In Hebrew the word for ‘repent’ is shuv and means ‘to repent and turn away, ‘to turn back’ or ‘return.’ This word is found over 400 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Teshuvah, is the Hebrew word for ‘repentance’ and means ‘a return to righteousness.’
“Men are to return from ‘sin,’ which is a path, a life-style, or act deviating from that which God has marked out. They should depart from sin, be concerned about it, confess it …” (Vines Expository Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words).
““Make the heart of this people [sluggish with] fat, stop up their ears, and shut their eyes. Otherwise, seeing with their eyes, and hearing with their ears, then understanding with their hearts, they might repent and be healed!” (Isaiah 6:10).
“For this is what Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Isra’el, says: “Returning [teshuvah] and resting is what will save you; calmness and confidence will make you strong — but you want none of this!” (Isaiah 30:15).
“With a winnowing fork I am scattering them to the wind at the gates of the land; I am bereaving them, destroying my people, because they will not return [teshuvah] from their ways” (Jeremiah 15:7).
Yeshua and Sha’ul use the same Hebrew concept of ‘returning’ or ‘turning from sin’ when they speak about repentance. Sha’ul taught this concept not only in Jerusalem and Judea, but also to the gentile nations.
“Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” (Matthew 3:2).
“But I prayed for you, Shim‘on, that your trust might not fail. And you, once you have turned back in repentance, strengthen your brothers!” (Luke 22:32)
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy among God’s angels when one sinner repents [returns]” (Luke 15:10).
“On the contrary, I announced first in Dammesek, then in Yerushalayim and throughout Y’hudah, and also to the Goyim, that they should turn from their sins to God and then do deeds consistent with that repentance“ (Acts 26:20).
Hebrew Word Pictures
ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’
ש Shin – A Tooth means ‘consume’ or ‘destroy.’
ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’
ב Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’
ה Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for teshuvah: sign destroying the binding house revealed.
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