Reverence

REVERENCE (יָרֵא, H3707; φόβος, G5832). These two words, primarily meaning fear, are the principal ones tr. reverence.

In the OT.

“Reverence” occurs only three times in the OT, all tr. from yare. Several other Heb. words could be tr. “reverence,” particularly mora and hared. Reverence consists of fear, awe, and deference in worshipful tribute paid to God, or some other deity, and things sacred. All OT references are related to contrasts between Jehovah worship and that of other gods. Among a series of prohibitions in Leviticus against the religious practices of magic and witchcraft of other peoples are also commands for God’s people to worship Jehovah. One of them appears twice: “You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord” (Lev 19:30; 26:2). Later “a prophet” attributed the Midianite oppression to Israel’s disobedience to God’s earlier command: “You shall not pay reverence to the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell” (Judg 6:10).

In the NT.

The four NT uses are tr. from three Gr. words. Paul speaks of “reverence (phoboi) for Christ” (Eph 5:21). Peter admonishes, “in your hearts reverence (hagiasate) Christ as Lord” (1 Pet 3:15), and in the same sentence speaks of “gentleness and reverence” (phobou). In Hebrews (12:28) the writer speaks of “acceptable worship, with reverence (eulabeiah) and awe.”

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)



In the Apocrypha entrepomai occurs in The Wisdom of Solomon 2:10; Sirach 4:22. In addition, proskuneo, "make obeisance," occurs in Judith 10:23; 14:7; thaumazo, "wonder," Sirach 7:29, and aischunomai, "be ashamed," Baruch 4:15.

"Reverend" occurs in the Old Testament in Ps 111:9, of the name of God (yare’), and in the Apocrypha in 2 Macc 15:12, "a man reverend (aidemon, "modest") in bearing," and in the New Testament the Revised Version (British and American) has "reverent in demeanor" (hieroprepes) in Tit 2:3 and "reverend" in Php 4:8 margin (semnos).