Salem (Bible)

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Salem (Hebrew: שָׁלֵם, Shalem; Ancient Greek: Σαλήμ, Salḗm) is an ancient Middle Eastern town mentioned in the Bible.

Salem is referenced in the following biblical passages:

  • "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God."[1]
  • "In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion."[2]

The name refers to the royal city of Melchizedek and is traditionally identified with Jerusalem.[3] It is also mentioned in Hebrews 7. The deuterocanonical Book of Judith mentions the "valley of Salem".[4]

Possibly a different place is mentioned in Genesis 33:18: "And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city." The town of Salim corresponds to that location. It is also mentioned in the Gospel of John 3:23: "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Saleím [Σαλείμ], because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized."

Various towns have been named after Biblical Salem.


  1. ^ Genesis 14:18.
  2. ^ Psalm 76:2.
  3. ^ "Salem". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 23 October 2015.
  4. ^ Judith 4:4