Proverbs Chapter 1:1-7
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; 4 To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion– 5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, 6To understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Know verb 1.be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information:”most people know that CFCs can damage the ozone layer” 2.have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them; be familiar or friendly with: Synonyms : be aware, realize, be conscious, be informed, notice,
Instruction noun 1.a direction or order:”he issued instructions to the sheriff”synonyms:order, command, directive, direction, decree, 2.detailed information telling how something should be done, operated, or assembled:”always study the instructions supplied” synonyms:: directions, key, rubric, specification, how-to’s order, command, directive, direction, decree,
Perceive verb 1.become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand:”his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth” 2.interpret or look on (someone or something) in a particular way; regard as:”if Guy does not perceive himself as disabled, nobody else should” synonyms: : regard, look on, view, consider, think of discern, recognize, become aware of, see, distinguish,
Understanding adjective 1.sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving:”people expect their doctor to be understanding” 2.having insight or good judgment. synonyms:compassionate, sympathetic, sensitive, considerate, tender
Enigma noun 1.a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling or difficult to understand synonyms / puzzle, riddle conundrum paradox
Once again I have a list of definitions. I know some may find this boring or unnecessary, but since I learned a long time ago to understand that I need to know what I am reading by knowing the meaning of the words I read. In the Bible you will find ‘Do not fear,’ written 365 times, yet in verse 7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This seems to be a contradiction. So what does it mean to ‘fear the Lord’? I looked for a definition of this phrase but had difficulty. What I found were lessons and commentaries. I also found this quote that I would to share:
So how does fear of God, who is perfect love, take away fear? William D. Eisenhower puts it this way in his article ‘Fearing God” in Christianity Today:
Unfortunately, many of us presume that the world is the ultimate threat and that God’s function is to offset it. How different this is from the biblical position that God is far scarier than the world …. When we assume that the world is the ultimate threat, we give it unwarranted power, for in truth, the world’s threats are temporary. When we expect God to balance the stress of the world, we reduce him to the world’s equal …. As I walk with the Lord, I discover that God poses an ominous threat to my ego, but not to me. He rescues me from my delusions, so he may reveal the truth that sets me free. He casts me down, only to lift me up again. He sits in judgment of my sin, but forgives me nevertheless. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but love from the Lord is its completion.
Matthew 10:28 (NKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
As I continued to search for a clearer definition I looked up the meaning in Hebrew for fear. I did this because the Old Testament is originally written in Hebrew; I found this what I was looking for on this website –
The Living Words http://thelivingwords.ancient-hebrew.org
~~ Fear ~~
Fear is an abstract concept, but the Hebrew words translated as “fear” have a more concrete definition behind them. The first root we will examine is dxp pahhad [H:6342] . Fear (pahhad – noun)) came upon me, and trembling, and caused all my bones to shake (pahhad – verb). Job 4:14 In this verse, the word “fear” is the noun dxp pahhad [H:6343] meaning “shaking,” while the word “shake” is the verb dxp pahhad [H:6342] meaning “to shake.” The second Hebrew root is ary yara [H:3372]. In the following verse, we will see that this verb means “fear” in the sense of what we would consider fear. And he said, I heard your voice in the garden and I feared (yarah) because I was naked and I hid myself. Genesis 3:10 In the next verse, we see the same Hebrew word in a more positive context. You will revere (yarah) Yahweh your Elohiym and you will serve him and in his name you will swear. Deuteronomy 6:13 Many would conclude from these two passages this Hebrew word has two different meanings, fear and reverence. This assumption is made with many Hebrew words, but this is caused by an understanding of the Hebrew vocabulary from a non-Hebraic perspective. Each Hebrew word has only one meaning but can have different applications. The literal concrete meaning of yara is a “flowing of the gut,” which can be applied to “fear” or “reverence.” Have you ever been so scared or been in the presence of something so amazing that you could feel it in your gut? This “feeling” is the meaning of this word. The Hebrews were a very emotional people, and in many cases their words are describing a “feeling,” rather than an “action.” The fear (yirah) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding Proverbs 9:10 (KJV) The word “fear” in the this verse is the noun hary yirah [H:3374] , derived from the verb yarah. The common understanding of this verse is if one is afraid of or in great awe of Yahweh, he will have wisdom, but as we shall see, this is not consistent with its use in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew for “fear of the LORD” (as found in the verse above) is written with two nouns, hwhy tary yirat1 Yahweh. When a noun precedes another noun, the first noun is in the construct state, meaning it is connected to the second noun—two words together forming one concept.
An 1 When a feminine noun ending with the letter h, such as yirah, is used in the construct state, the h is converted to a t, in this case it becomes yirat. example of a construct noun can be found in the phrase Myhla twklm malkut elohiym (kingdom of God).” Notice the first noun, “kingdom,” belongs to the second noun, “God.” Below is a complete list of construct phrases from the book of Genesis where the second word in the construct is “Yahweh.” The Word of Yahweh (Genesis 15:1) The Voice of Yahweh (Genesis 3:8) The Face of Yahweh (Genesis 4:16) The Name of Yahweh (Genesis 4:26) The Eyes of Yahweh (Genesis 6:8) The Garden of Yahweh (Genesis 13:10) The Angel of Yahweh (Genesis 16:7) The Way of Yahweh (Genesis 18:19) The Mount of Yahweh (Genesis 22:14) You will notice in every instance the first word in the construct (word, voice, etc) belongs to the second word of the construct (Yahweh). So, why do we think the word “fear” in the construct phrase “fear of Yahweh” is “our” fear and not Yahweh’s? We know God cannot “fear,” but as pointed out previously, the Hebrew verb yara literally means “to flow out of the gut.” Now the question becomes, “What flows out of the gut of Yahweh?” Let’s look at two other constructs, which will shed some light on what “the fear of Yahweh” might be. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night Psalm 1:2 (KJV) The Hebrew for “the law of the LORD” is hwhy trwt torat Yahweh. We previously defined the word hrwt2 torah [H:8451] 3 as 2 Torat is the construct form of the feminine noun torah (see previous footnote).
Looking for better understanding and digging deep into the Word leads to a clearer picture. It is like an archeological dig and finding an amazing treasure. How they dig is with care and patience. They are diligent and hopeful. They do not rush in, and they also do not force their way. They face various obstacles and work for hours doing what some may think is tedious. So reading and defining scriptures is where you will find treasures only God can give to you.
What are you seeking?
Having defined these words, do you have a deeper understanding of these scriptures?
What does fear mean to you?
Is there a difference in the fear of things in the world and fear of the Lord?
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