John MacArthur Study Bible
The overarching theme of this book and particularly the first 9 chapters is introduced—reverence for God (see v. 29; 2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:26, 27; cf. also Job 28:28; Ps 34:11; Ac 9:31). See Introduction: Historical and Theological Themes. This reverential awe and admiring, submissive fear is foundational for all spiritual knowledge and wisdom (cf. 2:4–6; 9:10; 15:33; Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; Ecc 12:13). While the unbeliever may make statements about life and truth, he does not have true or ultimate knowledge until he is in a redemptive relationship of reverential awe with God. Note the progression here: 1) teaching about God; 2) learning about God; 3) fearing God; 4) knowing God; and 5) imitating God’s wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s (cf. Ps 42:1).