Salutation. Salutations may be classed under the two heads of conversational and epistolary. The salutation at meeting consisted in early times of various expressions of blessing, such as “God be gracious unto thee,” Gen. 43:29; “The Lord be with you”; “The Lord bless thee.” Ruth 2:4. Hence the term “bless” received the secondary sense of “salute.” The salutation at parting consisted originally of a simple blessing, Gen. 24:60, but in later times the form “Go in peace,” or rather “Farewell,” 1 Sam. 1:17, was common. In modern times the ordinary mode of address current in the East resembles the Hebrew Esʒselâm aleykum, “Peace be on you,” and the term “salam,” peace, has been introduced into our own language to describe the Oriental salutation. In epistolary salutations the writer placed his own name first, and then that of the person whom he saluted. A form of prayer for spiritual mercies was also used. The concluding salutation consisted generally of the term “I salute,” accompanied by a prayer for peace or grace.
Modes of Salutation in the East.