Romans 3:17-18 Commentary


Greek: kai hodon eirenes ouk egnosan (3PAAI)
Amplified: Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: "They do not know what true peace is." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: and the way of peace they have not known'. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: The road of peace they did not know. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: And a way of peace they did not know.


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Romans 3 Commentary (Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary)

Romans Notes in Outline Form

Romans Commentary

Romans 3:1-5 Man's Desperation/God's Good News-5

Romans 3:9-24 Man's Desperation/God's Good News-6

Romans 3:21-26 Detail of God's Good News-1

Romans 3:26-31 Detail of God's Good News-2

Romans 3:31-4:12 Detail of God's Good News-3

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-20

Romans 3:21-31

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8 God's Answer to Man's Misguided Thinking

Romans 3:9-20 We've All Blown It

Romans 3:21-25b How to Be Right with God

Romans 3:25-31 Justice for All

Romans 3 Commentary in The Bible For Home and School

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8 Objections That Must Be Answered

Romans 3:9-20 The Man In My Mirror

Romans 3:19-31 The New Man In My Mirror

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans Studies in Romans - Commentary

Romans 3:1-2 ;21-26 ; 27-4:3 Ro 3:1-25; Ro 3:26-4:12

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8: Objections Answered

Romans 3:9-18: All Under Sin

Romans 3:19-20: Why God Gave the Law

Romans 3:21-24: How Can I Be Right With God?

Romans 3:25-26: God the Just and the Justifier

Romans 3:27-31: Faith Versus Pride

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:22 Ro 3:19-26 Ro 3:23-27 Ro 3:26

Romans 1:1-3:26 Righteousness: It’s Not What You Know

Romans 3:1-8 Condemning Questions

Romans 3:9-20 Shutting the Mouths of the Self-Righteous

Romans 3:21-26 Justification: A Divine Perspective

Romans 3:27–4:25 Abraham: The Faith of Our Father

Romans 3 Commentary - Expositor's Greek Testament

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Sermons - 12 excellent messages!

Romans 3 from Anti-Nicene Fathers

Romans 3:1-20 Do You Need the Gospel?; Ro 3:21ff

Romans 3 Commentary (H C G Moule - see his other commentary below)

Romans 3 Sermons

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary (Speaker's Commentary)

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8, 3:9-20, 3:21-5:11, 3:21-26, Ro 3 Excursus, 3:27-31

Romans 2:17-3:8 Mr. Churchman

Romans 3:9-20 No Exceptions

Romans 3:21-26 But Now

Romans 3:27-31 The Implications of the Good News

Romans Sermons - most Mp3 - well know preachers (D A Carson, et al)

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-20 The Best is a Bust

Romans 3:21-31 Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Romans 3 Concise Notes

Romans 3 Commentary; Romans 3 Commentary (another source)

Romans: Prologue to Prison - 24 Chapter Book

Romans 3:23-24 Justification (24 pages)

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8 Exposition

Romans 3:9-20 Exposition

Romans 3:21-31 Exposition

Romans Notes-Verse by Verse Notes - Ro 3:1-8; 9-20; 21-23; 3:24-31

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary online (Alternate source)

Romans 3 Commentary - enter Ro 3, then Study Bible notes-click "read"

Romans 3 Sermons (2 sermons) - Click NT, then Click Romans

Romans 1:18-3:20 The Unrighteousness of Man, the Bad News

Romans 3:21-31 The Righteousness of God, the Good News

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-4

Romans 3:5-8

Romans 3:9-20

Romans 3:21-26

Romans 3:27-31

Romans 1-7 Comments

Romans 3:1-8 Don’t Even Go There!

Romans 3:9-20 I'm NOT Okay, You’re NOT Okay!

Romans 3:21-26 The Guts of the Gospel

Romans 3:27-4:12 Why Works Won’t Work

Romans Sermons - Messianic Believer - only mp3's

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-4 The Advantage of Being Jewish, Part 1

Romans 3:5-8 The Advantage of Being Jewish, Part 2

Romans 3:9-12 The Guilt of All Men, Part 1

Romans 3:12-20 The Guilt of All Men, Part 2

Romans 3:20-31 False Elements Added to Salvation

Romans 3:21-25 How to Be Right With God, Part 1

Romans 3:21-25 How to Be Right With God, Part 2

Romans 3:25-26 How Christ Died for God, Part 1

Romans 3:24-25 Looking at the Cross from God's Perspective

Romans 3:25-31 God's Glory Displayed in Christ's Cross

Romans 3:27 How Christ Died For God, Part 2

Romans 3:28 True Marks of Saving Faith

Romans 3:29-31 How Christ Died for God, Part 3

Romans 3 Sermons on Romans 3:19-21, Ro 3:22, Ro 3:23-26

Romans Mp3's by chapter/verse

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Notes

Romans 3 Commentary (Notes on Ro 3 begin at "d. The Difficulties")

Romans 3 - Defender's Study Bible Notes

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans

Romans 3 Commentary (Living Water Commentary)

Romans 3 Net Notes & Constable's notes synchronized with Scripture

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8 Let God be True (Newton's sermons in middle of page)

Romans 3:9-18 None, None, None! (Newton's sermons are well-done!)

Romans 3:19-20 Closed Mouths - Accountable World

Romans 3:21-23 Righteousness through Faith

Romans 3:24-25 Justification: A Gift of Grace

Romans 3:25-26 God the Just & the Justifier

Romans 3:27-31 No Boasting!

