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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Yahweh Shalom-The Lord Is Peace: Biblical Meaning (Pronouncing) And Praying The Names Of God.

Yahweh Shalom is the Hebrew name for God meaning the Lord is peace. The first time we see this name used for God is in Judges 6. Gideon was afraid he would die after seeing the angel of the Lord face to face. But the Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die”. This had such an impact on Gideon that he built an altar there and named it Yahweh Shalom (Judges 6:22-24). Shalom speaks of wholeness, harmony, and completeness. Shalom is not dependent on circumstances. Shalom comes from living in harmony with God.

Yahweh Shalom-The Lord Is Peace

And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. Judges 6:24.

Pronouncing The Name: yah-WEH sha-LOME

This is Day 11 of a 30 Day study on The Names Of God. If you haven't read the introduction yet, please start HERE

Understanding the Name Of God, Yahweh Shalom-The Lord Is Peace:

Yahweh Shalom is also known as Jehovah-Shalom and is translated “peace” 170 times in the Bible. It means “whole,” “finished,” “fulfilled,” or “perfected” and is really a title rather than a name of God. We first meet this title for God when it is first used by Gideon when the angel of the Lord appeared to him at Ophrah in Judges chapter six.

During the time of Gideon the children of Israel were living in a constant state of fear. The Midianites, a once defeated enemy, had reemerged from the East and begun plundering Israel with great force. The whole nation were living in a constant state of fear. The fact that Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress reflected both his small harvest and fear of being discovered by his enemies. Wheat was usually threshed in an open area by oxen pulling threshing sledges over the stalks, not in a winepress.

The Matthew Henry commentary describes the distress the Israelites were feeling like this:

“distressed; he (Gideon) was threshing his wheat, not in the proper place, but by the wine-press, in some private, unsuspected corner, for fear of the Midianites.” Fearful of attack and worried about the safety of their families, the Israelites, like Gideon took to hiding in dens, “in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds” (Judges 6:2).

It was during this time of the nation's unrest that the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon at Ophrah, commissioning him to lead Israel and deliver them from the Midianites.

This is what the Bible says about this time with Gideon:

The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. 2 The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel, 4 camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. 5 These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare. 6 So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

7 When they cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt. 9 I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. 10 I told you, ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”

13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”

15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Judges 6:1-16.

When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 “It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.” 24 And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day. Judges 6:22-24.

At Ophrah, the Lord reminded Gideon that He, the Lord, had been with the Israelites every stage of their journey and was with them still. God made it clear to Gideon that He had chosen him to lead the people to victory against the Midianites. I guess you could say that it seemed to be an impossible task to accomplish. But God....

God chose Gideon to lead the people to victory despite his protestations of inadequacy. To be fair to Gideon, the Midianites have been described as barbarians, terrorists and also known as normadic invaders of great number and formidable strength.

But God.....He chose Gideon to defeat the Midianities and free the Israelites.With God by your side you can do the impossible, just like Gideon! If you would like to read more about Gideon defeating the Midianites, you can read it HERE

God spoke peace to Gideon's heart when He promised, "“Do not be afraid. You will not die.” verse 23. Then Gideon built the alter at Ophrah and called it,"The Lord Is Peace."

Yahweh Shalom in Hebrew and meaning of Shalom in the Bible:

Yahweh Shalom is Hebrew for the Lord is peace. It is a title rather than a name of God. The Hebrew word, shalom refers most commonly to a person being uninjured and safe, whole and sound. In the New Testament, shalom is revealed as the reconciliation of all things to God through the work of Christ: “God was pleased . . . through [Christ] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through [Christ’s] blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19–20). The concept of Shalom means "wholeness,""completeness," "finished,""perfection," "safety," or"wellness." Being in a true state of shalom comes from living in harmony with God. Shalom is a common expression used for greeting or farewell in modern Israel. When you say Shalom, you are not simply saying "hello," or "have a good day." When you greet someone with the word, "shalom,"you are expressing hope that the person you are greeting may be well in every sense of the word-fulfilled, satisfied, prosperous, healthy, and in harmony with themselves, others and God. Most importaantly, shalom is a covenent word, an expression of God's faithful relationship with His people.

Applying the name of God, Yahweh Shalom to your life:

I have prepared a free printable for you to use as you explore the names of God. You will find it in our Resource Library Here.

I have listed below a few Bible verse about peace below that you may enjoy writing out on this journal page or your own notebook. I find that writing them out, allows you time to learn them and think about them more deeply. It should take about 10 minutes to write each verse but spend as much time as you have, sitting in God's presence and listening for His Holy Spirit speaking to your heart, instructing, and guiding you.

Copying scripture and carrying it with us throughout the day, reading it and memorizing it, makes God's word a part of us. It renews your mind and calms your anxious heart.