If God is All-Knowing (as I've heard) and unable to change, then why did he change his mind after the Flood?

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (KJV, Genesis 8.21)

  • Um, (a)What mistakes other than the single one mentioned? When you bring up the correct Exodus one, I'll listen. (b) Why does God change? How do you know it isn't people's perception of God that changes? c) Who preaches that our God will not "change for us"? Jul 9, 2013 at 17:38
  • d) You've gone from impassability (that God doesn't change) to questioning original sin - Not that I mind the question, but I do mind bringing up so many in a single question. This question reads like a rant, not a request to get real info. Jul 9, 2013 at 17:39
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    This is not a rant. Look around online; everywhere I read they are always saying God is All-Knowing, Never changing, etc etc. My problem is that the way the Bible is written seems to contradict itself and what others say about it. The way that quote reads, it seems that God made a genuine mistake. Now that could not be the case if he is all-knowing and all powerful and all-everything and is perfect in every way. It suggests to me that he did not know that what he created was imperfect. That means he is not all-knowing, that means that he is not perfect.
    – jay_t55
    Jul 9, 2013 at 17:43
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    The one viable question I see is this: "If God is all-knowing and unable to change, why does he change his mind after the Flood?" Everything else is simply too much. You are asking for a book and a lifetime's work - or else, you're ranting. Jul 9, 2013 at 17:48
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    Read this and let me know what you think. I have only just started to read it myself. faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/02-exodus/…
    – user900
    Jul 10, 2013 at 2:13

2 Answers 2


When we talk about God's attributes we can't assume He has the same characteristics as the human beings, because we have mortal bodies, limited languages and understanding and a sinful nature, while God is infinite, has a 100% sinless nature, infinite understanding, etc. So, when the bible talks about God's changes of mind, is probably because the author (Moses, for instance) couldn't express in a better way what he was receiving from God, using a limited language as the Hebrew.

It is an interesting question anyway.


Thomas Aquinas thoughts about God's nature, which was then adopted by Catholic Church, is that there exists a God's plan, which however is very general. A man can change his life, can do good or evil things, however he can't stop general God's plan. This is how free will is explained -- why would we need a free will if it is already determined what we will do?

I think that it is the same with the Flood. As Noah and his family had shown that they are able to follow God's plan, He "changed" His mind.

An interesting interview you can find here. One of the most important (for me) sayings is that we can't think about God and time together. So He can't change mind. Maybe, as Charlie said, it is just a word that the author put as it was the best in his culture.

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