Romans 3:27-31 Faith and Law

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 The Law of Faith (People's Bible Commentary)

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8 Let God Be True Though Every Man a Liar Part One

Romans 3:1-8 Why God Inspired Hard Texts

Romans 3:9-18 All Jews and Gentiles Are Under Sin

Romans 3:19-26 Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt

Romans 3:19-20 Mouths Closed and All the World Accountable to God

Romans 3:20-4:5 How Is It Right for God to Justify the Ungodly?

Romans 3:21-26 The Demonstration of God's Righteousness 1

Romans 3:21-26 The Demonstration of God's Righteousness 2

Romans 3:21-26 The Demonstration of God's Righteousness 36

Romans 3:21-26 God's Invincible Purpose 3: God Vindicated His Righteousness in Death of Christ

Romans 3:21-4:8 God's Invincible Purpose 4: God Justifies the Ungodly

Romans 3:27-31 Justification By Faith Is the End of Boasting

Romans 3:27-31 Justification By Faith Establishes the Law

Romans 3:28 The Reformed Faith and Racial Harmony

Romans 3:29-30 One God and One Salvation for All the Nations

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary (Interesting Resource - scroll down)

Romans 3 Illustrations

Romans 3:1-8: I Object!

Romans 3:9-20: The Man in the Mirror

Romans 3:21-26 The Only Way to Be Right With God

Romans 3:24-26 Where Grace & Wrath Meet… the Cross

Romans 3:27-31 Sola Fide: By Faith Alone

Romans 3:27-31 God Plays No Favorites

Romans 3 Homilies (scroll down)

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3: Greek Word Studies

Romans 2:17-3:20 None Righteous

Romans 3:21-31 Propitiation; Romans 3:21-26 Justification

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Sermons-Ro 3:1-2, 3-4, 10-20, 20 , 21-22, 24-28, 27-28, 31

Romans 3:3-4: God Justified, Though Man Believes Not

Romans 3:11 The Greatest Folly in the World

Romans 3:22,23 There is No Difference

Romans 3:24: Justification by Grace

Romans 3:24,25 Christ Set Forth as a Propitiation

Romans 3:24-26 Justice Vindicated, and Righteousness Exemplified

Romans 3:24-26 Justification, Propitiation, Declaration

Romans 3:26: Justice Satisfied

Romans 3:27 Grace Exalted—Boasting Excluded

Romans 3 Exposition

Romans 1:18-3:18 Sermon Romans 3:19-5:21 Sermon

Romans 2:17-3:8 Red Herrings

Romans 3:9-26: Peale or Paul?

Romans 3:27-4:25: Exhibit A

Romans 3:1-20 Total Wipeout

Romans 3:21-31 But Now

Romans 3:1-20. The Defense Rests (Nice Tables)

Romans 3:21-31. God's Righteousness in Our Salvation

Romans 3:1-20 Commentary; Romans 3:21-4:3 Commentary (nice tables)

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3 Greek Word Studies

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 3:1-8 Romans 3:9-18 Romans 3:19-26 Romans 3:27-31

Romans 2:17-3:8 Full Mind, Empty Heart

Romans 3:9-31 "That Saved A Wretch Like Me"

Download Lesson 1 of part 1 (Romans 1-5)

Romans — 3:21-5:21 Romans — 6:1-8:39 Romans — 9:1-11:36 Romans — 12:1-16:27
God's Holiness
God's Grace
God's Power
God's Sovereignty
Jew and Gentile
Gods Glory
Object of
of Sin
of Grace
Demonstration of Salvation
Power Given Promises Fulfilled Paths Pursued
Restored to Israel
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
God's Righteousness
Slaves to Sin Slaves to God Slaves Serving God
Doctrine Duty
Life by Faith Service by Faith

Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the NT"

AND THE PATH OF PEACE HAVE THEY NOT KNOWN: kai hodon eirenes ouk egnosan (3PAAI): (Ro 5:1; Isa 57:21; 59:8; Mt 7:14; Lk 1:79)

Here is a list of the Old Testament passages which Paul quotes from

Romans 3:10-12 from Psalm 14:1, 2, 3-note and Psalm 53:1, 2, 3-note

Romans 3:13 from Psalm 5:9-note and Psalm 140:3-note

Romans 3:14 from Psalm 10:7-note

Romans 3:15-17 from Isaiah 59:7, 8 and see Isaiah 48:22

Romans 3:18 from Psalm 36:1-note

Isaiah records a similar refrain…

"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." (Isa 57:21)

They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked; Whoever treads on them does not know peace. (Isa 59:8) (Paul is quoting from this verse here in Romans 3:17)

As Luke explains that Jesus came to show man this peace and…

TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, to guide (the pix of opening up the way by the removal of obstacles so that the desired goal may be reached) our feet into the way of peace." (Lk 1:79)

The Amplified Version says plainly that fallen men

"have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize]".

Path (3598)(hodos) when used literally describes any place along which one travels and moves from one place to another, and thus a way, a road, or a highway. Compare the OT phrase "highway (Lxx = hodos) of holiness" (Isa 35:8, cp Isa 42:16, Jn 14:6, He 10:20-note), a path that is foreign to unsaved sinners (and even some saved sinners sadly!)

Peace (1515) (eirene) (Click for more detailed analysis of eirene) is from the verb eiro meaning to bind together (what is broken or divided) and thus pictures the joining together and setting at one again. In the present usage of eirene, Paul is not speaking the lack of inner peace or of absence of peace with God - although that is certainly a characteristic of the ungodly. In this verse Paul is describing man’s essential/intrinsic inclination away from peace and toward strife and conflict with his fellow man. Do you doubt this is true? Then you need to visit the ruins at Auschwitz (take a short "visit"!), where the shower rooms were really gas chambers, where the incinerators weren't for burning trash but human corpses, and the litany of horror goes on.

