Jonah 3 – THE goodness of the character of God comes out in a way that all can easily see in the case of Nineveh. A large city given over to wicked life, like all large cities (and small ones, too, for the matter of that) is threatened with destruction in forty days. The occupant of the throne hears the threat (proclaimed by Jonah); orders and takes part in a fast and humiliation in which all the citizens join. Their penitence moves Jehovah to pity, and He suspends the execution of the sentence, to the mortification of Jonah, who feels he will be personally discredited as the herald of a vengeance that never came – an incident by the way which is one among hundreds which prove the genuineness of the narrative, for an inventor writing to sustain the credit of the prophets, would never have invented such a story.
ROBERT ROBERTS, Seasons of Comfort, page 70.
3And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 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. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.