Jonah 3

The People of Nineveh Respond to Jonah’s Warning

3:1 The Lord said to Jonah1 a second time, 3:2 “Go immediately2 to Nineveh, that large city,3 and proclaim to4 it the message that I tell you.” 3:3 So Jonah went immediately to Nineveh, as the Lord had said. (Now Nineveh was an enormous city5 – it required three days to walk through it!)6 3:4 When Jonah began to enter the city one day’s walk, he announced, “At the end of forty days,7 Nineveh will be overthrown!”8

3:5 The people9 of Nineveh believed in God,10 and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.11 3:6 When the news12 reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes. 3:7 He issued a proclamation and said,13 “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: No human or animal, cattle or sheep, is to taste anything; they must not eat and they must not drink water. 3:8 Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly14 to God, and everyone15 must turn from their16 evil way of living17 and from the violence that they do.18 3:9 Who knows?19 Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent20 and turn from his fierce anger21 so that we might not die.”22 3:10 When God saw their actions – they turned23 from their evil way of living!24 – God relented concerning the judgment25 he had threatened them with26 and he did not destroy them.27

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