Not (3756) (ouk) speaks of absolute negation… they "absolutely do not know peace".

Middletown Bible comments…

Compare man’s awful history of warfare in every age and in every generation (beginning on the day that Cain killed Abel). The Society of International Law at London once gave statistics declaring that for last 4,000 years of human history there have been but 286 years of peace despite more than 8,000 peace treaties. In the last 300 years there have been 286 major and minor wars in Europe. Man's history has been a history of war and conditions are not getting better. What wars and conflicts are taking place in the world right now? When man is not at peace with God (compare Romans 5:1-note), then he is at war with his neighbor. (Romans 3)

Known (1097) (ginosko) means to learn or know by experience. Know Jesus, know Peace! No Jesus, no Peace.

As Wayne Barber reminds us

"The Apostle Paul is saying that every man who is without Jesus Christ has the same kind of perverted, depraved heart. He has never had a holy thought. He does not understand God and has been turned aside by his own wickedness and is living away from God. This is the situation our world is in today." (Barber, Wayne. Notes on Romans)

Living in peace with one another individually and internationally is something fallen man does not know how to do. This is one reason there will never be peace in the Middle East until the return of Messiah, the Prince of peace Himself! Thus Isaiah records that

"a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this." (Isa 9:6-7-note)

Many world leaders are trying (admirably) to establish peace but what was true in Jeremiah's time, is still true in our day that because of man's heart, these attempts have only

"healed the brokenness… superficially, saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace." (Jer 6:14).

Torrey's Topic
Peace, spiritual

God is the God of -Ro 15:33; 2Co 13:11; 1Th 5:23; He 13:20

God ordains -Isaiah 26:12

God speaks, to his saints -Psalms 85:8

Christ is the Lord of -2 Thessalonians 3:16

Christ is the prince of -Isaiah 9:6

Christ gives -2 Thessalonians 3:16

Christ guides into the way of -Luke 1:79

Christ is our -Ephesians 2:14

Is through the atonement of Christ -Isa 53:5; Ep 2:14,15; Col 1:20

Bequeathed by Christ -John 14:27


By Christ -Ephesians 2:17

Through Christ -Acts 10:36

By ministers -Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15

Announced by angels -Luke 2:14

Follows upon justification -Romans 5:1

A fruit of the Spirit -Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22

Divine wisdom is the way of -Proverbs 3:17


Faith -Romans 15:13

Righteousness -Isaiah 32:17

Acquaintance with God -Job 22:21

The love of God’s law -Psalms 119:165

Spiritual-mindedness -Romans 8:6

Established by covenant -Isa 54:10; Ezek 34:25; Mal 2:5


The Church -Isaiah 66:12

The Gentiles -Zechariah 9:10

Saints -Psalms 72:3,7; Isaiah 55:12

The meek -Psalms 37:11

Those who confide in God -Isaiah 26:3

Returning backsliders -Isaiah 57:18,19

We should love -Zechariah 8:19

The benediction of ministers should be -Numbers 6:26; Luke 10:5


Have in Christ -John 16:33

Have, with God -Isaiah 27:5; Romans 5:1

Enjoy -Psalms 119:165

Repose in -Psalms 4:8

Blessed with -Psalms 29:11

Kept in perfect -Isaiah 26:3

Ruled by -Colossians 3:15

Kept by -Philippians 4:7

Die in -Psalms 37:37; Luke 2:29

Wish, to each other -Gal 6:16; Php 1:2; Col 1:2; 1 Th 1:1


Great -Ps 119:165; Isaiah 54:13

Abundant -Psalms 72:7; Jeremiah 33:6

Secure -Job 34:29

Passes all understanding -Philippians 4:7

Consummated after death -Isaiah 57:2

The gospel is good tidings of -Romans 10:15


Know not the way of -Isaiah 57:2; Romans 3:17

Know not the things of -Luke 19:42

Promise, to themselves -Deuteronomy 29:19

Are promised, by false teachers -Jeremiah 6:14

There is none for -Isaiah 48:22; 57:21

Supports under trials -John 14:27; 16:33


Greek: ouk estin (3SPAI) phobos theou apenanti ton opthalmon auton
Amplified: There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes. [Ps. 36:1.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: "They have no fear of God to restrain them." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: 'There is no fear of God before their eyes'. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: There is not a fear of God before their eyes. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: There is no fear of God before their eyes.'
THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES: (Ge 20:11; Ps 36:1; Pr 8:13; 16:6; 23:17; Lk 23:40; Rev 19:5-note)

Recommended Resource: 5 lecture series by Jerry Bridges on the Fear of God (can be downloaded to computer/Ipod)

Paul now at once sums up and explains the universal corruption of every man ever born. The problem? No fear of God!



