View Teaching Summary


Exodus 20:18-26  The Fear of GOD

In our last study, God Speaks Pt 2 - The Law & Eternal Life, we saw that Yeshua connected the giving of the Ten Commandments to questions asked Him about obtaining or inheriting eternal life. 

However, at the giving of the Ten Commandments, the people of Israel and the mixed multitude assembled with them, became so afraid of the thunder and lightning, trumpet blasting, and the mountain smoking that they trembled with fear, stayed at a distance, and began to withdraw from the presence of the Almighty. It was at this point that the people exclaimed that they preferred to talk with Moses instead of having YeHoVaH speak to them.

In this portion of Exodus, Moses reveals YeHoVaH’s strategy for the overwhelming display of His presence and His voice. Moses explains why YeHoVaH spoke the Words He spoke to the people and why He spoke in the manner He spoke. 

After giving the people of Israel, and the multitude who had joined them in the Exodus from Egypt, the Ten Commandments, the people were afraid. 

Ex 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

Ex 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

Ex 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

This passage lists two types of fear. 

The first fear mentioned is fear not.


03372 יָרֵא yare' {yaw-ray'} 

Meaning:  1) to fear, revere, be afraid 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to fear, be afraid 1a2) to stand in awe of, be awed 1a3) to fear, reverence, honour, respect 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be fearful, be dreadful, be feared 1b2) to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe 1b3) to inspire reverence or godly fear or awe 1c) (Piel) to make afraid, terrify

Usage:  AV - fear 188, afraid 78, terrible 23, terrible thing 6, dreadful 5, reverence 3, fearful 2, terrible acts 1, misc 8; 314

The second fear is His fear, for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

03374 יִרְאָה yir'ah {yir-aw'} 

Meaning:  1) fear, terror, fearing 1a) fear, terror 1b) awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear) 1c) fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety 1d) revered 

Usage:  AV - fear 41, exceedingly + 01419 2, dreadful 1, fearfulness 1; 45

The Hebrew word 03374 יִרְאָה yir'ah {yir-aw'}  is used only three times in the Torah. The first time this word was used was in Genesis when Abraham went into the land of Gerar, and told the men that Sarah was his sister because…

Ge 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake.

The third time was when YeHoVaH begins to put the fear of Israel in the hearts of every nation under heaven.


Dt 2:25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.

The people were not afraid of Moses, but they were afraid of YeHoVaH. Yet, they did not fear YeHoVaH in a matter where they reverenced, respected, and obeyed His Commandments, which the Israelites will show over and over throughout the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.

The incredible display of God at Mount Sinai was designed to cause the fear of God to be in the heart of Israel.

People who do not Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy; who do not Honor their father and mother; people who kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness against their neighbor, covet their neighbor’s house, etc. DO NOT FEAR GOD.

The fear of God was for the purpose that Israel would obey God‘s Commandments and not sin.

Ex 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

The way you can determine or distinguish between a person who fears God and a person who does not fear God, is that the latter person will sin against God by violating His Commandments.

The person who willfully or intentionally sins or violates the Commandments of God has publicly displayed that they do not fear God.

There are those who have a greater fear of violating the law of man over the Law of God.

A man or woman who commits adultery against his wife or her husband has demonstrated they do not fear God.

A person who lies, steals, or disobeys their parents, demonstrates a lack of the fear of God.

When we fear God, we keep His Commandments.

Ex 20:21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

This is the last time the people would see Moses until YeHoVaH sends Moses down to them because of the golden calf incident in Chapter 32. 

For the next 12 Chapters, YeHoVaH gave Moses instructions to give to Israel.

Ironically, the first instruction Moses was given seemingly would be to address the image issue of the Israelites perception of YeHoVaH, for He instructs Moses to tell Israel …

Ex 20:22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 4:

Dt 4:12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. 

Dt 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. 

Dt 4:14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. 

Dt 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 

Dt 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 

Dt 4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 

Dt 4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 

Dt 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

It is clear that the Star of David is an image of a Star.

There are the stars and stripes of the American flag that people reverence, salute, and pledge allegiance to.

The people corrupted themselves while Moses was with YeHoVaH getting instructions to give them

Ex 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 

Ex 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 

Ex 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:


Ex 20:23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

Aaron made for the people gods of gold.

Aaron built an altar before the golden calf.

Ex 32:5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.

Father instructed Moses to tell the people how to make an altar for Him and where to make it.

Ex 20:24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

Ex 20:25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

Ex 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by

Spread the love