Jonah 3:6-10

The People of Nineveh Repent

6 The word reached[a] the king of Nineveh, and 1he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, 2and sat in ashes.
7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, 3"By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor 4beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,
8 but let man and 5beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. 6Let everyone turn from his evil way and from 7the violence that is in his hands.
9 8Who knows? God may turn and relent 9and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish."
10 When God saw what they did, 10how they turned from their evil way, 11God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Jonah 3:6-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JONAH 3

This chapter gives an account of the renewal of Jonah's message to Nineveh, and of his faithful execution of it, Jon 3:1-4; and of the fruit and effect of it, the conversion of the Ninevites, their faith in God, repentance of their sins, and reformation from them, Jon 3:5-9; and of God's approbation thereof, by revoking the sentence he had pronounced upon them, Jon 3:10.

Jonah 3:6-10 In-Context

4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"
5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.
6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,
8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.
9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish."
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

Cross References 11

  • 1. [Job 1:20; Ezekiel 26:16]
  • 2. Job 2:8
  • 3. [Daniel 6:26]
  • 4. [Jonah 4:11; Psalms 36:6; Joel 1:18, 20]
  • 5. [See ver. 7 above]
  • 6. Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 36:3
  • 7. Isaiah 59:6
  • 8. 2 Samuel 12:22; Joel 2:14
  • 9. Psalms 85:3
  • 10. [Jeremiah 18:8]
  • 11. [Jeremiah 18:8]

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.