Re: "Repentance" in Mt. 27:3

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Sat Feb 15 1997 - 10:06:39 EST

At 08:46 PM 2/12/97 -0500, Thomas Biddy wrote:

> Book of Matthew ( KJV )
> 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was
> condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of
> silver to the chief priests and elders,
> 3 tote idwn ioudas ho paradidous auton oti katekriqh metamelhqeis
> apestreyen ta triakonta arguria tois arciereusin kai tois presbuterois
>I would appreciate a better understanding of what Judas was doing. Was
>it repentance or remorse?

Hi, Thomas,

Zerwick says that the verb metamelomai means literally "change what one has
at heart (MELEI)". Louw and Nida give two senses for the verb:

25.270 METAMELOMAI: to feel regret as the result of what one has done - 'to
regret, to feel sad about, to feel sorry because of.' hOTI EI KAI ELUPHSA
hUMAS EN THi EPISTOLHi, OU METAMELOMAI 'for even if that letter of mine made
you sad, I do not regret (having written it)' or 'for even if I made you
sade by my letter...' 2 Cor 7.8.

31.59 METAMELOMAI: to change one's mind about something, with the probable
implication of regret - 'to change one's mind, to thik differently.' hUMEIS
this, you did not change your minds later on and believe him' Mt 21.32;
hWMOSEN KURIOS, KAI OU METAMELHQHSETAI 'the Lord has made a vow and will not
change his mind' He 7.21.

So the verb itself can mean both repentance ("change one's mind") and
remorse ("feel regret"). Let's look to the context: Judas not only felt
remorse, he also changed his mind and wanted to return the money.


Jonathan Robie
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