and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned.
if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.
but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned.
But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them.
If, in that very minute, that nation of which I was talking is turned away from its evil, my purpose of doing evil to them will be changed.
but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it.
"if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “turns from its wickedness.”
2 tn There is a good deal of debate about how the word translated here “revoke” should be translated. There is a good deal of reluctance to translate it “change my mind” because some see that as contradicting Num 23:19 and thus prefer “relent.” However, the English word “relent” suggests the softening of an attitude but not necessarily the change of course. It is clear that in many cases (including here) an actual change of course is in view (see, e.g., Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9; Jer 26:19; Exod 13:17; 32:14). Several of these passages deal with “conditional” prophecies where a change in behavior of the people or the mediation of a prophet involves the change in course of the threatened punishment (or the promised benefit). “Revoke” or “forgo” may be the best way to render this in contemporary English idiom.
sn There is a wordplay here involving the word “evil” (רָעָה, ra’ah) which refers to both the crime and the punishment. This same play is carried further in Jonah 3:10-4:1 where Jonah becomes very displeased (Heb “it was very evil to Jonah with great evil”) when God forgoes bringing disaster (evil) on Nineveh because they have repented of their wickedness (evil).