The instance of repent in Deuteronomy 32:36 means to be sorry or console oneself.
nacham: to be sorry, console oneself
Original Word: נָחַם
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (naw-kham’)
Definition: to be sorry, console oneself
For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent (5162) himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left – Deuteronomy 32:36
Let’s look at the scriptures in context.
28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. 29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! 30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? 31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. 32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: 33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? 35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. 36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. 37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, 38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection. 39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. 40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever – Deuteronomy 32:28-40
God’s chosen people were in rebellion to Him. Even though God has delivered them numerous times, they still murmered and moaned about their calamities. Even though they were grateful to God, they continued to turn back to their idols. Moses was telling Israel of the wrath that God wanted to throw on His people. However, Moses had reminded God in the scriptures that Israel were His chosen people, and God was right to judge them, but was sorry (repent) after hearing Moses remind Him of his covenant with Israel. For the sake of his servant, Moses, He obeyed his plea. Yes, Israel were trusting in their own idols, their own ‘rock’, and yet God was angry with them that His people did not trust Him as their sole protection, their rock.