Sadly, experiencing unholy fear is part of the human experience because the world is filled with sin. The Bible instructs believers to fear God alone (e.g., Prov. 9:10), yet many are tempted to fear things like failure, other people, and potential problems related to relationships, finances, and health. This reality makes many people wonder how often the phrase “fear not” appears in the Bible.
The two-word phrase “fear not” appears 61 times in the King James Version of the Bible. Phrases like it (e.g., “fear ye not”) appear 31 more times. “Fear not” appears less in other translations like the NIV and NKJV because they render the Hebrew phrase with modern wording, like “do not be afraid.”
How many times does “fear not” occur in the Old Testament? How many times does it occur in the New? What book contains “fear not” the most? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Fear Not In the Old and New Testaments
The phrase “fear not” appears 57 times in the Old Testament of the King James Bible and 14 times in the New. It appears eight times in the Gospel of Luke, which is the most of any book, and seven times in Genesis and Isaiah.
The word “fear” (without “not”) appears 404 times in the King James Version, yet most of the time, it doesn’t appear with a prohibition (e.g., “not”).  For example, the word is used positively in 1 Peter 2:17, “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” (KJV).
Other forms of the word fear — e.g., feared, feareth, fearful, fearing, fears, and more — occurs hundreds of more times in the KJV.
“Fear Not” Occurs 61 Times in the King James Bible
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.
And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
“The worst evils of life are those which do not exist except in our imagination. If we had no troubles but real troubles, we should not have a tenth part of our present sorrows. We feel a thousand deaths in fearing one, but the (the Christian) cured of the disease of fearing.” – Charles Spurgeon
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:
And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.
And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
1 Samuel 4:20
And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.
1 Samuel 12:20
And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
“For the child of God, the primary meaning of the fear of God is veneration and honor, reverence and awe. It is the attitude that elicits from our hearts adoration and love, reverence and honor. It focuses not upon the wrath of God but upon the majesty, holiness, and transcendent glory of God.” – John Murray
1 Samuel 22:23
Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.
1 Samuel 23:17
And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.
2 Samuel 9:7
And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
2 Samuel 13:28
Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
1 Kings 17:13
And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
2 Kings 6:16
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
2 Kings 17:34
Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;
2 Kings 25:24
And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you.
1 Chronicles 28:20
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 20:17
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.
And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.
Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.
Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Fear Ye Not
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.
2 Kings 17:35
With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
2 Kings 17:37
And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.
Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.
For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.
The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Fear Him Not
And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
And the LORD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
Fear Them Not
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
Neither Shall the Fear
2 Kings 17:38
And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.
Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.
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