“The fear of HaShem will increase days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.” Proverbs 10:27

The one word I would use to describe the emotion that is consuming society in America today is ‘Fear!’ Fear of the COVID virus, fear of these riots and civil unrest, fear of lack of finances, fear of tyranny, fear of just about everything imaginable and unimaginable is rising by the day; therefore is it a coincidence that in today’s Torah portion i.e. Eikev, the command by HaShem for us to fear Him is specifically commanded? Nothing is a coincidence with HaShem! This is what I want to explore further in this short Op is what it means and looks like to fear HaShem and to whom does this apply too!

But, before we dive into the deep end of the pool, per se, always remember and take to heart the following characteristics of HaShem because they never change:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

“And I saw another messenger flying in mid-heaven, holding the everlasting Good News to announce to those dwelling on the earth, even to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear HaShem and give esteem to Him, because the hour of His judgment has come. And worship Him Who made the heaven and the earth, and sea, and fountains of water.” Revelation 14:6-7

HaShem commands in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:20 “HaShem, your Elohim, shall you fear, Him shall you serve, to Him shall you cleave, and in His Name shall you swear.” So the question must be asked, ‘what does it mean to fear HaShem?’

Per the Book of the Mitzvos #432 ‘The Obligation to Fear HaShem’ the commentary says “There are two forms or levels of ‘Fear of HaShem’. The basic level, known as ‘Yiras Ha’Onesh’ means to fear HaShem’s punishment if we sin. This form of fear is readily attainable by everyone, since fear of punishment is a basic human trait. There is, however, a more elevated form of ‘Fear of HaShem’, known as ‘Yiras Ha’Romemus’ means the awe of HaShem’s exaltedness. This is a sense of reverence rather than simple fear. This form of fear of HaShem may be attained through the contemplation of HaShem’s immense power and wisdom, and by contrast, one’s own fragile existence and limited understanding. Yiras Ha’Romemus will surely prevent a person from sinning since one who perceives HaShem’s greatness is ashamed to transgress His Word. However, it requires contemplation and intellect, and is internalized through much effort.”

It is one thing to fear HaShem for the punishment He can and does invoke upon each of us for our sin, but it is a much better state to be in to truly fear HaShem out of reverence and awe for His greatness!! I know from experience, learning Who HaShem is and actually stopping to breathe for a few minutes and look at His Creation around us, does truly change my perspective of Him. Not only is He merciful, compassionate, kind, etc, He is also ALL Powerful and there is none like Him! He shares His glory with no one and when I do in fact fall, it makes my teshuvah (Repentance) that much more authentic because I do hate my sin nature more and more everyday and I hate bringing shame to His Great Name! Further, it enhances what Messiah Yeshua did on our behalf…..He paid the price, NOT to free me from HaShem or His Torah, but freed me from the eternal penalty of my sin i.e. eternal separation from HaShem and His Torah…in other words, He made redemption possible so that I can walk with HaShem and live out His Torah, Baruch HaShem!

The purpose for this command to fear HaShem is pretty self explanatory as having proper fear of HaShem either fear of His punishment or holy reverence and awe for His Power will protect us from falling into the clutches of sin i.e. breaking His Torah! Further, this command applies to every single location on the planet and in all times! Most importantly to know, this command applies to EVERY single human being on the planet, regardless of DNA! If we are going to serve HaShem then this command applies!!

The commentary from the Book of the Mitzvos discussing this command says “One who is confronted by the temptation to sin is obligated to arouse his spirit and take to heart particularly at that point that HaShem, blessed is He, observes all the actions of mankind, and that He will bring retribution upon those who sin. He will punish in accordance with the severity of their sinful act. Through bringing this matter to focus, he will hopefully refrain from committing the sin.”

It is interesting Tractate Sanhedrin 56b from the Talmud Bavli expounds on this topic and references Genesis 2:15-17 as being its source which says “HaShem Elohim took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, to work it and to guard it. And HaShem Elohim COMMANDED the man, saying ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you must not eat thereof; for on the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Sanhedrin 56b from the Talmud Bavli says “HaShem, Elohim, commanded Adam, as conveying the idea of HaShem commanded i.e. imposed His Godliness upon Adam, meaning, HaShem commanded Adam and all mankind to fear Him.”

