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Smith's Bible Dictionary


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Salutation. Salutations may be classed under the two headings of 'conversational' and 'epistolary'. The salutation at meetings consisted, in early times, of various expressions of blessing, such as "God be gracious unto thee," Genesis 43:29, "The Lord be with you;" "The Lord bless thee." Ruth 2:4. Hence, the term, "bless," received the secondary sense of "salute." The salutation at parting consisted originally of a simple blessing, Genesis 24:60, but, in later times, the form "Go in peace," or rather "Farewell," 1 Samuel 1:17, was common.

In modern times, the ordinary mode of address current in the East resembles the Hebrew, Es-selam aleykum, "Peace be on you", and the term "salam", peace, has been introduced, into our own language, to describe the Oriental salutation. In epistolary salutations, the writer placed his own name first, and then that of the person whom he sainted. A form of prayer for spiritual mercies was also used. The concluding salutation consisted generally of the term, "I salute," accompanied by a prayer for peace or grace.

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Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Salutation'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. 1901.

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