2 Chronicles 14:13-15 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah[a] carried away very much spoil. 14 And they attacked all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 And they struck down the tents of those who had livestock and carried away sheep in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

What does fear of the Lord mean in these verses in context? On whom was the fear of the Lord upon? Israelites or Ethiopians? How did it help the Israelites attack the city?

3 Answers 3


Dieter did a good job of explaining פַּחַד pachad and the LXX equivalent. I won’t repeat what he said instead I want to take a different angle. Namely this fear has a spiritual source and both Elohim and the gods of the nations are capable of generating this fear, panic, dread, sense of wrath/anger (of the gods).

“Then they attacked all the cities in the vicinity of G’rar, for a PANIC from Adonai had overcome them. They plundered all the cities, for they were full of spoil.” ‭‭Divrei-HamYamim Bet (2 Ch)‬ ‭14:13‬ ‭CJB‬‬

But notice it can also come from unclean spirits

“Then he took his firstborn son, who was to have succeeded him as king, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. Following this, such great ANGER came upon Isra’el that they left him and went back to their own land.” ‭‭M'lakhim Bet (2 Ki)‬ ‭3:27‬ ‭CJB‬‬

So essentially this fear of the Lord or this fear from a fallen elohim is a spirit of sorts. Similar to the example in the divine council that Micaiah describes.

“Adonai asked, ‘Who will entice Ach’av to go up to his death at Ramot-Gil‘ad?’ One of them said, ‘Do it this way,’ and another, ‘Do it that way.’ Then a SPIRIT stepped up, stood in front of Adonai and said, ‘I will entice him.’ Adonai asked, ‘How?’ and he answered, ‘I will go and be a deceiving SPIRIT in the mouths of all his prophets.’ Adonai said, ‘You will succeed in enticing him. Go, and do it.’ So now Adonai has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; meanwhile, Adonai has ordained disaster for you.”” ‭‭M'lakhim Alef (1 Ki)‬ ‭22:20-23‬ ‭CJB‬‬

It’s a spirit in this context for the passage you reference that simply overwhelmed the enemies that they panicked with fear. Notice how it’s phrased, “Adonai put a spirit...” it’s His doing, in order words, just because a spirit of fear came over the Ethiopians it was the fear of Adonai that caused them to panic not some random fear spirit, it belonged to Adonai, or under His jurisdiction.

The Ethiopians may have been more powerful or numerous v9 of your passage but the fear of Adonai through the spirit of fear crippled them.

This is why there was so much cursing prior to warfare in ancients times, (today it has a new name, psychological warfare), the enemies were invoking a spiritual dualism in the spiritual realm to win by overwhelming the enemy through a spirit and depending whose G-d/god or fallen elohim or daimonion was stronger winning in the natural was practically guaranteed. David and Goliath do a similar thing.

Today we simply call it psychology but at the root is the psyche which is not at the level of the body or the soul though it influences the mind, emotions and will, affecting the body but it’s at the spirit level.

The fear of Adonai so overwhelmed them in their psyche that they panicked and shuddered with fear. It was facilitated by a spirit other than the human spirit/psyche, it paralyzed their soul (thinking fixated, emotions overwhelmed, will crippled) that their bodies consequently were affected negatively and lost though they were an army of a million warriors

Psychology is manipulating the soul and body though the spirit or external spirits. Very powerful but Adonai is superior and Other, so join the winning side if you’ve not already.


The seventy Hebrew scholars who created the Septuagint, translated the key word used in verse 14 as ekstasis, which can mean a mental displacement, disturbance, bewilderment, or astonishment.

So, in the literal Greek, we read, “. . . for there became ekstasis of LORD upon them . . . ”

The same key word in Hebrew is pachad, which means fear, sudden alarm, even panic.

So in the literal Hebrew we read, “. . . for the pachad of YHWH came upon them . . .”

Between the two translations, it’s safe to conclude that the Ethiopians were overcome by a sudden sense sense of confusion and fear, which was credited by the Israelites to God’s intervention.



Verses 14:8-9 say that King Asa of Israel had a army of 580.000 thousand men, where as the Ethiopian King Zerar had a huge army of one million men and 300 charriots, far outnumbering the army of Asa.

Asa prayed to the Lord and the Lord gave Asa and impressive victory over the Ethiopians, He pursued the Ethiopians in the land of Gerar destroying their cities, we read.

Chronicles 14: 13-14 (NASB)

13" Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that [h]they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army. And they carried away very much plunder."

14 "They [i]destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they despoiled all the cities, for there was much plunder in them."

The cities of Gerar on witnessing such an awesome victory over the large army of the Ethiopians , fear of the Lord struck them , that they could not stand up to fight His army .

A possible reason as to why King Asa destroyed the cities of Gerar, is that those cities allied themselves with the Ethiopians.

The display of God' unequaled power caused shatter/cold feet on their enemies or "fear of the Lord" that gave the Israelites many impressive victories.Some other verses to assist in the meaning "fear of the Lord" are noted below .

2 Chronicles 17:10 (NASB)

10" Now the dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat."

2 Chronicles 20:29 (NASB)

29" And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel."

Deuteronomy 11:25 (NASB)

25" No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you."


"Fear of the Lord "fell on the Ethiopians as well as the cities of Gerar after observing God's unparallel power and the destruction of the huge Ethiopian army .

"Fear of the Lord" in context means shattered/dread/great terror.

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