with affection or regard (Jer 20:10); 7. LN 88.66–88.74 blessing, i.e., the content of the act. of giving kindness to another (Jer 16:5); 8. LN 12.1–12.42 unit: יהוה שָׁלֹום (yhwh šā∙lôm) Yahweh is Peace, i.e., the name of an altar (Jdg 6:24); 9. LN 12.1–12.42 unit: שַׂר שָׁלֹום (śǎr šā∙lôm) Prince of Peace, i.e., the name of messiah (Isa 9:5[EB 6]), note: for NIV text in Ps 69:23[EB 22], see 8936
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.