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Jonah 3:1-9 (The Message)

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1 Next, God spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 "Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They're in a bad way and I can't ignore it any longer." 3 This time Jonah started off straight for Nineveh, obeying God's orders to the letter. 4 Jonah entered the city, went one day's walk and preached, "In forty days Nineveh will be smashed." 5 The people of Nineveh listened, and trusted God. They proclaimed a citywide fast and dressed in burlap to show their repentance. Everyone did it - rich and poor, famous and obscure, leaders and followers. 6 When the message reached the king of Nineveh, he got up off his throne, threw down his royal robes, dressed in burlap, and sat down in the dirt. 7 Then he issued a public proclamation throughout Nineveh, authorized by him and his leaders: "Not one drop of water, not one bite of food for man, woman, or animal, including your herds and flocks! 8 Dress them all, both people and animals, in burlap, and send up a cry for help to God. Everyone must turn around, turn back from an evil life and the violent ways that stain their hands. 9 Who knows? Maybe God will turn around and change his mind about us, quit being angry with us and let us live!"
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