Peace. Total well-being, prosperity, and security associated with God’s presence among his people. Linked in the OT with the covenant, the presence of peace, as God’s gift, was conditional upon Israel’s obedience. In prophetic material, true peace is part of the end-time hope of God’s salvation. In the NT, this longed-for peace is understood as having come in Christ and able to be experienced by faith.
Peace denotes the wholeness, soundness, and well-being that characterizes God and that God created in the world. As peace was broken due to human sin, such well-being constitutes the hope for ultimate restoration by God.
Shalom! is probably the best known and most famous word in the Hebrew language. But its meaning is broad and is translated seventy different ways in one translation alone (NIV). Today, shalom is used to say “hello” or “good-bye.” In the Bible, it is used three different ways in one verse to mean something like “success” (NIV), “peace” (KJV, NLT) and “prosperity” (NLT)! This illustrates the fullness and richness of the word’s meaning. The Hebrew translation of shalom is “completeness,” “wholeness,” “well-being,” or “welfare and peace.” It is derived from a root that means “to be complete” or “to be sound.” When shalom is best translated as “peace,” this peace is more than the mere absence of war or strife.