Have you ever taken time to do a study the topic "the fear of the LORD"? If not, you will find it to be a most edifying and equipping study because as Solomon writes "the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge" (Pr 1:7, cp Pr 9:10, Job 28:28, Eccl 12:13). Remember we can get information "on line" but wisdom is from "on high"! Take some time (e.g., consider doing this exercise in your quiet time - but don't rush) to observe (observe the text) the Scriptures that deal with the fear of the Lord, asking the 5W's and H (interrogate with the 5W'S & H - note that some verses stand alone but often you will need to check the context), meditating and "chewing the cud" found in these passages and you will be greatly rewarded by your Teacher, the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16, 15:26, 27, 16:13, 14, 15, 1John 2:27). I have done such a study and found it very convicting and at the same time encouraging (as one sees the spiritual advantages bestowed on those who fear the LORD). I would strongly encourage you to click on the following Hebrew and Greek words for FEAR (nouns, verbs, adjectives) where you will find links under the "Verse Count" to all the respective uses in the NASB. Make your own observations BEFORE you look at the topical lists at the bottom of the page, lest you spoil the joy of self-discovery

A.W. Tozer said it well, “No religion has been greater than its idea of God.” That gem has a corollary: No church (and no individual) is greater than its (his or her) reverent awe of our holy God. The Lord is holy and demands recognition as such. Although most believers know that intellectually, far fewer realize what this means practically. The fear of the LORD is not a minor truth, for we read in the Old Testament “Live in the fear of the Lord always” (Pr 23:17) and in the New Testament “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt 10:28). In other words, please do not make the mistake of relegating this foundational truth to the Old Testament thinking it is not valid for your New Testament faith (cp Ro 10:17, Mk 9:24, Lk 17:5).

Here are a few questions to consider which should help catalyze your study of the fear of the LORD -

In Eccl 12:13 what is associated with the fear of God? What similar association do you see in Job 28:28? Job 1:1? Ex 20:20? Pr 3:7, 8:13, 16:6? In Pr 28:14 what is the spiritual advantage associated with fear of God? (and what is the converse of fear?) What is the benefit of fear in Ps 25:14? Who does the Lord listen to - Mal 3:16? What was the "atmosphere" in which the church was advancing in Acts 9:31? What is the fear of the Lord associated with in 2Co 5:11 (cp 2Co 5:10!) and what should it motivate us to do? What should motivate believers to live holy lives - 2Co 7:1-note? What is the fear of God associated with in Rev 14:6-note, Re 14:7-note? Who (where) are those who fear God in Rev 19:5-note, the last use of fear of God in the Bible. Is fear of God just an OT doctrine and we are no longer to have a fear of God in the NT as I have heard some teach?

You will discover that the truth about the fear of the LORD is absolutely foundational in regard to the vitality of our faith. Enjoy!


Not all of the uses below will yield fruitful observations, but persevere in your "prospecting" and you will discover some incredible nuggets of truth concerning the fear of Jehovah.

Noun = yir'ah - 45 uses, the most fruitful being - Ge 20:11, 2Sa 23:3, 2Chr 19:9, Neh 5:9, 15, Job 4:6, 6:14, 28:28, Ps 2:11, 5:7, 19:9, 34:11, 90:11, 111:10, 119:38, Pr 1:7, 28-29, 2:2-3,4-5, 8:13, 9:10, 10:27, 14:26-27, 15:16, 33, 16:6, 19:23, 22:4, 23:17, Isa 11:2, 3, 29:13, 33:6, 63:17, Je 32:40 (cp with Jer 31:31, Heb 13:20)

Verb = yare' - This is the main Hebrew verb used over 300 times in the NASB with a number of great truths! For an "appetizer" hold your pointer over the following passages that speak of fearing Jehovah and be blessed by simply listing the "advantages" to those who fear His Awesome Name - Ps 22:23, 25:12, 14, 31:19, 33:18, 34:7, 9, 85:9, 86:11, 103:13, 13, 17, 111:5, 112:1, 115:11, 13, 118:4, 119:63, 74, 79, 128:1, 4, 130:4, 135:20, 145:19, 147:11. Here are other uses that yield interesting insights on the fear of the LORD - Ge 3:10, 15:1, 21:17, 22:12, 26:24, 28:17, 42:18, Ex 1:17, 21, Ex 3:6, 9:20, 30, 14:13, 31, 15:11 (awesome), Ex 18:21, Lv 19:14, 30, 32, 25:17, 25:36, 43, 26:2, Dt 4:10, 5:5, 29, 6:2, 13, 24, 8:6, 10:12 (note the order), Dt 10:17 (awesome), Dt 10:20, 13:4, 14:23, 17:12, 13, 18, 19 (refers to the king), Dt 25:17-18, 28:10, 28:58, 31:12, 13, Josh 4:24, 24:14, Jdg 6:10, 13:6, 1Sa 12:14, 18, 24-25, 15:25, 2Sa 6:9, 1Ki 8:39-40, 43, 18:3, 12, 2Ki 4:1, 6:16, 17:7, 25, 28, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 1Chr 16:25, 2Chr 6:31, 32, 33, Neh 1:11 (revere), Neh 7:2, Job 1:1, 8, 9, 2:1, 37:24, Ps 15:4, 22:23, 25, Ps 23:4, 25:12, 14, 31:19, 33:8, 18, 34:7, 9, 40:3, 47:2, 52:6, 60:4, 61:5, 64:9, 66:3 (awesome), Ps 66:5 (awesome), Ps 66:16, 67:7, 68:35 (awesome), Ps 72:5, 76:7, 8-9, 12, 85:9, 86:11, 96:4, 99:3 (awesome), Ps 102:15, 103:11, 13, 17, 111:5, 9 (awesome), Ps 112:1, 115:11, 13, 118:4, 119:63, 74, 79, 120, 128:1, 4, 130:4, 135:20, 145:19, 147:11, Pr 3:7, 13:13, 14:2, 24:21, 31:30, Eccl 3:14, 5:7, 7:18, 8:12, 13, 12:13, Isa 25:3 (revere), Isa 50:10, 59:19, Jer 5:22, 24, 10:7, 26:19, 32:39, 44:10, Ho 10:3, Amos 3:8, Jonah 1:9, 10, 16, Hab 3:2, Zeph 3:7, Hag 1:12, Mal 1:14, 2:5, 3:5, 16, 4:2, 12:5, 18:2, 4, 23:40 (one thief on the cross!),

Noun = mora' - See Ps 76:11, Isa 8:12, 13

Noun = pachad (06343) - In Ge 31:42 note that the Fear of the Lord was so central to Isaac’s concept of God that one of his names for God was “Fear”!

