Friday, June 12, 2009

The Meaning of Salem's Name

Many of you have been asking for the meaning of Salem (Sey-luhm) Zannah’s (Zan-uh) name. So we thought it would be good to offer the complete yet brief explanation here. Oh, and yes we will include some of the more important things that everyone loves, more pictures.

Below I have included the name card we handed out at the hospital for everyone that came by.

First of all, her name is not just a name; it is a blessing that LeeAnn and I have bestowed upon her. LeeAnn and I have liked the name Salem, for a while. Every year we take a couple with us to Old Salem, for their Christmas Candle Tea.

Salem means “peace” in Hebrew. But it is much more than that. Salem is mentioned three times in the Bible (Genesis 14:18, Psalm 76:2, & Hebrews 7:1-2). In the Genesis passage, Abraham is moving from the land of Ur to the land God promised him. Abraham finds himself caught up in the midst of several battles with the locals. Then Melchizedek, the King of Salem, comes out to meet Abraham, gives him praise and worships his God, God Most High. Abraham then gives Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had, setting the standard of tithing (giving back to the Lord) in the Old Testament.

In the Book of Hebrews, the author references this same Melchizedek, who was unique in the land, because he was not just a king, but a priest as well. Again the Hebrew author compares Melchizedek to Jesus Christ, who is also a priest and king. As we read the Old Testament we learn that Salem later becomes Jeru-Salem, which means, “to see Peace.”

Knowing all this, our blessing for young Salem is that as she grows people will find the all encompassing peace of Christ when they come into her presence. Of course, anyone who knows me knows that the thick irony of my Lord is that he has likely blessed us with a child who will be anything but peaceful. Nonetheless, she will grow into her own loving nature as a “daughter of the King” of Salem. I long for the day she enters into a relationship with “the Prince of Peace.”

As far as Zannah goes, the meaning is not quite as thought out. It shows up in the Bible in about 5 passages, but it is harder to find. In the English translations it is “Lily.” As many of you who know LeeAnn and I know, when we first started dating we enjoyed a long distance relationship. So, at the end of emails and instant messages we put an acronym. She put CILY, which means, Chuck I Love You, and I put LILY, which means, LeeAnn I Love You.

It is important that Salem understands that LeeAnn and I love each other dearly. Our relationship to each other takes precedence over our relationship with Salem. While I love Salem, I do not love her at the expense of LeeAnn, I love her through LeeAnn. We want her to know just as Christ loves the church (his bride), I too love her mother, LeeAnn, my bride.

So, Zannah is a creative way of saying LILY, but it is also a reference to how special we believe Salem Zannah to be. In Song of Solomon 2:1-2 it reads, I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. We desire that the love, peace, and faith of our little Salem Zannah will stand out among many women.

Of course, our last name is Taylor, which simply means a person who sews. So the blessing that LeeAnn and I are giving to our beautiful daughter is that she will be a princess who tailors the peace and love of Christ.

I know this is a little long, but I hope it helps answer some questions. I hope Salem comes back to look at this one day, and I pray LeeAnn and I can foster the loving home which will help her grow into the blessing we desire for her.

So, now for the most important stuff…. more pictures.

Salem and Grandma Taylor, "Mi-mi" (mee-mee)

Salem with grandpa Taylor, "Nunny"

Salem with grandpa Godbey, (name not decided yet)

Salem with grandma Godbey, (name not decided yet)

This is all for now, but no worries, LeeAnn is going to upload some "coming home" pics soon.

Thank you all for your loving support.


Mindy said...

Love the "explanation." Beautiful. Chris and I chose a name from the Bible that is not as well known also and it is amazing what people will say about it. I think Salem will feel so special and loved anyway, bu to know the thought and prayer that went into her name will be even more special.

Love You Guys!

Kelli said...

you know i love a name story and this is a great one! thanks for sharing! she's such a blessed and beautiful little girl. :)

Debra said...

She is beautiful! And thankyou for the information about her name. She is a blessed little girl to have you two as parents.
Debby Sheets

Robin said...

Hello - well, I finally have a few moments to myself and had been wanting to read this post about the 'name' - love it!