Peace in the Tanakh (Jewish Scriptures)—shalom שָׁלוֹם‎

Peace in the New Testament—eirene εἰρήνη

Word Origin and Meaning

The root denotes completion or wholeness.

The general meaning of the root word is of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.

It also conveys a wide range of nuances: fulfillment, completion, maturity, soundness, wholeness, harmony, tranquillity, security, well being, welfare, friendship, agreement, success and prosperity.

The word shalom occurs more than 250 times in the Tanakh and appears in 213 separate verses.

In classic Greek, peace is the state of law and order that gives rise to the blessing of prosperity. It is also used to denote peaceful conduct toward others.

The New Testament use of eirene remains firmly based in the Hebrew traditions of shalom in the Tanakh. It can describe both the content and the goal of all Christian preaching, since the message is called the Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15).

The word is found 91 times in the New Testament, 24 of which are in the Gospels.

Some key concepts regarding peace

  • It describes the state of those who love the Word of God (Psalm 119:165).
  • It depicts the concept of peace expressed in the blessing of Aaron found in
  • Numbers 6:24, wherein it sums up all other blessings and is closely associated with the presence of God.
  • Peace is the result of God’s presence in a person’s life as God is the source of peace (Psalm 85:8).
  • It is established by the God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33; Romans 15:33; Hebrews 13:20).
  • It is linked with love (2 Corinthians 13:11).
  • Peace from Yeshua is different from the world’s peace (John 16:33).
  • According to the prophets, peace will be an essential characteristic of the messianic kingdom, thus it is almost synonymous with messianic salvation (Ephesians 2:17).

The Promise of Peace through the Messiah—His advent

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace(Isaiah 9:6).

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:10-14)

His substitutionary atonement

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:19-20).

Assurance of peace to those who believe God’s promises

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

His second coming

And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth; and this One shall be peace (Micah 5:4-5).

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).