Verb = pachad (06342) - Pr 28:14, Ho 3:5 (of Israel at the end of the Great Tribulation)


Mk 5:33-34, Lk 1:50, Acts 9:31, 10:2, 22, 35, 13:16, 26, Ro 3:18, 11:20, 13:7, 2Co 5:11, Ep 5:21, 6:5, Php 2:12, Col 3:22, 1Ti 5:20, 1Pe 1:17, 2:17, 1Jn 4:18-19, Re 11:18, 14:6, 7, 15:4, 19:5.

Fear of God - 10 occurrences of this phrase in ESV - Ge 20:11; 2Sa 23:3; 2Chr 20:29; 26:5; Ne 5:15; Job 4:6; 15:4; Ps 36:1; Ro 3:18; 2Co. 7:1.

Now set aside some time to download the following Mp3's to your listen to an excellent five part lecture series by Jerry Bridges - Mp3's on the "Fear of God"

How sad that men might fear the police or a judge but have no fear for the Judge of all the earth! Reverential fear of God should characterize the true child of God (Phil 2:12-note; 1Pe 1:17-note; 2Co 7:1- note)

Paul is quoting David from Psalm 36:1

For the choir director.

A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord.

Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;

There is no fear of God before his eyes.

Kent Hughes writes that the order is…

First the character, then the conduct, and now the cause: the fear of God is left out of their thinking. (Hughes, R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books

Spurgeon comments on Psalm 36:1 writing that

Men’s sins have a voice to godly ears. They are the outer index of an inner evil. It is clear that men who dare to sin constantly and presumptuously cannot respect the great Judge of all. Despite the professions of unrighteous men, when we see their unhallowed actions our heart is driven to the conclusion that they have no religion whatever. Unholiness is clear evidence of ungodliness. Wickedness is the fruit of an atheistic root. This may be made clear to the candid heart by cogent reasoning, but it is clear already and intuitively to the pious heart. If God is everywhere, and I fear Him, how can I dare to break His laws in His very presence? Those eyes which have no fear of God before them now will have terrors of hell before them forever. (Treasury of David)

Scripture repeatedly says that we are to

Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (Pr 3:7b)

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. (Pr 8:13a),

by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil (Pr 16:6b).

Solomon summed up his wise sayings declaring

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. (Ecc 12:13, 14)

Job set the standard for godly fear, Scripture recording that

"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil." (Job 1:1)

Godet explains that Fear of God is

the normal expression for piety in the Old Testament; it is that disposition in man which has always God present in the heart, His will and judgment. The words: before their eyes , show that it belongs to man freely to evoke or suppress this inward view of God, on which his moral conduct depends. This final characteristic is borrowed from Psalm 36:1, which marks the contrast between the faithful and the wicked even in Israel.."

Ray Stedman adds that…

To put it in the words of the street today, "man couldn't care less about what God thinks about him" -- and this is the root of all of the problems in human life. There is no concern for God's opinion in man's life." (Read full text of Peale or Paul?)

When men no longer fear God, there is no restraint upon their lusts. The NLT conveys the idea nicely --

"They have no fear of God to restrain them”

Calvin sums it up writing…

"In short, as (the fear of God) is a bridle to restrain our wickedness, so when it is wanting, we feel at liberty to indulge every kind of licentiousness." (

Robert Haldane comments on no fear that mankind has

not that reverential fear of Him which is the beginning of wisdom, which is connected with departing from evil, and honoring and obeying Him, and is often spoken of in Scripture as the sum of all practical religion; on the contrary, they are regardless of His majesty and authority, His precepts and His threatenings. It is astonishing that men, while they acknowledge that there is a God, should act without any fear of His displeasure. Yet this is their character. They fear a worm of the dust like themselves, but disregard the Most–High, Isaiah 51:12, 18. They are more afraid of man than of God—of his anger, his contempt, or ridicule. The fear of man (Pr 29:25) prevents them from doing many things from which they are not restrained by the fear of God. That God will put His fear in the hearts of His people, is one of the distinguishing promises of the new covenant, which shows that proof to this it is not found there. (Haldane, R. An Exposition of Romans)

Briscoe tells the story of the time he was…

Recently, in the Caribbean, I observed expert scuba divers at work. I was impressed by their sober assessment of the dangers related to their diving and the ways in which they made responsible procedural precautions to obviate the danger. This led to a very high degree of safety and a resulting high standard of efficiency and enjoyment. Others less knowledgeable tend to take terrible risks through lack of respect and finish up in dire danger and not infrequently suffer serious consequences. The more you know God and respect Him, the more conscious you are of the dangers inherent in ignoring who He is. But little knowledge leads to no respect, and that is the road to disaster. (Briscoe, D. S., & Ogilvie, L. J. The Preacher's Commentary Series, New Testament. 2003; Thomas Nelson)

