The meaning of Awe in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
o: Fear mingled with reverence and wonder, a state of mind inspired by something terrible or sublime. In the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) it occurs in Psalms 4:4 : "Stand in awe, and sin not" (where the Revised Version, margin has, "Be ye angry," so Septuagint; compare Ephesians 4:26); Psalms 33:8; Psalms 119:161. In the following passages the Revised Version (British and American) substitutes "stand in awe for the King James Version "fear": Psalms 22:23 phoboumenoi; Isaiah 29:23; I Samuel 18:15; Malachi 2:5; and in Hebrews 12:28 it substitutes "awe" for the King James Version "reverence" (deos here only in New Testament). In all these passages, except I Samuel 18:15 (eulabeito, where it describes Saul's feeling toward David), the word stands for man's attitude of reverential fear toward God. This is the characteristic attitude of the pious soul toward God in the Scriptures, especially in the Old Testament. It arises from a consciousness of the infinite power, sublimity and holiness of God, which fills the mind with the "fear of the Lord," and a dread of violating His law.
D. Miall Edwards
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