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Jonah 3. The Ninevites Repent at the Preaching of Jonah.— When the prophet is bidden a second time to carry God’ s message to Nineveh, he knows that it is useless to disobey. Accordingly he takes the tidings that in forty days Nineveh will be destroyed. So huge was the city that three days would be spent in passing through it. Jonah advances one day’ s journey into the city and then announces its doom. His message meets with instant belief from the whole of the Ninevites. The king leaves his throne, strips off his royal robes, and sits in sackcloth and ashes. A great fast is proclaimed for man and beast, and all alike are covered in sackcloth. They cry fervently to God, and turn from their evil ways and the violence of their hands, in hope that God will repent of His fierce anger. And in consequence of their penitence they are not destroyed. It was probably a secondary aim of the book to show that predictive prophecy was not absolute but conditional.
Jonah 3:4 . LXX reads “ Yet three days.” Several accept this, but probably MT is original. After this verse Winckler inserts Jonah 4:5. This may be correct, since we should expect Jonah not to wait for the fortieth day in the city, but to leave it earlier.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jonah 3". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25