William Newell writes that

"This great passage then, (Romans 3:9-18) needs to be pondered, prayed' over, thoroughly believed, and preached continually, in these last days, when God-consciousness is dying out. It is no kindness, but a terrible wrong, to hide from a criminal the sentence that must surely overtake him unless pardoned; for a physician to conceal from a patient a cancer that will destroy him unless quickly removed; for one acquainted with the hidden pitfalls of a path he beholds someone taking, not to warn him of his danger!" (Romans 3: Devotional and Expositional)

Charles Hodge adds that by the phrase

"the fear of God” we may understand, according to its use in Scripture, reverence for God, piety towards him; or fear in the more restricted sense, dread of his wrath. Either way, the reckless wickedness of men proves that they are destitute of all proper respect for God. They act as if there were no God, no Being to Whom they are responsible for their behavior and Who has the intention and power to punish them for their iniquity." (Hodge, C. Romans)

Before (561) (apénanti from apó = from + énanti = before, over against, in the presence of) means in a position that faces against an object or other position = opposite to, over against, in front of, before, in the presence of.

Cranfield comments on before their eyes writing that

"by his eyes “a man directs his steps. So to say that there is no fear of God before his eyes is a figurative way of saying that the fear of God has no part in directing his life, that God is left out of his reckoning, that he is a practical, whether or not he is a theoretical, atheist."

Warren Wiersbe adds that

The effect is total, because his entire being is vitiated. Observe at this point the various members of the body referred to: the throat, the tongue, and the lips (Ro 3:13); the mouth (Ro 3:14); the feet (Ro 3:15); and the eyes (Ro 3:18). This list serves to affirm what theologians speak of as total depravity, (see notes on total depravity) i.e., not that man in his natural state is as bad as he can possibly be, but rather that his entire being is adversely affected by sin. His whole nature is permeated with it." (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)

Ray Stedman adds that

When you read this terrible description of the human race as God sees it, it is almost impossible for us to believe that God is not going to say, "Enough! Wipe them out!" If all he sees is wretchedness, misery, evil, deceit, hypocrisy, vulgarity, profanity, slander, and all these evil things that are in every heart -- every one without exception -- our natural instinct is to say, "Then God doesn't want us." But the amazing thing is that across this kind of verse He writes, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," (John 3:16KJV). God did not send the Law to destroy us (and this is very important); he sent the Law to keep us from false hope. (Stedman, R. Sermon Notes)

William Barclay sums up this section writing that…

Paul never underrated the sin of man and he never underrated the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. Once, when he was a young man, William Roby, the great Lancashire Independent, was preaching at Malvern. His lack of success drove him to despair, and he wished to leave the work. Then came a seasonable reproof from a certain Mr. Moody, who asked him,

“Are they, then, too bad to be saved?”

The challenge sent William Roby back to his work. Paul believed men without Christ to be bad, but he never believed them too bad to be saved. He was confident that what Christ had done for him Christ could do for any man. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press)

Tozer wrote that…

No one can know the true grace of God who has not first known the fear of God.

Note that Paul's list of 14 moral defects does not mean to convey that all the characteristics of sin listed are in evidence in every life. Frederic Godet has written that

Some, even most of them, may remain latent in many men: but they all exist in germ in the selfishness and natural pride of the ego, and the least circumstance may cause them to pass into the active state.

See suggestion above -
Do your own study first…


wisdom (Job 28:28; Pr 15:33),

pure (Ps 19:9),

beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10; Pr 9:10; 15:33),

beginning of knowledge (Pr 1:7),

hating evil (Pr 8:13),

adding length to life (Pr 10:27),

fountain of life (Pr 14:27),

leading to life (Pr 19:23).

Commanded -Lev 19:14, 32; 25:36, 43; Dt 6:13; 10:20; 13:4; Jos 24:14; 1Sa 12:24; 2Ki 17:36; 1Chr 16:30; 2Chr 19:7, 9; Ne 5:9; Ps 2:11; 22:23; 34:9; 96:4; Pr 3:7; 23:17; 24:21; Ecc 5:7; 12:13; Isa 8:13; 29:23; Ro 11:20, 21; Col 3:22; 1Pe 2:17; Rev 14:7

Cultivated by God -Ex 3:5; 19:12-13; Heb 12:18-24

Deters from sin -Ex 20:18, 19, 20; Pr16:6; Je 32:39,40

Averts temporal calamity -Dt 28:47-49; 28:58-68; 2Ki 17:36, 37, 38, 39).

Secures divine blessing -Dt 5:29; Ps 25:12, 13, 14; 31:19-20; 33:18, 19; 34:7, 9; 85:8-9; 103:11, 13, 17; 111:5; 112:1; 115:11, 13; 128:1, 2, 3, 4; 145:18, 19; Pr 22:4; Eccl 7:18; 8:12-13; Mal 4:2; Lk 1:50; Acts 10:34,35

Universality of, foretold -Ps 76:11, 12; 102:15

A bond of fellowship among righteous - Mal 3:16, 17, 18

Instances of Guilty Fear:

Adam and Eve -Ge 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

The wicked - Job 15:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; 18:11; Pr10:24

Those without moral direction -Pr 1:24-27

Those without God in general - Isa 2:19, 20, 21; 33:14

King Belshazzar -Da 5:6

The nations -Mic 7:17

Judas -Mt 27:3, 4, 5

The guards at Jesus' tomb -Mt 28:4

Christians no longer fear -Ro 8:15; 2Ti 1:7, 1Jn 4:18

Demons -Jas 2:19

The nations in the day of wrath -Rev 6:16

Instances of Godly Fear:

