I have often debated the question as to whether or not God can change His mind. The NASB is translated in Amos 7 v3,6 as The Lord changed His mind about this. The KJV translates as repented. NLT as relented. Any thoughts?

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    You may also be interested in the negotiation between God and Abraham in Gen. 18.
    – user2672
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:36
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    As for this question, it may be good to clarify what kind of answer you're looking for. For the viewpoints of different denominations, there are the sister sites Mi Yodeya and Christianity. Here, we could for example answer what the original audience might have thought. For more info, see the help center. Welcome to the site!
    – user2672
    Apr 8, 2018 at 20:39
  • Does this answer your question? Numbers 23:19 Says God doesn't repent, Exodus 32:14 Says He repented?
    – Michael16
    Sep 1, 2023 at 13:56

2 Answers 2


This interesting questions would deserve more than a synthetic response like this. In on a famous occasion, the Creator IEUE stirred up the prophet Balaam to express a fundamental truth about Him: "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent (נחם): hath he said, and shall he not do it? [...]" (Num 23:19; Webster). Apparently, this truth seems to be a contrast with the various Bible passages saying 'God did repent/regret' over this or that thing (and Amo 7:3, 6 is one of these passages)...

Neglecting the sniggering smiles of unbelievers (that we feel fill the air around us [the assonance is wanted]) we have to reason that God utilizes with men some communication ways which permit men to understand spiritual truth. One of this method is anthropomorphism, that is, to illustrate solid truths tailoring them (or, better, the way to communicate these truth) to the common men's experience. So, we find - in the Bible - that God possesses 'eyes', 'arms', 'feet', 'fingers', and so on...

Then, we have to understand - on the basis of the global Bible context (along with the observation of the creative works of God himself) - what is an anthropomorphism and what is not. We believers know that God is not a man (= a material ens) but is a spirit (= a non-material ens) [compare, please Joh 4:24]. So, the references to some material body parts of God (like those cited above) must be intended just as anthropomorphisms.

In conclusion, even if this argument deserves more space - like I say yet before - the repenting/regretting of God is an anthropomorphism, too. In what sense? We may find an application of this conclusion in the M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopædia, that comments: “God himself is said to repent [na·chamʹ, feel regret]; but this can only be understood of his altering his conduct towards his creatures, either in the bestowing of good or infliction of evil—which change in the divine conduct is founded on a change in his creatures; and thus, speaking after the manner of men, God is said to repent.” (1894, Vol. VIII, p. 1042)

  • This kind of interpertaions is determenizm. With this approach you basiclly say that we can't control our destiny wich give us God. So if god decide to breing fire on a place nothing can change his/her mind. Read Gen 18 25: השופט כל הארץ לא יעשה משפט?
    – A. Meshu
    May 19, 2018 at 13:45
  • My answer has no bearing on determinism, or on a preordained destiny. Throughout the Bible we may see that God will fulfill His original purpose to have a universal family of Him, under His Sovereignty (from Gen 3:15 until to Rev 21:1-8, through 1Cor 15:27, 28). Inside this frame we are able to make our choices. Moreover, we may ask God to change his mind regards some our particular needs, like Lot made, requesting God to spare the town of Zoar. (Gen 19:20). But, Lot, too, didn't dare to ask God to spare Sodom (it would have been more comfortable for him leave not his estate). May 19, 2018 at 19:37
  • Lot did know that a request of this kind would have been inadmissible from God's viewpoint, beyond His purpose I've cited before. Only for the sake of correctness, your quote of Gen 18:25 is off-track. In fact, the Hebrew phrase you cited means "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Webster), which has no bearing on the argument you support. May 19, 2018 at 19:47
  • Every translation is interpertation. משפט can be understood as "jude my act before i make something and maybe change my mind " ( and actually this what abraham advice god there). Anyway i give up. Enjoy the rep (-:
    – A. Meshu
    May 19, 2018 at 20:20

Of course god can change his/her mind. Just read the bible. If you reach to animal sacrificing - close your eyes and think: what is the basic princepel / purpose of this action? That god will change his mind..

  • Your answer is superficial. Granted, God, in many instances, changes his mind (like in Amos). But, in every case, the Bible itself says (in Numbers) He doesn't change his mind. So, is inadeguate to say 'read the Bible' without provide some evidences. May 19, 2018 at 13:10
  • Wasn't the subject was whether or not God CAN change His mind? @Saro Fedele
    – A. Meshu
    May 19, 2018 at 13:33
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    If the subject was 'Does God can change his mind?' the Bible answer were 'Yes' and 'No'. Since Paul R. Jones seems to search for an harmonious and global view of this Bible topic I think it is necessary - in this case - to explain both sides of the coin. May 19, 2018 at 13:58

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