Bible Devotions

Is the word “repent” scary to you?

on January 2, 2012

Sometimes the Bible uses words that may seem a little scary at first.  I wondered why this six letter word causes such a fright! So I grabbed an English dictionary to look up the word’s meaning. says it means to feel contrite or penitent (for). I don’t know about you, but that did not help me understand the word at all! Now, I could have looked up contrite and penitent but I didn’t.

Instead I reached for my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Bible Dictionary. I turned to page 935, found the word “repent.” I then found the verse, Mark 1:14, I saw the word in.  Next to it was the Greek reference G3340.

Turning to the Greek Dictionary in the back, I found G3340 has a quite different meaning.  Its Greek word is metanoeo which means to think different.

Now that’s a definition I can understand.  Next I wanted to know when the first time the word “repent” was used in the Bible. Guess what? God used it when referring to the Israelite’s “changing their minds” way back in Exodus 13:17!  The Hebrew word naham (H5162) meant to sign, to be sorry, to pity, console.

Now you know repent means to change your mind.  That’s not so scary after all, is it?

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3 responses to “Is the word “repent” scary to you?

  1. Elizabeth – great post! I love word studies and especially when it is the Word. 🙂

    Repent is a word we should embrace. I pray for Godly sorrow which produces repentance… Only then can we think differently about our sin. Amen?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks Deborah. Glad you enjoyed the word study. May you embrace the word repent for all it’s meant for according to God!

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