Noah, in preparing the ark -Heb 11:7

Abraham, tested in the offering of his son Isaac -Ge 22:12

Jacob, in the vision of the stairway, and the covenant of God -Ge 28:16, 17; 42:18

The midwives of Egypt, in refusing to take the lives of the Hebrew children -Ex 1:17, 21

The Egyptians, at the time of the plague of thunder and hail and fire -Ex 9:20

Phinehas, in turning away the anger of God at the time of the plague -Nu 25:11, 25:6-15

The nine-and-one-half tribes of Israel west of the Jordan -Jos 22:15-20

Obadiah, in devotion to God, sheltered one hundred prophets against Jezebel because he feared God more than he feared the wrath of Jezebel -1Ki 18:3-4 (cp Pr 29:25)

Jehoshaphat, in proclaiming a fast when the land was about to be invaded by the armies of the Ammonites and Moabites -2Chr 20:3

Nehemiah, in his reform of the public administration which had heavily taxed the people and lorded their rule over the people -Ne 5:15

Hanani, which qualified him to be ruler over Jerusalem -Ne 7:2

Job, according to the testimony of God & even Satan -Job 1:8, 9

David (or whoever wrote Ps119)- Ps119:38

Hezekiah, in his treatment of the prophet Micah, who prophesied evil against Jerusalem -Jer 26:19

The Israelites, in obeying the voice of the Lord -Hag 1:12

The women at the tomb -Mt 28:8

Cornelius, who feared God with all his house -Ac 10:2

Motivates God's:

Power -Jos 4:24; Ps 99:1; Jer 5:22; Mt 10:28; Lk 12:5

providence -1Sa 12:2, 3, 4

power and justice -Job 37:19-24

wrath -Ps 90:11

forgiveness -Ps 130:4

majesty -Je10:7

Motivates People:

To respect others -Lv 19:14, 30; 25:17, 36, 43

To obedience - Nu 32:15; Dt 6:13-15; 7:1-4; 8:5-6; 10:12-13, 20; 13:4, 6-11; 17:11-13; 21:18-21; 28:14-68; 31:11-13; 1Sa 12:24-25; Job 13:21; 31:1-4, 13-23; Isa 1:20; Jer 4:4; 22:5; Mt 10:28; Lk 12:4-5; 2Co 5:10-11; 2Ti 4:1-2; 2Pe 3:10-12; Rev 14:9-10).

