🔼The name Salim: Summary
- From the verb שלם (shalem), to be or make whole or complete.
🔼The name Salim in the Bible
The name Salim occurs only once in the Bible, namely in the observation that John the Baptist "also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized" (John 3:23).
It's not clear where Salim and Aenon might have been located, but the author of this story probably did not incorporate these two names in order to put their inconsequential hamlets on the map, but rather to refer to something a great deal more telling. In our article on the name Aenon we discuss the possibility that this greater thing might have been the curious case of the dual genealogies of Christ.
But in any event, the curious case of Aenon-near-Salim is not unlike that of Nazareth, which was either also not actually a physical town (and rather means Scattering or Diaspora), or else so inconsequential that no author of the time mentioned it. Read our article on Onesimus for a look at why there might be a great deal of such cryptic code in the New Testament (and the Bible at large).
🔼Etymology of the name Salim
The name Salim is obvious quite similar to its better known cousins: Salem, Jerusalem, Absolom and Solomon. All these names stem from the verb שלם (shalem), meaning to be complete:
The verb שלם (shalem) means to be or make whole or complete, and is also used to describe a righteous recompense or proper restitution (whether positive or not). The familiar noun שלום (shalom) means wholeness, completeness or peace.
Other derivatives are: noun שלם (shelem), peace offering; verb שלם (shalam), to be in a covenant of peace; adjective שלם (shalem), perfect, whole, complete, safe; noun שלם (shillem), recompense; nouns שלמן (shalmon), שלום (shillum), שלם (shillum) and שלמה (shilluma), reward or proper recompense.
The name Salim means Completeness and appears to refer to one of two signature qualities of faith: (1) Faith completes where Law cannot (Romans 8:3), and (2) Faith is a gift (read our article on Aenon for the details).