In Judges 3:9 we read:
“When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.” [NJKV]
Several times in judges we come across this word in a similar context (3:15; 6:6, 7; 10:10)
The word ‘cried’ is יִּזְעֲק֤וּ (ἐκέκραξαν in the LXX). ‘Cried’ seems to the standard translation across most mainstream English translations (KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NET etc).
My question is, in context does the verb זעק simply denote crying out to God in distress/ anguish or does it denote repentance?
There are places in scripture where ‘cried’ is linked with repentance:
Judges 10:10 "And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against You, because we have both forsaken our God and served the Baals!"[NKJV]
1 Samuel 12:10 "Then they cried out to the LORD, and said,`We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.'"[NKJV]
However in both these verses there is another verb associated with the crying out, the admit to having ‘sinned’ (חטא). To me that suggests that this verb on its own should be understood as a cry of distress/ anguish rather than a cry of repentance.