Smith’s Bible Dictionary
“Salem” means peace
- The place of which Melchizedek was king. (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:1,2) No satisfactory identification of it is perhaps possible. Two main opinions have been current from the earliest ages of interpretation: (1). That of the Jewish commentators, who affirm that Salem is Jerusalem, on the ground that Jerusalem is so called in (Psalms 76:2) Nearly all Jewish commentators hold this opinion. (2). Jerome, however, states that the Salem of Melchizedek was not Jerusalem, but a town eight Roman miles south of Scythopolis, and gives its then name as Salumias, and identifies it with Salem, where John baptized.
- (Psalms 76:2) it is agreed on all hands that Salem is here employed for Jerusalem.