With this said thus far, what are the benefits for us to learn to fear HaShem? Let’s examine some scriptural references HaShem has given to tell us from the Book of Psalms:

  • Psalms 2:11 says “Serve HaShem in FEAR and rejoice with trembling.”
  • Psalms 5:8 says “As for me, through Your abundant kindness, I will enter Your House (Temple); I will prostrate myself toward Your Holy Sanctuary in FEAR of You.”
  • Psalms 19:10 says “The FEAR of HaShem is pure, enduring forever. The judgments of HaShem are true; altogether righteous.”
  • Psalms 22:24 says “You, who FEAR HaShem, praise Him! All of you, the seed of Jacob, glorify Him! Be frightened of Him all you seed of Israel.”
  • Psalms 25:14 says “The secret of HaShem is for those who FEAR Him, and His covenant is to let them know.”
    • The commentary on this astounding verse says “He will NOT reveal the secrets of His Being to anyone other than the scholars who study His Torah. This study must be accompanied by fear of HaShem and scrupulous observance of the commandments.”
  • Psalms 33:8 says FEAR HaShem, all the earth; of Him be in dread, all inhabitants of the world.”
  • Psalms 34:7 says “The Angel of HaShem encamps around them who FEAR Him, and He releases them.”
  • Psalms 34:9 says FEAR HaShem, you, His holy ones, for there is no deprivation for His reverent ones.”
  • Psalms 85:9 says “Surely His salvation (Yeshua) is close for those who FEAR Him, to settle glory in the land.”
  • Psalms 103:13 says “As merciful as a father to his children, so has HaShem shown mercy to those who FEAR Him.”
  • Psalms 103:17-18 says “But the kindness of HaShem is forever and ever upon those who FEAR Him, and His righteousness upon children’s children. To those who keep His covenant, and to those who remember (Guard and do) His commands (Torah) to do them.
  • Psalms 111:10 says “The beginning of wisdom is the FEAR of HaShem, good understanding to all their practitioners. His praise endures forever.”
    • The commentary on this verse sums it all up: “ALL Torah study is oriented towards one goal – gaining a genuine and sincere fear of HaShem. This fact is repeated often throughout Scripture. King Solomon emphasized it in Proverbs 1:7 ‘The beginning of wisdom is the FEAR of HaShem.'”
  • Psalms 115:13 says “He will bless those who FEAR HaShem, the small as well as the great.”
  • Psalms 119:63 David says “I (David) am a friend to all who FEAR You, and to those who keep Your precepts (Torah).”
  • Psalms 145:19 says “He does the will of those who FEAR Him; and He hears their cry and saves them.”
  • Psalms 147:11 says “HaShem favors those who FEAR Him, those who hope for His kindness.”

Can you see the theme which is developed? Fear of HaShem is defined and then displayed by walking in the Torah of HaShem! It is acknowledging Who HaShem is, His Authority, His Kingship and submitting to Him, not perfectly, but a desire to serve HaShem out of love, devotion and loyalty unto Him. Trust me, from my own experience, the more one pursues HaShem and His Torah, the more He reveals and in turn makes you want to do better in serving HaShem and pointing others towards HaShem so they may see how awesome and good He truly is!

So, while everything around us in life crumbles and collapses, if we can embrace the Fear of HaShem and trust Him to see us through it, He WILL be faithful to His Word and He WILL get us through to the other side!! Is it easy? Not a chance!! Life WILL come at each of us to try and draw us away or draw our attention away from HaShem, so in many cases, it comes down to making a conscious decision to choose to FEAR HaShem over fearing all that is going on around us!

This is why it is SO vitally important we learn to integrate Torah study into our lives each and everyday…this way we can learn it, but more importantly learn to walk it out where it becomes a part of us, like breathing or drinking water. In doing so, we not only learn Who He is, but our foundation becomes solidified during the times of crisis and chaos.

This is just a short Op, one that I hope and pray will encourage someone out there in the midst of all that is going on around us! HaShem is GOOD and as only He is the One Who spoke everything into existence means He is the only One Who can provide for everything…He can bring water from a rock, manna out of thin air, split the sea and lead His people Home! May it be SO VERY soon in our days!

Shabbat Shalom!


  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
  • The Book of the Mitzvos by Artscroll
  • The Koren Talmud Bavli Tractate Sanhedrin by Steinsaltz

Published by DShalom

A Torah observant servant of the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya'akov, the Elohim of Yisra'el and His Mashiach Yeshua.

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