[quote="dronald, post:1, topic:327565"]
Hey guys, I'm having troubles comprehending a couple of Scriptures and was hoping for some clarification:
Genesis 6:6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 1 sam 15:10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel:11 "I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.
God would have known that these events would have taken place so I question why God uses the word, "regret" to describe His feelings towards the situation. It's almost as if He wishes He wouldn't have done things the way He did. As if, if God could go back He would go back and change things. This of course is not true, but that's how I often read the word, "regret." Thanks in advance!
Keep in mind that the text is in translation. For close reading, I would recommend a concordance. :)
Biblical Hebrew has much smaller vocuabulary than English. This produces two results.
One, as mentioned previously, is the use of human concepts to describe the abstract. Genesis 6:6: says that man's wickedness "grieved Him at His heart," but God doesn't have, or need a heart.
The second result is that words often have layered, highly nuanced meanings. Where you read "regret" (nacham) in Genesis 6:6 and 1 Samuel 15:10 can be translated in several ways, and definitions can vary even when the essential meaning is the same:
Properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself):—comfort (self), ease [one's self], repent (-er, -ing, self).
There might be room to interpret these verses as describing God's "pity" instead of his "regret."