Repent and Turn

Jerusalem of Gold

Repent and Turn

I don't believe Jesus/Yeshua predominantly spoke Greek. I believe He would have predominantly spoken Hebrew, because He was a Jew. Like Jewish people today in the close quarters of the Middle East, he would have almost certainly known other languages. But the New Testament is written in Greek precisely and only because GOD allowed it. This was so that the news of the Messiah would spread to the Gentile world. Jews have been waiting for the Messiah for thousands of years; it's in our prayers, literature, art and songs. It was the Greek/Hellenistic world that needed to learn that there even was such a concept.


The first public preaching word out of the Messiah's mouth in the New Testament is "Repent." (Matthew 4.17) This is also the same first public preaching word out of John the Baptist's mouth. (Matthew 3.2)


In Greek "repent" has been written down as "metanoya."


In Hebrew it is the word: "Nacham". Nacham means: to change one's mind, be grieved, repent. Yeshua would have known His Hebrew and known with exquisite perfection that Hebrew words share roots.


Nacham (repent) shares the same root as:


Nocham: which means 'compassion'

Nachum: which means 'console'

Nachama: which means 'comfort'


So the Hebrew word for repent literally comes with God’s compassion, consolation and comfort built into it. That understanding really helps me to repent on a daily basis, because His Compassion and Comfort are waiting immediately the other side of that sometimes painful process.


The second Hebrew word for repent is 'shoov'. It means: "to turn back, to be returned, carry back, brought again" and means a relationship is restored.


This is a life-pounding-run-across-a-desert-word, like our life depended on it. This is because the first time it is used in the Hebrew Scriptures is when Moses the shepherd "turns", travels to the other side of the desert, sees the burning bush, encounters God and becomes a changed man with a profound and historic mission to save the Hebrew people from slavery. There are no empty or weak words in the Hebrew language for "repent", the Messiah's first public word. The Hebrew word for 'repent' also means to 'carry back'. The second we repent His loving arms are right there to pick us up and carry us back on track.


In the Jewish faith, when we ask the LORD to forgive us, it is called "doing te-shoov-ah", literally meaning "to do turning back" before God's face. Even today, the Hebrew word for "before" in the modern Hebrew language literally means "to the face of" and is the same word used in the Biblical scriptures. You can't come before God in the Hebrew and not look Him in the eye and He in yours! It would be a contradiction in terms in the Hebrew language. We cannot repent unless we turn fully around from our sin and look at Him deeply face-to-face. Although that honesty with our Holy Creator initially can be very painful, His face is where you will find the universe's most powerful eyes of Compassion, Consoling and Comfort. Repent and Turn.


For further reading on Making Amends from a Hebrew perspective please click here.




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