“Have no fear! Do not be afraid!”
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
The most commonly repeated phrase in the whole Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, is “Have no fear!” or “Do not be afraid!”
Another common theme is that people should "fear the Lord" or have "fear of the Lord" (see the second section below), but these ideas are not contradictory, when understood properly:
On the one hand, God tells us that we need not be afraid of any person, circumstance, or created thing. God loves us and cares for us; God is with us and protects us, even in times of suffering or hardship. God's faithful love extends even beyond the limits of our mortal lives.
On the other hand, it is good to have an appropriate "fear" of God, but of God alone. This "fear" is not meant as a terrified expectation of punishment, but rather in the sense of a "reverential respect," similar to but even greater than the respect we owe to persons in legitimate authority: parents, civic leaders, or religious leaders.
Old Testament Texts (NRSV):
Genesis 15:1 – After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
Genesis 21:17 – And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.”
Genesis 26:24 – And that very night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abraham’s sake.”
Genesis 35:17 – When she was in her hard labor, the midwife said to her, “Do not be afraid; for now you will have another son.”
Genesis 43:23 – He replied, “Rest assured, do not be afraid; your God and the God of your father must have put treasure in your sacks for you; I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
Genesis 46:3 – Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.”
Genesis 50:19 – But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?”
Genesis 50:21 – “So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Exodus 14:13 – But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the LORD will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again.”
Exodus 20:20 – Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”
Numbers 14:9 – “Only, do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they are no more than bread for us; their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.”
Numbers 21:34 – But the LORD said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him; for I have given him into your hand, with all his people, and all his land. You shall do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.”
Deuteronomy 1:21 – “See, the LORD your God has given the land to you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has promised you; do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 1:29 – I said to you, “Have no dread or fear of them.”
Deuteronomy 3:2 – The LORD said to me, “Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you, along with his people and his land. Do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
Deuteronomy 3:22 – “Do not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.”
Deuteronomy 7:18 – “do not be afraid of them. Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt,”
Deuteronomy 20:1 – “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots, an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 – “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Joshua 8:1 – Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed; take all the fighting men with you, and go up now to Ai. See, I have handed over to you the king of Ai with his people, his city, and his land.”
Joshua 10:8 – The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have handed them over to you; not one of them shall stand before you.”
Joshua 10:25 – And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous; for thus the LORD will do to all the enemies against whom you fight.”
Joshua 11:6 – And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will hand over all of them, slain, to Israel; you shall hamstring their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.”
Judges 4:18 – Jael came out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
Judges 6:23 – But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die.”
Ruth 3:11 – “And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman.”
1 Samuel 4:20 – As she was about to die, the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or give heed.
1 Samuel 12:20 – And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;”
1 Samuel 22:23 – “Stay with me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks my life seeks your life; you will be safe with me.”
1 Samuel 23:17 – He said to him, “Do not be afraid; for the hand of my father Saul shall not find you; you shall be king over Israel, and I shall be second to you; my father Saul also knows that this is so.”
1 Samuel 28:13 – The king said to her, “Have no fear; what do you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the ground.”
2 Samuel 9:7 – David said to him, “Do not be afraid, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan; I will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you yourself shall eat at my table always.”
2 Samuel 13:28 – Then Absalom commanded his servants, “Watch when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not myself commanded you? Be courageous and valiant.”
1 Kings 17:13 – Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son.
2 Kings 1:15 – Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he set out and went down with him to the king,
2 Kings 6:16 – He replied, “Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.”
2 Kings 19:6 – Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me.’ ”
2 Kings 25:24 – Gedaliah swore to them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid because of the Chaldean officials; live in the land, serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.”
1 Chronicles 22:13 – “Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances that the LORD commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed.”
1 Chronicles 28:20 – David said further to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”
2 Chronicles 20:17 – “ ‘This battle is not for you to fight; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”
2 Chronicles 32:7 – “Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him; for there is one greater with us than with him.”
Nehemiah 4:14 – After I looked these things over, I stood up and said to the nobles and the officials and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome, and fight for your kin, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Job 5:21 – “You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes.”
Job 11:15 – “Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.”
Job 21:9 – Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them.
Job 33:7 – “No fear of me need terrify you; my pressure will not be heavy on you.”
