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Peace Be Unto You!

Bible Study #20

Common Bible Phrases #9


John 20:26 Peace be unto you. Romans 15:33 peace be with you 1Peter 5:14 Peace be with you


The English word ‘peace’ comes in meaning from the Hebrew word ‘shalom’ used in the Old Testament.

Shalom is a rich term which means much more than peace as an absence of war or inner turmoil. The word Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. It is the fullness of life, both materially and spiritually, in relations with God and man.


Two Bible Accounts of Peace- Shalom


To cover the topic of this phrase ‘Peace Be to You’, we’ll look at three Bible stories, two from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.


  1. The Shunammite Woman


Let’s set the scene for what is about to happen: In 2 Kings 4 We read about a prominent Shunammite woman who is married to an older man and is childless. She provides food and lodgings for Elisha (one of God’s prophets to Israel). In return, Elisha prophesies that the woman will conceive and have a son.


2Kings 4:16-17 And Elisha said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.


Years pass and the boy grows, one day he is out in the field with his father, the boy is taken ill, possibly he had sunstroke, he’s taken home, but dies soon after.


Let’s continue reading, 2Kings 4:18 And the boy grew, and the day came that he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, My head, my head! And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. 20 And he carried him and brought him to his mother. And he sat on her knees until noon and died.

22 And she called to her husband and said, Please send me one of the young men and one of the asses so that I may run to the man of God and come again. 23 And he said, Why will you go to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath. And she said, It is well.*1 25 And she went and came to the man of God, to Mount Carmel. And it happened when the man of God saw her afar off, he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, the Shunammite. 26 Please run now to meet her, and say to her, Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the boy? And she answered, Well!*2

(*1, *2 The Hebrew word used here in these greetings is: shalom)

Even though her son has died, she is confident that things will be ok, she has peace, through trust in the God of the prophet.


Now let’s jump forward a little to Elisha arriving at the Shunammite lady’s house.


4:32 And Elisha had come to the house. And behold, the boy was dead, and laid out on his bed. 4:35-37 And he (Elisha) returned and walked in the house to and fro. And he went up and stretched himself on him. And the boy sneezed seven times, and the boy opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi and said, Call this Shunammite. And he called her, and she came in to him. And he said, Take up your son! 37 And she went in and fell at his feet and bowed to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

What can we learn from this account of the Shunammite woman?


First, no matter what situation we may find ourselves in, we need to have the mindset and understanding that, “God is in this with me, so things will eventually work out!” Just as the Shunammite woman had that mindset and belief, even in the tragedy of losing her son. Having that mindset gives us a large measure of shalom, inner peace, as opposed to fearing, ‘Look what terrible thing has happened, and I don’t know what will happen next?’


  1. Jacob’s Experience


In order to reinforce this principal of shalom that ‘God is in this with me’, here’s another account that illustrates that point, found in Genesis 28. Abraham’s grandson Jacob, after deceiving his family has to flee to escape punishment and save his own life. While resting at the border of a new country, he experiences God’s presence Even though it was his own wrong doing that put him in such a difficult situation, God did not neglect or leave him!

Here is a key verse from that chapter:

Genesis 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.

When we are tempted to think, “Where is God, I don’t see him in this problem”? It is never that, ‘God is not here’, in any situation, see Psalm 139, it is that we are not aware of His presence.

If you’d like to read more about Jacob’s experience, see the following link it has an interesting perspective.


People Receiving Shalom, a measure of God’s Spirit, in the Old and New Testaments.


The second thing we can learn from the above account of the Shunammite woman, is how peoples’ relationship with God worked in the time before Jesus came physically into the world.

God’s Spirit only rested on certain people, prophets, kings etc. to do the things that God had called them to do. That’s why we see the Shunammite woman heading off to find the prophet, to obtain help from the person anointed with God’s Spirit, the Prophet!

That was to completely change in the New Testament, with the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s Spirit would be available to ALL people, whoever desires to receive and be led by it. A whole new deeper meaning for shalom- peace would begin.

There was another prophet, Joel, thought to be living around the same time as Elisha. In Joel’s book of prophecy, he stated:

Joel 2:28-29 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

So, God’s Spirit would be freely available to everyone. As you will see from the next account in the New Testament, this prophecy came to pass hundreds of years later through Jesus and His disciples first, and then on to all generations including us!


Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles with Shalom!


Again, let’s set the scene for the following account. John the Baptist had been preparing the way for the Messiah, the Savior. He was calling people to repent of their sins, to change the direction of their lives. Then one day John saw Jesus, the following is what he said of Jesus:

John 1:32-34 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

From this introduction, lets follow the New Testament account.

Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Jesus went about transforming people with shalom, the peace, solutions and changes that they needed. After showing his disciples what the power of the Holy Spirit could do and wanting to help more people, Jesus does the following:

Matthew 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Jesus gave authority to his disciples to do what He had been doing. To freely give shalom to those around them. That way the disciples would not need to ‘rush to the prophet-Jesus’ as the Shunammite woman had done to get help, but they themselves would take that power and authority with them and being filled with ‘shalom’, they could pass that same peace on to others.

Jesus also said to his disciples:

Mat 10:12-14 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.


Interestingly, this pouring of the Spirit on all those who desired it fulfilled another of Joel’s prophecies:

Joel 2:27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.



In the ‘Old Testament’ only certain people had this power of shalom. In the ‘New Testament’ things have completely changed. Through the Holy Spirit, the peace that everyone yearns for is actually, freely available to anyone who will receive it. Here are a few verses to reinforce that point:


Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 19:1-7 And it happened in the time Apollos was at Corinth, Paul was passing through the higher parts to Ephesus. And finding certain disciples, 2 he said to them, Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? And they said to him, We did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit is. 3 And he said to them, Then to what were you baptized? And they said, To John's baptism. 4 And Paul said, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who was coming after him, that is, into Jesus Christ. 5 And hearing, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And as Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 And all of the men were about twelve.


As a final verse to end this class with:


Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?


Final Word

If you would like to have this ‘shalom’, simply ask Jesus to fill you with His Spirit and your Journey will begin. Then you too will be able to bring a measure of shalom to those around you. God Bless and peace be unto you!


PS If you would like to listen to a talk on our site about finding rest in the storms of life, follow the links (Parts1 and 2):


Here’s a song that tells of the same theme.

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