Thinking about Fear

I was reading today in Gen 46 and noticed in v. 3 God’s statement to Jacob that he should not be afraid to go to Egypt. Below I have attached a hits list from Accordance identifying where that form of the Hebrew verb (2nd sg imperfect) is used.

In the Pentateuch it is fascinating how often it occurs in the context of: (1) noting of God’s presence or statements of His appearance in a vision, (2) times of transition for the human character in view, a la Gen 46:3, and (3) after historical review of God’s work for His people in history. Conclusion? Nearly always it is stated as the resultative attitude/emotional state God would have His people to take up after they have done some thinking about Him and His covenant faithfulness to them. The other major use is a statement that the human(s) in view should fear God–this too is a resultative attitude/posture in light of His greatness over opponents or foreign gods.

Pent: תירא

Gen. 15:1   After these events, the word of the LORD camea to Abram in a vision:

  Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield;

your reward will be very great.

Gen. 26:24 and the LORD appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham.a Do not be afraid, for I am with you.b I will bless you and multiply your offspring because of My servant Abraham.”

Gen. 46:3   God said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.

Num. 14:9 Only don’t rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us. Don’t be afraid of them!”

Num. 21:34 But the LORD said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.”

Deut. 1:21 See, the LORD your God has set the land before you. Go up and take possession of it as Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.

Deut. 3:2 But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites,a who lived in Heshbon.’

Deut. 6:2 Do this so that you may fear the LORD your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life.

Deut. 6:13 Fear Yahweh your God, worship Him, and take your oaths in His name.

Deut. 7:18 do not be afraid of them. Be sure to remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt:

Deut. 10:20 You are to fear Yahweh your God and worship Him. Remain faithful to Him and take oaths in His name.

Deut. 20:1   “When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.

Deut. 31:8 The LORD is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

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