Re: Fear of the Lord
- The transliterated Septuagint text reads: arkhe sophias phobos kuriou.: Wisdom's beginning, Lord's fear (literally).
The etymology of phobos:
DEFINITION: To run. 1. beck, from Old Norse bekkr, a stream, from Germanic *bakjaz, a stream. 2. -phobe, -phobia, from Greek phobos, panic, flight, fear, from phebesthai, to flee in terror.
I consulted the Anchor Bible volume which includes this psalm, and from comments on the various uses of the Hebrew words found not only in this particular one, but as found elsewhere, the indications are that a good paraphrase would be: Awe/reverence of Yahweh is the essence/sum of wisdom. From the context of speaking of the wondrous acts of God in creation and in human history, awe/reverence fits better than fear, and essence/sum is more precise than beginning. Wisdom is often used (in the next line, for instance) as a parallel synonym for understanding. The Hebrew term is used in much the same fashion as a 'personalized' Sophia or Logos is used in Greek.
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