One of the most commonly asked questions that comes up when we introduce Salem is 'is that a family name?'. It's a (very) polite way of asking where in the world did you come up with that one? And we've heard it all- you mean like the cigarettes? like the witch trials? like the cat on Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Yes. Exactly like every one of those. Good thing we had a few months to prepare our family and friends!
The truth is, we discovered Salem through one of our pastor's sermons. I couldn't tell you what the sermon was even about but while I was pregnant I was skimming through my church notebook and found 'Salem = Peace' scribbled in the margins. I immediately showed Chris and he said "That's it. We're done. We're keeping it." Again, I totally thought I was having a girl so I didn't feel the need to be that attached to the boy name anyway. Lo and behold, on March 21st we had a boy and Salem he became!
Now, I LOVE it! It's unique but not too unique. There's only one spelling. And it's strong. It's a solid boy name and I am so happy that we stuck to our guns and went with it. Both boys have five letter names with an 'L' smack dab in the middle so naming a third (IF that ever happens!) could be a bit tricky, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it!
In my study Bible, next to Genesis 14:18, I have Salem underlined and his birth date written next to it. The verse reads: 'Then Melchizedek king of SALEM brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High'. And in the study notes at the bottom of the page, it says '"Salem" is a shortened form of "Jerusalem" and is related to the Hebrew word for PEACE'.
So, there you have it. Salem = Peace. And no, it's NOT a family name!