Should we fear God? 



Consider carefully the following passages in the Holy Scriptures which discuss the fear of God:

Ge 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear <03374> of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.

Ge 42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear <03373> God:

Ex 9:30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear <03372> the LORD God.

Ex 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear <03373> God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

Ex 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear <03374> not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear <03372> may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Le 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear <03372> thy God: I am the LORD.

Le 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear <03372> thy God: I am the LORD.

Le 25:17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear <03372> thy God: for I am the LORD your God.

Le 25:36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear <03372> thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.

Le 25:43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear <03372> thy God.

De 4:10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear <03372> me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.

De 6:2 That thou mightest fear <03372> the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

De 6:13 Thou shalt fear <03372> the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

De 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear <03372> the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

De 8:6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear <03372> him.

De 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear <03372> the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

De 10:20 Thou shalt fear <03372> the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

De 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear <03372> him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

De 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear <03372> the LORD thy God always.

De 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear <03372> the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

De 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear <03372> the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:

De 31:13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear <03372> the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Jos 4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear <03372> the LORD your God for ever.

1Sa 12:14 If ye will fear <03372> the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:

2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear <03374> of God.

2Ki 17:39 But the LORD your God ye shall fear <03372>; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.

2Ch 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear <06343> of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.

2Ch 20:29 And the fear <06343> of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.

Ne 5:9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear <03374> of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?

Ne 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear <03374> of God.

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear <03372> God for nought?

Ps 36:1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear <06343> of God before his eyes.

Ps 55:19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear <03372> not God.

Ps 61:5 For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear <03373> thy name.

Ps 66:16 Come and hear, all ye that fear <03373> God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Ps 67:7 God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear <03372> him.

Ps 76:11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared <04172>.

Pr 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear <03374> of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Ec 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear <03372> before him.

Ec 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear <03372> thou God.

Ec 8:12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear <03373> before him:

Ec 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear <03372> God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Isa 29:23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear <06206> the God of Israel.

Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear <06345> is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Jer 5:24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear <03372> the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

Da 6:26 I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear <01763> before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.

Ho 3:5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear <06342> the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

Jon 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear <03373> the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Mic 7:17 They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear <03372> because of thee.

Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear <03372> before the LORD.

Lu 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear <5399> not God, nor regard man;

Lu 23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear <5399> God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

Ac 13:16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear <5399> God, give audience.

Ro 3:18 There is no fear <5401> of God before their eyes.

2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear <5401> of God.

Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear <5401> of God.

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear <1167>; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear <2124>:

1Pe 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear <5399> God. Honour the king.

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear <5401>:

Re 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear <5399> God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Re 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear <5399> him, both small and great.

Wow! A lot of verses tell us to “fear God”. And not just in the Old Testament, but verses in the New Testament have the same command. One verse is enough, and we have many, such as (from above):

Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear <5401> of God.

1Pe 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear <5399> God. Honour the king.

It is clear that God is trying to tell us something here, that He wants us to fear Him. But what do these words mean, exactly?

These are the definitions of the original words rendered “fear” in the Old Testament:

03372 yare’ {yaw-ray’} a primitive root; TWOT – 907,908; verb

AV (Authorized Version = KJV) – fear 188, afraid 78, terrible 23, terrible thing 6, dreadful 5, reverence 3, fearful 2, terrible acts 1, misc 8; 314

1) to fear, revere, be afraid 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to fear, be afraid 1a2) to stand in awe of, be awed 1a3) to fear, reverence, honour, respect 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared 1b2) to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe 1b3) to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe 1c) (Piel) to make afraid, terrify 2) (TWOT) to shoot, pour

01763 d@chal (Aramaic) {deh-khal’}corresponding to 02119; TWOT – 2672; verb

AV – fear 2, dreadful 2, terrible 1, afraid 1; 6

1) to fear 1a) (P’al) 1a1) to fear 1a2) terrible (pass participle) 1b) (Pael) to cause to be afraid, make afraid

03373 yare’ {yaw-ray’} from 03372; TWOT – 907a; adjective

AV – fear 59, afraid 3, fearful 2; 64

1) fearing, reverent, afraid

03374 yir’ah {yir-aw’}from 03373; TWOT – 907b; noun

AV – fear 41, exceedingly + 01419 2, dreadful 1, fearfulness 1; 45

1) fear, terror, fearing 1a) fear, terror 1b) awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear) 1c) fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety 1d) revered

04172 mowra’ {mo-raw’} from 03372; TWOT – 907c,907d; noun

AV – fear 8, terror 3, dread 1, terribleness 1; 13

1) fear, reverence, terror 1a) fear, terror 1b) reverence 1c) object of reverence 1d) awe-inspiring spectacle or deed

06206 `arats {aw-rats’}a primitive root; TWOT – 1702; verb

AV – afraid 3, fear 3, dread 2, terribly 2, break 1, affrighted 1, oppress 1, prevail 1, terrified 1; 15

1) to tremble, dread, fear, oppress, prevail, break, be terrified, cause to tremble 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to cause to tremble, terrify 1b2) to tremble, feel dread 1b) (Niphal) to be awesome, be terrible 1c) (Hiphil)

06343 pachad {pakh’-ad}from 06342; TWOT – 1756a; noun

AV – fear 40, dread 3, great 2, terror 2, dreadful 1, greatly 1; 49

1) terror, dread 1a) dread 1b) object of dread

06345 pachdah {pakh-daw’}from 06343; TWOT – 1756b; noun

AV – fear 1; 1

1) dread, fear, awe, religious awe

These are the definitions of the original words rendered “fear” in the New Testament:

1167 deilia {di-lee’-ah}from 1169; noun

AV – fear 1; 1

1) timidity, fearfulness, cowardice

2124 eulabeia {yoo-lab’-i-ah}from 2126; TDNT – 2:751,275; noun

AV – godly fear 1, fear 1; 2

1) caution, circumspection, discretion 1a) avoidance 1b) a reasonable shunning 2) reverence, veneration 2a) reverence toward God, godly fear, piety 3) fear anxiety, dread

5399 phobeo {fob-eh’-o}from 5401; TDNT – 9:189,1272; verb

AV – fear 62, be afraid 23, be afraid of 5, reverence 1, misc 2; 93

1) to put to flight by terrifying (to scare away) 1a) to put to flight, to flee 1b) to fear, be afraid 1b1) to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm 1b1a) of those startled by strange sights or occurrences 1b1b) of those struck with amazement 1b2) to fear, be afraid of one 1b3) to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm) 1c) to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

5401 phobos {fob’-os}from a primary phebomai (to be put in fear); TDNT – 9:189,1272; noun

AV – fear 41, terror 3, misc 3; 47

1) fear, dread, terror 1a) that which strikes terror 2) reverence for one’s husband

So we see that we must fear God, we must reverence Him, because of His great power and authority. And because if we don’t take Him seriously and obey His commands, He will sorely punish us for rebellion against Him!

By David Baisze

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