1The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:#Jnh 1:1 2“Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh#Zph 2:13–15 and preach#Jr 1:17; Ezk 2:7 the message that I tell you.” 3Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command.
Now Nineveh was an extremely great city,#3:3 Or was a great city to God#Gn 10:11–12; Jnh 1:2; 4:11 a three-day walk. 4Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed,#2Kg 18:26–28; Mt 12:41; Lk 11:32 “In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!” 5Then the people of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast#Dn 9:3; Jl 1:14 and dressed in sackcloth — from the greatest of them to the least.
6When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth,#1Kg 21:27; Est 4:1–4; Jr 6:26; Ezk 27:30–31 and sat in ashes. 7Then he issued a decree#2Ch 20:3; Ezr 8:21 in Nineveh:
By order of the king and his nobles: No person or animal, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. 8Furthermore, both people and animals must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God.#Ps 130:1; Jnh 1:6,14 Each must turn from his evil ways#Is 1:16–19; 55:6–7; Jr 18:11 and from his wrongdoing.#3:8 Or injustice, or violence 9Who knows?#2Sm 12:22; Jl 2:14 God may turn and relent; he may turn from his burning anger so that we will not perish.#Jr 18:7–8
10God saw their actions — that they had turned from their evil ways#1Kg 21:27–29; 2Kg 17:13; 2Ch 7:14; Jr 18:11; 31:18 — so God relented from the disaster#Ex 32:14; Am 7:3,6 he had threatened them with. And he did not do it.