In English, the word ‘peace’ conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife. The biblical concept of peace is larger than that, and rests heavily on the Hebrew root ‘slm’, which means ‘to be complete’ or ‘to be sound’. The verb conveys both a dynamic and a static meaning ‘to be complete or whole’ or ‘to live well’. The noun salom [l’v] had many nuances, but can be grouped into four categories: (1) as wholeness of life or body (i.e., health); (2) as right relationship or harmony between two parties or people, often established by a covenant (see ‘covenant of peace’ in Num 25:12-13 ; Isa 54:10 ; Ezek 34:25-26 ) and, when related to Yahweh, the covenant was renewed or maintained with a ‘peace offering’; (3) as prosperity, success, or fulfilment (see Lev 26:3-9 ); and (4) as victory over one’s enemies or absence of war (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology).
The OT uses the word ‘Shalom’ (Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם shalom; also spelled as sholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem) which means peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.(Shalom – Wikipedia)
The Greek word for Peace used in the NT is eirḗnē, i-ray’-nay; probably from a primary verb εἴρω eírō (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity:—one, peace, quietness, rest, set at one (From blueletterbible.com, entry “eirene”, Strongs definition).
As we described earlier in the english language, the word ‘peace’ conjures up a passive picture, one showing an absence of civil disturbance or hostilities, or a personality free from internal and external strife. Examples such as a lack of finances, a lack of communication with others around us, not having enough, not having a job, we can sum up in one word: “UNPEACE”, or un-ease, or dis-ease. This is what we see in the world around us; people not living in wholeness and completeness, striving in their own strength to achieve peace, at the same time generating their lack of peace. They are lacking understanding that His (Jesus Christ’s) Peace has been restored to them by Jesus’ finished work on the cross. That work restored us fully to our original state as one in God. Therefore, being one with God there is no lack, we are complete. There is no UNPEACE anymore, but only PEACE. Out of this understanding we can also see that we have been ‘set at one’ with the Father, ‘set at one’ in the son, and out of this harmony of rest, wholeness and completeness, welfare and tranquillity and prosperity flows.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33,NKJV). Jesus did overcome the world, by subduing our earth, therefore we have perfect peace. His peace restored in us is of the highest possible kind, the peace which passeth all understanding,even when ‘walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for the Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing’ (Ps 23), for I am set at one in God.
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