You are here: Home >> Salvation, Sin and Judgment >> The issue of Repentance >> Repentance Title Page

What about "Repentance"
in the Old Testament?


  1. The Old Testament Hebrew word related to repentance has a broader focus than the New Testament Greek word. Though the idea of "repentance from sin" is often present, the word is more frequently used in reference to a person changing his actions ("repenting") for other reasons.
  2. In the Old Testament sense, a person can change his actions because he has compassion or pity on someone who has been affected by those actions - even though the actions, themselves, are not wrong. He can also change his actions, when the circumstances requiring those actions have changed.
  3. In this sense, even God can "repent." He can change his actions toward people, when their actions (and attitudes) have changed toward him. He can bring judgment upon a nation, when it rebels against him... yet later, if that nation turns back to him, he can "repent" by taking away the judgment and replacing it with blessings.
  4. In the New Testament, the word "repentance" is used in this broader sense, in Hebrews 12:17.
  5. [NOTE: Sometimes there may be a greater focus on the change of mind, rather than the change of action. This could be a change to a "positive" state of mind (related to comfort and encouragement). Or it could be a change to a "negative" state of mind (related to sorrow, regret and pity) - comparable to the word "remorse," which is examined in a separate part of this study.]

Dennis Hinks © 2001

Back to the REPENTANCE title page