Jonah 3:5-9

5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.
8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.
9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

Jonah 3:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
ESV
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.
NLT
5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.
MSG
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.
CSB
5 The men of Nineveh believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth-from the greatest of them to the least.

Jonah 3:5-9 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 3:5-9 In-Context

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.
4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.
8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.
9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Cross References 11

  • 1. Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21; Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:32
  • 2. Esther 4:1-3; S Job 2:8,13; S Ezekiel 27:30-31
  • 3. S 2 Chronicles 20:3; S Ezra 10:6
  • 4. Psalms 130:1; John 1:6
  • 5. Jeremiah 25:5
  • 6. Jeremiah 7:3
  • 7. S Job 16:17
  • 8. 2 Samuel 12:22
  • 9. S Jeremiah 18:8
  • 10. S Joel 2:14
  • 11. S Psalms 85:3
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