The word fearful can mean quite a few different things and occurs multiple times in the bible. That’s why I want to look at what does the word fearful mean in Hebrew and Greek.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

– Hebrews 10:21

What Does The Word ‘Fearful’ Mean In Hebrew?

yare- to fear; to revere.

This term can indicate being afraid of someone or something (Genesis 32:11). It can also be used in reference to reverence, whereby an individual recognizes the position and power of the individual revered and renders them proper respect (Genesis 22:12).

Also, it can be used to refer to the heavenly and holy attributes of something or someone.

“Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.”

– Exodus 14:31

In the following scripture, the word is used to represent ‘dread’ or ‘fear of’.

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”

– Exodus 20:20

mahar- to hurry; promptly.

Mahar is a common word in both ancient and modern Hebrew. It’s used 64 times in the Old Testament.

Related: What Does The Word ‘Afflicted’ Mean In Hebrew and Greek?

What Does The Word ‘Fearful’ Mean In Greek?

deilos- timid; faithless.

This term is always used in a bad sense.

phoberos- frightful; inspiring fear. 

This word can be used in a good or a bad sense. It’s used in the following ways:

  • fearful (Hebrews 10:27)
  • terrible [terror causing] (Hebrews 12:21)

phobetron- frightening thing.


In conclusion, the word fearful has many meanings. It can mean to be afraid of something or to revere someone. All in all, that’s what the word fearful means in Hebrew and Greek. I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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What does the word fearful mean in Hebrew and Greek?

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