A word covering several biblical ideas that range from regret to changing one’s mind or behavior so as to bring about a moral or ethical conversion. Thus in the OT God can repent in the sense of regret (1Sam 15:11). The most important aspect of OT repentance, however, is contained in the Hebrew word shub, which expresses the idea of turning back, retracing one’s steps in order to return to the right way. Repentance is often a national phenomenon involving fasting, lamentation, and the confession of sin to purge the nation of collective guilt. The prophets, however, complained about repentance that was merely cultic or liturgical, insisting rather on interior conversion (Mic 6:6-8) or the enactment of social justice (Amos 4:6; Amos 4:8; Amos 4:9; Amos 4:10; Amos 4:11; Amos 5:21-24; Isa 1:10-17; Isa 58:5-7). Ezekiel emphasizes individual responsibility (Ezek 3:16-21, Ezek 18, Ezek 33:10-20). In the NT the concept of repentance includes the idea of changing one’s mind or coming to a new way of thinking, but this must be authenticated though demonstrable acts (Matt 3:9-10). The distinctive aspect in the NT is that the call for repentance is connected to the imminent arrival of God’s kingdom and the coming of the Messiah (Matt 3:2; Matt 11-12:2; Matt 4:17; Matt 10:8; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 3:15-17). A decision for or against Jesus signifies a choice for or against repentance (Matt 11:20-24; Matt 12:41-42).

1Sam 15:11

11“I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands.” Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the Lor ... View more

Mic 6:6-8

What God Requires
6“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year ... View more

Amos 4:6

Israel Rejects Correction
6I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

Amos 4:8

8so two or three towns wandered to one town
to drink water, and were not satisfied;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

Amos 4:9

9I struck you with blight and mildew;
I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards;
the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees;
yet you did not ret ... View more

Amos 4:10

10I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt;
I killed your young men with the sword;
I carried away your horses;
and I made the stench of your cam ... View more

Amos 4:11

11I overthrew some of you,
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
and you were like a brand snatched from the fire;
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lo ... View more

Amos 5:21-24

21I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will ... View more

Isa 1:10-17

10Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!11What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
sa ... View more

Isa 58:5-7

5Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fas ... View more

Ezek 3:16-21

16At the end of seven days, the word of the Lord came to me:17Mortal, I have made you a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth ... View more

Ezek 18

Individual Retribution
1The word of the Lord came to me:2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour ... View more

Ezek 33:10-20

God's Justice and Mercy
10Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away bec ... View more

Matt 3:9-10

9Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.10Even no ... View more

Matt 3:2

2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Matt 11-12:2

1Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.Messengers from John the ... View more

Matt 4:17

17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Matt 10:8

8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

Mark 1:14-15

The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,15and saying, “The time is fulfill ... View more

Luke 3:15-17

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,16John answered all of t ... View more

Matt 11:20-24

Woes to Unrepentant Cities
20Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent.21“Woe to you, ... View more

Matt 12:41-42

41The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something ... View more

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