The Meaning of Fear in Hebrew Bible

In the Hebrew Bible, the phrase ‘fear’ is used often to describe a fear of God. When we think about it, it’s easy to see why – the idea is that we can learn from the fear of God and that if we let our fear of God drive our lives, then we’ll be on our way to being a better person.


The Hebrew word “yir’ah” is an important word in biblical theology. It has a variety of meanings. For example, it can be translated as fear, awe, reverence, worship, and gratitude.

Despite the wide variety of meanings of this word, it can be easily translated as fear. This is because the word has many connotations.

Fear can refer to a person’s fear of the wrath of God or the consequences of breaking a covenant. However, there is also a second type of fear. Often referred to as yirat ha-malkhut, this type of fear is motivation to do good deeds.

While most Christians translate yir’ah as “fear”, the Bible also has a variety of other translations. One of them is pachadh, which is a Hebrew word that means terror. Another is Strong’s H3374, which is a Greek word for fear.

Yirah also refers to the glory of the LORD. Interestingly, the word yirah can also be translated as wonder, praise, or honor. A person who believes in the Lord can overcome any difficulty, including fear, and face everything with courage.

There are two major types of fear in the Bible. The first is based on a person’s concern with the consequences of breaking a covenant or the law of the LORD. On the other hand, the second is a mixture of fear and self-preservation. Often, this fear is mixed with a desire to avoid the wrath of God or to be redeemed from sin.

Regardless of its meaning, yir’ah is central to the Bible’s theology. It is a word that provides a key to unlocking the wisdom of the heart.

In the Bible, the word yir’ah is a key to understanding the nature of fear. As it is central to biblical theology, the word has a wide range of meanings.

Yhvh yrAt

Fear is a powerful concept. Often, if we are afraid, we may be less likely to act. However, fear is not limited to being afraid of danger. It can be a feeling of awe, reverence, admiration, and worship.

The Bible mentions the term ‘fear’ a lot. In fact, the word ‘fear’ appears 70 times in the Old Testament. There are six different Hebrew renderings of this word. While each carries a different meaning, all have the same function. For example, ‘fear’ is associated with the infinitive ‘to do a thing’.

One of the most well-known examples of fear is the fear of the Lord. The Bible describes the fear of the Lord as something that is enduring and clean. People who are able to properly fear the Lord are called blessed.

Aside from fear, the word ‘yirah’ can be used to mean awe, respect, and worship. Another word is ‘pachad’. This is a word that is sometimes translated as destructive.

There are many other words in the Bible that have the same meaning. The word’reverence’ is one of them.

Another word that has the same meaning is ‘pachad’. This word is the root of the word ‘fear’, and it is also related to the word ‘dread.’

‘Awe’ is derived from early Scandinavian words for terror and discipline. In the Bible, ice is dreadful, and the wilderness is a place of dread.

‘Awe’ can be said to be the’stupid’ and’mimic’ of ‘fear’, as it is a combination of the two. ‘Awe’ can also be said to be a ‘few’ steps away from the ‘true’ ‘fear’ of the LORD.

‘Fear’ is just one of the numerous Biblical names for God. He is also called YHWH, ‘the Almighty,’ and ‘Jehovah’.

Hezekiah’s fear

When Hezekiah was ill, he asked the prophet Isaiah for advice. But the prophet warned Hezekiah that he would die. Unlike the previous kings of Judah, Hezekiah trusted in God. During his reign, Hezekiah became a national revival leader.

King Hezekiah ruled for 29 years. At the time, the northern kingdom of Israel had fallen to Assyrians. Several years later, the Assyrian king Sennacherib attacked Judah with a large army. Throughout the siege, numerous nations brought gifts to Hezekiah.

Isaiah also gave Hezekiah counsel. During his reign, he showed three means of defense against Sennacherib. Initially, Hezekiah placed his trust in his own ability to handle the Assyrians. However, he later shifted his faith to the Lord.

The prophet Isaiah predicted that the Assyrians would never reach Jerusalem. So, Hezekiah went about the preparations for war. He prepared a prayer for deliverance, which he offered in front of the temple. In response, the angel of the Lord destroyed the Assyrians.

Hezekiah also joined an anti-Assyrian league, which included the Palestinian state, Ammon, and Moab. Although the Assyrians conquered most of Judah, they did not take the spoils from it.

When King Hezekiah died, his son Manasseh took over. Manasseh continued some of his father’s reforms, but he promoted idolatry and worshiped other gods. And, although Manasseh did not succeed as King, he did undo some of his father’s reforms. Ultimately, Manasseh was the most wicked king in Judah.

Although Hezekiah was considered to be the model of faithfulness to the Lord, his life is not without controversy. Some Talmudists equate his name with the Hebrew word “Hizkiyyah”, meaning strengthened by the Lord.

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom

If you are familiar with the Hebrew Bible, you know that the word “fear” (yirat) is often cited as one of the pillars of wisdom. However, yirat isn’t just a fear. Rather, it also denotes respect and reverence.

The Hebrew term yirah actually has several meanings, including reverence and awe. For example, it may mean the aforementioned “fear of the Lord” or it could refer to the biblical idea of a crown of splendor.

In the context of the Bible, yirat means the “fear of the Lord”. It is the first thing that a wise person thinks about. Not only does it denote a proper relationship with the Almighty, it is the beginning of knowledge.

Aside from the aforementioned fear of the Lord, the Hebrew word yirah also has many other connotations. From the aforementioned “crown of splendor” to the biblical concept of a rain-making machine, there are many other uses of the word yirah.

One of the better examples of this is the poem by Ben Sira. Using an acrostic alphabetic structure, this poem transfers blessings from Torah obedience to the fear of the Lord.

Specifically, the poem is structured as a sequence of letters, starting with the letter ‘o’ and ending with ‘u’. Similarly, the Hebrew words used are those of sequential order. Although the poem is not clearly enunciated, it is easy to see the pattern.

Using the Bible as a guide, Ben Sira concludes that the aforementioned “crown of glory” referred to in the poem is not the aforementioned “crown of rejoicing,” but is rather a reward for being a good steward of the gifts of God.

Unlike the aforementioned “crown of the king,” however, the “fear of the Lord” is not merely a matter of faith. Rather, it is a necessary and essential ingredient for achieving true wisdom.

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