וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יוֹנָה שֵׁנִית לֵאמֹר׃ 3:1
Jona. 3:1 Then the word of the Lord occurred to Jonah again saying,
קוּם לֵךְ אֶל־נִינְוֵה הָעִיר הַגְּדֹולָה וִּקְרָא אֵלֶיהָ אֶת־הַקְּרִיאָה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי דֹּבֵר אֵלֶיךָ׃ 3:2
Jona. 3:2 “Rise up, go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim to it the proclamation that I will be speaking to you.”
וַיָּקָם יֹונָה וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל־נִינְוֶה כִּדְבַר יְהוָה וְנִינְוֵה הָיְתָה עִיר־גְּדֹולָה לֵאלֹהִים מַהֲלַךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים׃ 3:3
Jona. 3:3 Then Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an important city to God, a journey of three days.
This was not the distance to Nineveh, which was much farther away, but the size of the city. This is corroborated by the next verse. A three-day journey on foot would likely be about 20 to 30 miles. I wonder how Jonah got to Nineveh and how long it took him. He must have been several hundred miles from the the city. This fact lends support to the thought that this story is a parable or an allegory.
וַיָּחֶל יֹונָה לָבֹוא בָעִיר מַהֲלַךְ יֹום אֶחָד וַיִּקְרָא וַיֹּאמַר עֹוד אַרְבָּעִים יֹום וְנִינְוֵה נֶהְפָּכֶת׃ 3:4
Jona. 3:4 When Jonah had begun to go in to the city a walk of one day, then he proclaimed, and he said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
וַיַּאֲמִינוּ אַנְשֵׁי נִינְוֵה בֵּאלֹהִים וַיִּקְרְאוּ־צֹום וַיִּלְבְּשׁוּ שַׂקִּים מִגְּדֹולָם וְעַד־קְטַנָּם׃ 3:5
Jona. 3:5 And the men of Nineveh trusted in God, and they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloths, from their most important and to their least important.
וַיִּגַּע הַדָּבָר אֶל־מֶלֶךְ נִינְוֵה וַיָּקָם מִכִּסְאֹו וַיַּעֲבֵר אַדַּרְתֹּו מֵעָלָיו וַיְכַס שַׂק וַיֵּשֶׁב עַל־הָאֵפֶר׃ 3:6
Jona. 3:6 When the word reached to the king of Nineveh, then he rose from his throne and put away his cloak from himself and spread sackcloth over and sat on ashes.
וַיַּזְעֵק וַיֹּאמֶר בְּנִינְוֵה מִטַּעַם הַמֶּלֶךְ וּגְדֹלָיו לֵאמֹר הָאָדָם וְהַבְּהֵמָה הַבָּקָר וְהַצֹּאן אַל־יִטְעֲמוּ 3:7 מְאוּמָה אַל־יִרְעוּ* וּמַיִם אַל־יִשְׁתּוּ׃
Jona. 3:7 And he proclaimed and had said throughout Nineveh by decree of the king and his most important men saying, “Let no person or beast, nor herd or flock, taste anything, let not feed, or drink water,
וְיִתְכַּסּוּ שַׂקִּים הָאָדָם וְהַבְּהֵמָה וְיִקְרְאוּ אֶל־אֱלֹהִים בְּחָזְקָה וְיָשֻׁבוּ אִישׁ מִדַּרְכֹּו הָרָעָה וּמִן־הֶחָמָס 3:8 אֲשֶׁר בְּכַפֵּיהֶם׃
Jona. 3:8 but let the person and the beast be covered with sackcloths and cry out mightily to God, and let every one turn away from his way of evil and from the violence that is in their hands.”
מִי־יֹודֵעַ יָשׁוּב וְנִחַם הָאֱלֹהִים וְשָׁב מֵחֲרֹון אַפֹּו וְלֹא נֹאבֵד׃ 3:9
Jona. 3:9 “Who is knowing whether He Who is God will repent and turn, and turn away from the heat of His ‘anger,’ and we would not perish!”
We see again and again in the bible that many non-Jews are more heeding of the Lord’s words than we Jews. What will it take?
וַיַּרְא הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת־מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם כִּי־שָׁבוּ מִדַּרְכָּם הָרָעָה וַיִּנָּחֶם הָאֱלֹהִים עַל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר 3:10 לַעֲשֹׂות־לָהֶם וְלֹא עָשָׂה׃
Jona. 3:10 When He Who is God saw their actions, that they turned away from their ways of evil, then He Who is God repented concerning the evil that He had threatened to do to them, and did not do. [Return to Psal. 11:7]
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