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What Is a Salutation? (2 Corinthians 13:13)

Introductory Thoughts

The Bible often defines words through their associations. For instance, the words salute, saluteth, and salutation involve a greeting. This can best be understood as salute is identified and associated to words like meet (1 Samuel 13:10), bless (2 Samuel 8:10), and greet (Romans 16:5, 11; Philippians 4:21; Titus 3:15; 3 John 1:14). In person, the salutation is the initial greeting (Judges 18:15), but in written correspondence, it often appears at the conclusion of the letter (see Romans chapter 16). One specific salutation can be found by comparing Matthew 10:12 with Luke 10:5-6. In Matthew 10:12, the Bible says, “And when ye come into an house, salute it.” The word salute is defined in Luke 10:5 as “first say, Peace be to this house.” This serves as another example of the Bible’s built-in dictionary.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): A salutation is more than just saying, "Hi," to someone. It is a greeting that offers expressions of goodness or well-being. Consider these Bible examples: Genesis 24:29-31; Genesis 43:29; Judges 6:12; Ruth 2:4; 1 Samuel 15:13; Luke 1:28-30.
  • (For everyone): Paul admonished the recipients of his epistles to salute the brethren. How do you salute the brethren? Do you salute them as Paul and John did by commending the saints unto the grace and peace of God (Colossians 4:18; 3 John 1:14)?
  • Why is it important that believers strive to conform to the will of God down to the details of having scriptural salutations?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you to be a blessing to others in your salutations.
  • Ask the Lord to help you learn how to salute the brethren.