336. Formal Salutation

2 Kings 4:26; 2 Kings 4:23
2 Kings 4:2626Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. (2 Kings 4:26). Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
These are merely the customary formal salutations which are so profusely used by Orientals. Dr. Thomson says, “If you ask after a person whom you know to be sick, the reply at first will invariably be well, thank God, even when the next sentence is to inform you that he is dying” (The Land and the Book, vol. 2, p. 177). The expression is also used without any reference to the state of one’s health; as in verse 23, when the husband expressed his surprise at his wife’s going to see the prophet at that time, her only answer was, “Well.” The salutation is the same in form as that of “Peace,” so often spoken of in the Bible. See note on John 20:1919Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (John 20:19) (#823).