Job 39:16 – “It deals cruelly with its young, as if they were not its own; though its labor should be in vain, yet it has no fear;”
Job 39:22 – “It laughs at fear, and is not dismayed; it does not turn back from the sword.”
Psalm 3:6 – “I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.”
Psalm 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-- they comfort me.”
Psalm 27:1 – “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:3 – “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.”
Psalm 46:2 – “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;”
Psalm 49:16 – “Do not be afraid when some become rich, when the wealth of their houses increases.”
Psalm 56:4 – “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?”
Psalm 56:11 – “in God I trust; I am not afraid. What can a mere mortal do to me?”
Psalm 78:53 – “He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.”
Psalm 91:5 – “You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day,”
Psalm 112:7 – “They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.”
Psalm 112:8 – “Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.”
Psalm 118:6 – “With the LORD on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?”
Proverbs 3:24 – “If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Proverbs 3:25 – “Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the storm that strikes the wicked;”
Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid for her household when it snows, for all her household are clothed in crimson.”
Isaiah 7:4 – and say to him, “Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.”
Isaiah 8:12 – “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread.”
Isaiah 10:24 – Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who live in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they beat you with a rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.”
Isaiah 12:2 – Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
Isaiah 35:4 – Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”
Isaiah 37:6 – Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me.’ ”
Isaiah 40:9 – “Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ ”
Isaiah 41:10 – “do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:13 – “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ ”
Isaiah 41:14 – “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you insect Israel! I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.”
Isaiah 43:1 – But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Isaiah 43:5 – “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you;”
Isaiah 44:2 – Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: “Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.”
Isaiah 44:8 – “Do not fear, or be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? You are my witnesses! Is there any god besides me? There is no other rock; I know not one.”
Isaiah 51:7 – “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, you people who have my teaching in your hearts; do not fear the reproach of others, and do not be dismayed when they revile you.”
Isaiah 54:4 – “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.”
Isaiah 54:14 – “In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.”
Jeremiah 1:8 – “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 10:5 – “Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor is it in them to do good.”
Jeremiah 17:8 – “They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 23:4 – “I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 30:10 – “But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the LORD, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and no one shall make him afraid.”
Jeremiah 40:9 – Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan swore to them and their troops, saying, “Do not be afraid to serve the Chaldeans. Stay in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall go well with you.”
Jeremiah 42:11 – “Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, as you have been; do not be afraid of him, says the LORD, for I am with you, to save you and to rescue you from his hand.”
Jeremiah 46:27 – “But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and no one shall make him afraid.”
Jeremiah 46:28 – “As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the LORD, for I am with you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have banished you, but I will not make an end of you! I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
Lamentations 3:57 – You came near when I called on you; you said, “Do not fear!”
Ezekiel 2:6 (tris) – “And you, O mortal, do not be afraid of them, and do not be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns surround you and you live among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words, and do not be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.”
Ezekiel 3:9 – “Like the hardest stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not fear them or be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.”
Daniel 10:12 – He said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”
Daniel 10:19 – He said, “Do not fear, greatly beloved, you are safe. Be strong and courageous!” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
Joel 2:21– “Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things!”
Joel 2:22 – “Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield.”
Zephaniah 3:15 – “The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more.”
Zephaniah 3:16 – On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.”
Haggai 2:5b – My spirit abides among you; do not fear.
Zechariah 8:13 – “Just as you have been a cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you and you shall be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”
Zechariah 8:15 – “so again I have purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; do not be afraid.”
New Testament Gospels:
In the Infancy Narratives:
Matthew 1:20b – “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
Luke 1:12-13 – When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. / But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.”
Luke 1:30 – The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Luke 1:74 [Mary’s Magnificat] – “that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear,”
Luke 2:9-10 [shepherds near Bethlehem] – Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. / But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:”
Jesus calls the First Disciples (in Luke’s version only):
Luke 5:10 – and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.”
Jesus speaks to Jairus:
Mark 5:36 – But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Luke 8:50 – When Jesus heard this, he replied, “Do not fear. Only believe, and she will be saved.”
Jesus instructs his disciples:
Matthew 10:26 – “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.”
