Jonah 1:2

2 "Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me."

Jonah 1:2 Meaning and Commentary

Jonah 1:2

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city
That is, arise from the place where he was, and leave the business he was about, and prepare for a long journey to the place mentioned, and be as expeditious in it as possible. Nineveh was the metropolis of the Assyrian empire at this time; it was an ancient city built by Ashur, not by Nimrod; though he by some is said to go into Ashur or Assyria, and build it, ( Genesis 10:11 ) ; and called it after the name of his son Ninus; for it signifies the mansion or palace of Ninus; and by most profane writers is called Ninus; according to Diodorus Siculus F13, and Strabo {n}, it was built by Ninus himself in Assyria, in that part of it called by him Adiabena. It is said to be a great city, as it must, to be three days' journey in compass, and to have in it six score thousand infants, besides men and women, ( Jonah 3:3 ) ( 4:11 ) . It is allowed by Strabo


FOOTNOTES:

F15 to be larger than Babylon. Diodorus F16 says that it was in compass of sixty miles; and had a wall a hundred feet high, and so broad that three chariots or carriages might go abreast upon it; and it had, fifteen hundred towers, two hundred feet high. Aben Ezra calls it the royal city of Assyria, which is at this day destroyed; and the wise men of Israel, in the country of Greece, say it is called Urtia; but, whether so or not, he knew not: and cry against it;
or prophesy against it, as the Targum; he was to lift up his voice, and cry aloud, as he passed along in it, that the inhabitants might hear him; and the more to affect them, and to show that he was in earnest, and what he delivered was interesting to them, and of the greatest moment and importance: what he was to cry, preach, or publish, see ( Jonah 3:2 Jonah 3:4 ) ; for their wickedness is come up before me;
it was come to a very great height; it reached to the heavens; it was not only seen and known by the Lord, as all things are; but the cry of it was come up to him; it called aloud for vengeance, for immediate vengeance; the measure of it being filled up, and the inhabitants ripe for destruction; it was committed openly and boldly, with much impudence, in the sight of the Lord, as well as against him; and was no more to be suffered and connived at: it intends and includes their idolatry, bloodshed, oppression, rapine, fraud, and lying; see ( Jonah 3:8 ) ( Nahum 3:1 ) .
F13 Bibliothec. l 2. p. 92.
F14 Geograph. l. 16. p. 507.
F15 Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 16. p. 507.)
F16 Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 92.

Jonah 1:2 In-Context

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying,
2 "Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me."
3 But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep.