תִֽירְא֖וּ (ṯî·rə·’ū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3372: To fear, to revere, caus, to frighten

In https://biblehub.com/2_kings/17-38.htm, 19 of 26 versions translate it as fear while the rest translate it as worship. What is the meaning here in Hebrew?

Luke 12:5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

  • The literal meaning of תִֽירְא֖וּ is without a doubt "fear". The ones who translate as "worship" are not entirely wrong however, since "do not fear the gods" can also be interpreted as "do not worship them".
    – bach
    Jun 15, 2020 at 0:05
  • 1
    I agree with @Bach - both are correct, one literal and the other slightly more interpretive.
    – Dottard
    Jun 15, 2020 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


Not entirely sure if this is the answer you’re looking for but I agree with @Bach, the literal meaning is fear.

However it’s not the sort of fear as we would generally think of today, in the bible fear of God is a healthy fear which prevents one from following a wrong course.

Proverbs 8:13 - “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil”

So in line with this thought, at 2 Kings 17:37 God was commanding them not follow the customs or laws of the others gods, and not to fear displeasing them but to worship him alone - Ex 20:5.

  • Hi LT347, welcome to BH.SE - thanks for contributing! This looks like the basis of a good answer - I suspect you could add a lot more substance here to explain your rationale and justify this view more clearly. Hope to see more from you - please do take the Site Tour to find out more about the site and how things work here.
    – Steve can help
    Nov 21, 2020 at 0:13

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