Matthew 10:28 – “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fearhim who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Matthew 10:31 – “So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:4-5 – “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more.” / But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Luke 12:7 – “But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Luke 12:32 – “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
As Jesus walks on water:
Matthew 14:26-27 – But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. / But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Mark 6:50 – for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
John 6:20 – But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
At the Transfiguration of Jesus:
Matthew 17:6-7 – When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. / But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.”
At Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem:
John 12:15 – “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
On Easter Sunday Morning, at the Empty Tomb:
Matthew 28:4-5 – For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. / But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.”
Matthew 28:8, 10 – So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. /…/ Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Other New Testament Texts:
Acts of the Apostles:
Acts 18:9 – One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent;”
Acts 27:24 – “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.”
Letters attributed to Paul :
Romans 8:15 – For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 13:3 – For rulers are not a terror (lit. “not a cause for fear”) to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval;
1 Corinthians 16:10 – If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord just as I am;
Philippians 1:14 – and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear.
Hebrews and Catholic Epistles:
Hebrews 11:23 – By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
Hebrews 11:27 – By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is invisible.
Hebrews 13:6 – So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?”
1 Peter 3:6 – Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him lord. You have become her daughters as long as you do what is good and never let fears alarm you.
1 Peter 3:14 – But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated,
1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
Book of Revelation:
Revelation 1:17 – When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,”
Revelation 2:10 – “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Beware, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
“Fear of God” or “Fear of the Lord”:
Old Testament Texts:
Genesis 20:11 – Abraham said, "I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.
Genesis 22:12 – He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
Genesis 42:18 – On the third day Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God:
Exodus 1:17 – But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live.
Exodus 1:21 – And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
Exodus 9:20 – Those officials of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD hurried their slaves and livestock off to a secure place.
Exodus 9:30 – But as for you and your officials, I know that you do not yet fear the LORD God."
Exodus 14:31 – Israel saw the great work that the LORD did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the LORD and believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Exodus 18:21 – You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
Leviticus 19:14 – You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:32 – You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 25:36 – Do not take interest in advance or otherwise make a profit from them, but fear your God; let them live with you.
Leviticus 25:43 – You shall not rule over them with harshness, but shall fear your God.
Deuteronomy 6:2 – so that you and your children and your children's children, may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long.
Deuteronomy 6:24 – Then the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our lasting good, so as to keep us alive, as is now the case.
Deuteronomy 8:6 – Therefore keep the commandments of the LORD your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him.
Deuteronomy 10:12 – So now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? Only to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deuteronomy 10:20 – You shall fear the LORD your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear.
Deuteronomy 14:23 – In the presence of the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose as a dwelling for his name, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.
Deuteronomy 17:19 – It shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes,
Deuteronomy 25:18 – how he attacked you on the way, when you were faint and weary, and struck down all who lagged behind you; he did not fear God.
Deuteronomy 31:12 – Assemble the people--men, women, and children, as well as the aliens residing in your towns--so that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and to observe diligently all the words of this law,
Deuteronomy 31:13 – and so that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess."
Joshua 4:24 – so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may fear the LORD your God forever."
1 Samuel 12:14 – If you will fear the LORD and serve him and heed his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well;
1 Samuel 12:24 – Only fear the LORD, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.
2 Samuel 23:3 – The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God,
2 Kings 4:1 – Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves."
2 Chronicles 14:14 – They defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD was on them. They plundered all the cities; for there was much plunder in them.
2 Chronicles 17:10 – The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands around Judah, and they did not make war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 19:7 – Now, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care what you do, for there is no perversion of justice with the LORD our God, or partiality, or taking of bribes."
2 Chronicles 19:9 – He charged them: "This is how you shall act: in the fear of the LORD, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart;
2 Chronicles 20:29 – The fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries
2 Chronicles 26:5 – He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
Nehemiah 5:9 – So I said, "The thing that you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God, to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies?
Nehemiah 7:2 – I gave my brother Hanani charge over Jerusalem, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel--for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.
Job 1:1 – There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
Job 1:8 – The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil."
Job 1:9 – Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?
Job 2:3 – The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason."
Job 4:6 – Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?
Job 15:4 – But you are doing away with the fear of God, and hindering meditation before God.
Job 25:2 – "Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven.