To truthfulness -Dt 15:9; 19:16-20

To filial obedience -Dt 21:21

Torrey's Topic
Godly Fear

God is the object of -Is 8:13

God is the author of -Jeremiah 32:39,40

Searching the Scriptures gives the understanding of -Pr 2:3, 4, 5


Hatred of evil -Proverbs 8:13

Wisdom -Job 28:28; Psalms 111:10

A treasure to saints -Proverbs 15:16; Isaiah 33:6

A fountain of life -Proverbs 14:27

Sanctifying -Psalms 19:9

Filial and reverential -Hebrews 12:9,28

Commanded -Dt 13:4; Ps 22:23; Eccl 12:13; 1Pe 2:17


The holiness of God -Revelation 15:4

The greatness of God -Dt 10:12,17

The goodness of God -1Samuel 12:24

The forgiveness of God -Psalms 130:4

Wondrous works of God -Joshua 4:23,24

Judgments of God -Revelation 14:7

A characteristic of saints -Malachi 3:16

Should accompany the joy of saints -Psalms 2:11


The worship of God -Psalms 5:7; 89:7

The service of God -Psalms 2:11; Hebrews 12:28

Avoiding of sin -Exodus 20:20

Righteous government -2 Samuel 23:3

Impartial administration of justice -2 Chronicles 19:6-9

Perfecting holiness -2 Corinthians 7:1


Afford pleasure to God -Psalms 147:11

Are pitied by God -Psalms 103:13

Are accepted of God -Acts 10:35

Receive mercy from God -Psalms 103:11,17; Luke 1:50

Are blessed -Psalms 112:1; 115:13

Confide in God -Psalms 115:11; Proverbs 14:26

Depart from evil -Proverbs 16:6

Converse together of holy things -Malachi 3:16

Should not fear man -Isaiah 8:12,13; Matthew 10:28

Desires of, fulfilled by God -Psalms 145:19

Days of, prolonged -Proverbs 10:27


Prayed for -Psalms 86:11

Exhibited in our callings -Colossians 3:22

Exhibited in giving a reason for our hope -1 Peter 3:15

Constantly maintained -Deuteronomy 14:23; Joshua 4:24; Proverbs 23:17

Taught to others -Psalms 34:11

Advantages of -Proverbs 15:16; 19:23; Ecclesiastes 8:12,13

The wicked destitute of -Ps 36:1; Pr 1:29; Je 2:19; Ro 3:18


Abraham -Genesis 22:12

Joseph -Genesis 39:9; 42:18

Obadiah -1 Kings 18:12

Nehemiah -Nehemiah 5:15

Job -Job 1:1,8

Christians -Acts 9:31

Cornelius -Acts 10:2

Noah -Hebrews 11:7

Nave's Topic
Fear of God


OLD TESTAMENT: Gen. 35:5; Ex. 18:21; Ex. 20:18-20; Lev. 22:32; Deut. 4:10; Deut. 5:29; Deut. 6:2; Deut. 10:12, 20, 21 Deut. 6:13; 13:4; 14:23. Deut. 28:49, 58; Josh. 4:24; Josh. 24:14; 1 Sam. 2:30; 1 Sam. 12:14, 24; 2 Sam. 23:3; 1 Kin. 8:40; 2 Kin. 17:36, 39 v. 28.; 1 Chr. 16:30; 2 Chr. 19:7, 9; Ezra 10:3; Neh. 5:9; Job 28:28; Job 37:24; Psa. 2:11; Psa. 4:4; Psa. 15:4; Psa. 19:9; Psa. 22:23, 25; Psa. 25:12-14; Psa. 31:19; Psa. 33:8, 18; Psa. 34:7, 9, 11; Psa. 46:10; Psa. 52:6; Psa. 60:4; Psa. 64:9; Psa. 67:7; Psa. 72:5; Psa. 76:7, 11; Psa. 85:9; Psa. 86:11; Psa. 89:7; Psa. 90:11; Psa. 96:4, 9; Psa. 99:1; Psa. 102:15; Psa. 103:11, 13, 17; Psa. 111:5, 10 Prov. 1:7; 9:10. Psa. 112:1; Psa. 115:11, 13; Psa. 118:4; Psa. 119:63, 74, 79 Psa. 66:16. Psa. 128:1, 4; Psa. 130:4; Psa. 135:20; Psa. 145:19; Psa. 147:11; Prov. 1:7 Prov. 9:10. Prov. 2:5; Prov. 3:7; Prov. 8:13; Prov. 10:27; Prov. 13:13; Prov. 14:2, 16, 26, 27; Prov. 15:16, 33; Prov. 16:6; Prov. 19:23; Prov. 22:4; Prov. 23:17; Prov. 24:21; Prov. 28:14; Prov. 31:30; Eccl. 3:14; Eccl. 7:18; Eccl. 8:12; Eccl. 12:13 Eccl. 5:7; 1 Pet. 2:17. Isa. 2:10, 19-21; Isa. 8:13; Isa. 25:3; Isa. 29:13, 23; Isa. 33:6, 13; Isa. 50:10; Isa. 59:19; Isa. 60:5; Jer. 5:22; Jer. 10:7; Jer. 32:39, 40; Jer. 33:9; Hos. 3:5; Mic. 7:16, 17; Zeph. 1:7; Zeph. 3:7; Zech. 2:13; Mal. 1:6; Mal. 3:16; Mal. 4:2;

NEW TESTAMENT: Matt. 10:28; Luke 1:50; Luke 12:5; Luke 23:40; Acts 10:35; Acts 13:16, 26; Rom. 11:20; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 5:21; Eph. 6:5 1 Pet. 2:18; Phil. 2:12; Col. 3:22; Heb. 5:5, 7; Heb. 12:28, 29; Jas. 2:19; 1 Pet. 1:17; 1 Pet. 3:2, 15; 1 John 4:16-18; Rev. 11:18; Rev. 14:7; Rev. 19:5

Conspicuous Instances of Those Who Feared

Noah, in preparing the ark, Heb. 11:7.

Abraham, tested in the offering of his son Isaac, Gen. 22:12.

Jacob, in the vision of the ladder, and the covenant of God, Gen. 28:16, 17; 42:18.

The midwives of Egypt, in refusing to take the lives of the Hebrew children, Ex. 1:17, 21.

The Egyptians, at the time of the plague of thunder and hail and fire, Ex. 9:20.

The nine and one-half tribes of Israel west of Jordan, Josh. 22:15-20.

Phinehas, in turning away anger of God Nu 25:11 (Nu 25:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Obadiah, in sheltering one hundred prophets against the wrath of Jezebel, 1 Ki 18:3, 4.

Jehoshaphat, in proclaiming a feast, when the land was about to be invaded by the armies of the Ammonites and Moabites, 2Chr. 20:3.

Nehemiah, in his reform of the public administration, Neh 5:15.

Hanani, which qualified him to be ruler over Jerusalem, Neh. 7:2.

Job, according to the testimony of Satan, Job 1:8.

David, Ps 5:7; 119:38.

Hezekiah in treatment of prophet Micah - prophesied evil against Jerusalem, Je 26:19.

Jonah, in the storm, Jonah 1:9.

The Jews, in obeying the voice of the Lord, Hag 1:12.

Levi, in receiving the covenant of life and peace, Hag. 1:5.

The women at the sepulcher, Matt. 28:8.

Cornelius, who feared God with all his house, Acts 10:2.

Cultivated -Ex. 3:5; Ex. 19:12, 13; Heb 12:18-24

Guilty -Job 15:20-25; Job 18:11; Pr. 1:24-27; Pr 10:24; Da 5:6; Jas. 2:19

Instances of Guilty Fear: Adam and Eve, Ge 3:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

The guards at Jesus' tomb, Matt. 28:4.

Judas, Matt. 27:3, 4, 5.

Devils, Jas. 2:19.

A Motive of Obedience

Lev. 19:14, 32; Lev. 25:17, 36, 43; Num. 32:15; Dt. 6:13, 14, 15; 7:4; 8:5, 6; 10:12, 13, 20; 13:4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; 14:23; 15:9; 17:11, 12, 13; 19:16, 17, 18, 19, 20; 21:18, 19, 20, 21; 28:14-68; 31:11, 12, 13 Josh 23:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. 1Sa 12:24, 25; Job 13:21; Job 31:1, 2, 3, 4, 13-15, 23; Pr. 16:6; Isa. 1:20; Jer. 4:4; 22:5; Mt 10:28 Lk 12:4, 5. 2Co 5:10, 11; 2Ti 4:1, 2; 2Pet. 3:10, 11, 12; Re 14:9, 10