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Deep feelings of sorrow arising from past events now seen as sins, mistakes or misfortunes. It can either lead to true repentance or destructive bitterness.

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Examples and expressions of regret

1 Samuel 26:21 NASB95
Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error.”
See also ; Aaron and Miriam when they had spoken against Moses; ; Jephthah when he returned home from fighting the Ammonites

David when he counted the fighting men:

Ahab after he murdered Naboth and seized his vineyard; ; Peter when he disowned Jesus Christ; Judas after betraying Jesus Christ

Divine expressions of regret

Genesis 6:6 NASB95
The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
See also ; ;

Actions which may lead to regret


The bitterness of vain regrets

There is no remedy for bitter regrets

Hebrews 12:16–17 NASB95
that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
See also ; ; ; ; ;

The unending remorse of the lost

Daniel 12:2 NASB95
“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
See also ; ; ; ; ;

Regret is an element of true repentance

2 Corinthians 7:8–10 NASB95
For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while— I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
See also ; ; Josiah’s response on finding the Book of the Law; ; ; ; ; ; ; the repentance of Nineveh; ; the prodigal son;

Absence of regret

Sinning without shame

; ;

When the wicked die

2 Chronicles 21:20 NASB95
He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years; and he departed with no one’s regret, and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

At the end of life


In God’s new creation

Isaiah 65:17–19 NASB95
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness. “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.
See also ;
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