Job 28:28 – And he said to humankind, 'Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"
Psalm 9:20 – Put them in fear, O LORD; let the nations know that they are only human.
Psalm 15:4 – in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the LORD; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
Psalm 19:9 – the fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psalm 22:23 – You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
Psalm 25:12 – Who are they that fear the LORD? He will teach them the way that they should choose.
Psalm 33:8 – Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Psalm 34:9 – O fear the LORD, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want.
Psalm 34:11 – Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psalm 36:1 – Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.
Psalm 55:19 – God, who is enthroned from of old, Selah will hear, and will humble them-- because they do not change, and do not fear God.
Psalm 66:16 – Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.
Psalm 102:15 – The nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth your glory.
Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
Psalm 112:1 – Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments.
Psalm 115:11 – You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 115:13 – he will bless those who fear the LORD, both small and great.
Psalm 118:4 – Let those who fear the LORD say, "His steadfast love endures forever."
Psalm 128:1 – Happy is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways.
Psalm 128:4 – Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.
Psalm 135:20 – O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You that fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:29 – Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
Proverbs 2:5 – then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 3:7 – Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Proverbs 10:27 – The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.
Proverbs 14:2 – Those who walk uprightly fear the LORD, but one who is devious in conduct despises him.
Proverbs 14:26 – In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and one's children will have a refuge.
Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death.
Proverbs 15:16 – Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.
Proverbs 15:33 – The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor.
Proverbs 16:6 – By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one avoids evil.
Proverbs 19:23 – The fear of the LORD is life indeed; filled with it one rests secure and suffers no harm.
Proverbs 22:4 – The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.
Proverbs 23:17 – Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always continue in the fear of the LORD.
Proverbs 24:21 – My child, fear the LORD and the king, and do not disobey either of them;
Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Ecclesiastes 5:7 – With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words; but fear God.
Ecclesiastes 7:18 – It is good that you should take hold of the one, without letting go of the other; for the one who fears God shall succeed with both.
Ecclesiastes 8:13 – but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone.
Isaiah 11:2 – The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
Isaiah 11:3 – His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear;
Isaiah 19:16 – On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts raises against them.
Isaiah 33:6 – he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is Zion's treasure.
Isaiah 50:10 – Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon his God?
Isaiah 57:11 – Whom did you dread and fear so that you lied, and did not remember me or give me a thought? Have I not kept silent and closed my eyes, and so you do not fear me?
Isaiah 59:19 – So those in the west shall fear the name of the LORD, and those in the east, his glory; for he will come like a pent-up stream that the wind of the LORD drives on.
Isaiah 63:17 – “Why, O LORD, do you make us stray from your ways and harden our heart, so that we do not fear you? Turn back for the sake of your servants, for the sake of the tribes that are your heritage.”
Jeremiah 5:22 – Do you not fear me? says the LORD; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
Jeremiah 5:24 – They do not say in their hearts, "Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest."
Jeremiah 10:7 – “Who would not fearyou, O King of the nations? For that is your due; among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is no one like you.”
Jeremiah 26:19 – “Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah actually put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, and did not the LORD change his mind about the disaster that he had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great disaster on ourselves!”
Daniel 6:26 – I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end.
Hosea 10:3 – For now they will say: “We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD, and a king--what could he do for us?”
Jonah 1:16 – Then the men feared the LORD even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.
Micah 7:17 – they shall lick dust like a snake, like the crawling things of the earth; they shall come trembling out of their fortresses; they shall turn in dread to the LORD our God, and they shall stand in fear of you.
Haggai 1:12 – Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of the prophet Haggai, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the LORD.
Malachi 3:5 – Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fearme, says the LORD of hosts.
New Testament Texts (including some texts implying appropriate "reverence" toward Jesus or other people):
Matt 9:8 – When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
Mark 4:41 – And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Luke 1:50 – “His mercy is for those who fear him [God] from generation to generation.”
Luke 1:65 – Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea.
Luke 5:26 – Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”
Luke 7:16 – Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!”
Luke 18:2 – He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.”
Luke 18:4 – For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone,”
Luke 23:40 – But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
Acts 2:43 – Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.
Acts 9:31 – Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Acts 10:2 – He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God.
Acts 10:22 – They answered, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.”
