Q and A
By Amy Gentry
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10 NIV
A: The “fear of the Lord” is best defined and understood as reverence, awe. We begin to gain wisdom when we understand just how minuscule we are in comparison to the Lord and all of His ways, to the point of our utter humility. I think that the Aramaic Bible in Plain English states Proverbs 9:10 the best, “The beginning of wisdom is the awe of Lord Jehovah and the knowledge of the Righteous Ones is understanding;” (emphasis mine)
To be crystal clear – “fear of the Lord” is NOT being scared, anxious, frightened, dreadful, or timid.
To go deeper:
Read, pray, and meditate on these parallel versions of Deuteronomy 10:12-13:
NIV “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to (1) fear the Lord your God, (2) to walk in all his ways, (3) to love him, (4) to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (5) and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” (emphasis mine)
MSG “So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you? Just this: (1) Live in his presence in holy reverence, (2) follow the road he sets out for you, (3) love him, (4) serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, (5) obey the commandments and regulations of God that I'm commanding you today—live a good life.” (emphasis mine)