Fear of the Lord Bible Verses: Definition & Meaning


It is written that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, so our editors created this resource which highlights notable fear of the Lord Bible verses for your edification.

The “fear of the Lord” refers to reverence for God, acknowledging His righteousness and supernatural power. It is not simply fear in the sense of being afraid, but rather a sincere respect that recognizes God’s holiness. This fear is based on the recognition of who God is and an understanding of our position in relation to Him.

In context, “wisdom” begins when one has a proper understanding of God’s nature. It implies that true wisdom cannot be fully achieved without first acknowledging God’s overarching sovereignty and aligning oneself with His Will.

The fear of the Lord is introduced in the Old Testament as the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. See Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This verse underscores the importance of fearing God as a foundational step in understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 9:10 reinforces this concept, declaring, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” This passage links the fear of the Lord directly with wisdom and highlights that understanding God’s holy nature is integral to understanding His word.

The Gospel

Fear of the Lord Bible Verses

The benefits of fearing the Lord are manifold. Proverbs 10:27 notes, “The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” This suggests that living in the fear of the Lord leads to a life that is not only morally upright but also blessed with longevity. This goes in contrast with the fate of those who live wickedly.

Psalm 111:10 reiterates this: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” The fear of the Lord is not only the starting point of wisdom. Obedience to His commandments is a manifestation of understanding God’s ways.

The New Testament continues to underscore the value of fearing God. In Acts 10:34-35, Peter says: “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”

The fear of the Lord also encourages a departure from evil. See Proverbs 16:6: “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” This passage suggests that fearing God motivates individuals to turn away from sin; the definition of repentance. It is through this reverential fear that believers are compelled to live in a manner that honors God.

Of course, there are many verses that instill a fear of the Lord which don’t expressly use the same terminology. Hebrews 4:12 comes to mind for us: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

That said, there are in fact many verses where “fear of the Lord” is used exclusively, and provides context to further enhance one’s reading of the Scriptures betons the narrative we’ve offered above. See those additional verses below:

  • Job 28:28: “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”
  • Psalm 19:9: “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
  • Proverbs 14:26-27: “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
  • Proverbs 15:33: “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”
  • Proverbs 19:23: “The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.”
  • Proverbs 22:4: “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”
  • Proverbs 23:17: “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.”
  • Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

As it is written, the fear of the Lord is an integral aspect of the Christian faith. This fear is quite literally the foundation of wisdom. Through these teachings, believers are encouraged to cultivate a fear of the Lord in their hearts, which ultimately draws them closer to God and fosters a life that glorifies Him first.

Lord's Library is a Christian resource hub. Our editors use a variety of internet research methods like search engines, audio and video, AI, consultations with ministry leaders in the field, and more. Lord's Library should never be a substitute for reading your Bible daily as the Scriptures are to be our final authority on all matters. Lord's Library participates in affiliate programs. We may make a small commission from products purchased through this resource.
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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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