Acts 10:35 – but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
Acts 13:16 – So Paul stood up and with a gesture began to speak: “You Israelites, and others who fear God, listen.
Acts 13:26 – “My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.
Acts 19:17 – When this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, everyone was awestruck; and the name of the Lord Jesus was praised.
Romans 3:18 – “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Romans 11:20 – That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.
Romans 13:7 – Pay to all what is due them--taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
1 Cor 2:3 – And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.
2 Cor 5:11 – Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences.
2 Cor 7:1 – Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.
2 Cor 7:15 – And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, and how you welcomed him with fear and trembling.
Eph 5:21 – Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Eph 5:33 – Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect (lit. “fear”) her husband.
Eph 6:5 – Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ;
Phil 2:12 – Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Col 3:22 – Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.
Heb 4:1 – Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
Heb 10:31 – It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Heb 12:21 – Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”
1 Peter 1:17 – If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.
1 Peter 2:17-18 – Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor. / Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh.
1 Peter 3:1b-2 – [non-believing husbands may be won over by their wives' conduct] when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
1 Peter 3:16 – [Always be ready to make your defence...] yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.
Rev 11:18 – “The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and the time for judging the dead, for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints and all who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
Rev 14:7 – He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Rev 15:4 – “Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed.”
Rev 19:5 – And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, and all who fear him, small and great.”
Negative Counter-Examples of People Being Afraid (New Testament Texts):
Matt 2:22 – But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee.
Matt 14:5 – Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Matt 14:30 – But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Matt 21:26 – “But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.”
Matt 21:46 – They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Matt 25:25 – “so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.”
Matt 27:54 – Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
Mark 5:15 – They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid.
Mark 5:33 – But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.
Mark 6:20 – for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.
Mark 9:6 – He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
Mark 9:32 – But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Mark 10:32 – They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him,
Mark 11:18 – And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.
Mark 11:32 – “But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” --they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet.
Mark 12:12 – When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.
Mark 16:8 – So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
Luke 8:25 – He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
Luke 8:35 – Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.
Luke 8:37 – Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.
Luke 9:34 – While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud.
Luke 9:45 – But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Luke 19:21 – “for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.”
Luke 20:19 – When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.
Luke 21:11 – “there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.”
Luke 21:26 – “People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Luke 22:2 – The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people.
Luke 24:5– The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground,but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the livingamong the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
Luke 24:37– They were startled and terrified, and thought that theywere seeing a ghost.
John 6:19 – When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.
John 7:13 – Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews.
John 9:22 – His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.
John 19:8 – Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever.
John 19:38 – After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.
John 20:19 – When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”
Acts 5:5 – Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it.
Acts 5:11 – And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.
Acts 5:26 – Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
Acts 9:26 – When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.
Acts 10:4– He stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?”He answered, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended asa memorial before God.”
Acts 16:38 – The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens;
Acts 22:29 – Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him; and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him.
Acts 23:10 – When the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks.
Acts 24:25– And as he discussed justice, self-control, and the comingjudgment, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away forthe present; when I have an opportunity, I will send foryou.”
Acts 27:17 – After hoisting it up they took measures to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they would run on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and so were driven.
Acts 27:29 – Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.
Romans 13:4bc – But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.
2 Cor 7:5 – For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way--disputes without and fears within.
2 Cor 7:11 – For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm (lit. "fear"), what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves guiltless in the matter.
2 Cor 10:9 – I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters.
2 Cor 11:3 – But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2 Cor 12:20 – For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; I fear that there may perhaps be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.
Gal 2:12 – for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction.
Gal 4:11 – I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted.
1 Tim 5:20 – As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear.
Heb 2:15 – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
Heb 10:26-27 – For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, / but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
2 Peter 2:10 – especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust, and who despise authority. Bold and willful, they are not afraid to slander the glorious ones,
Jude 1:12 – These are blemishes on your love-feasts, while they feast with you without fear, feeding themselves. They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted;
Jude 1:23 – save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.
Rev 11:11 – But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and those who saw them were terrified.
Rev 11:13– At that moment there was a great earthquake, and a tenthof the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in theearthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory tothe God of heaven.
Rev 18:10 – they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas, alas, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.”
Rev 18:15 – The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,