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The people of Nineveh believed and trusted in God; and they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the greatest even to the least of them. When word reached the king of Nineveh [of Jonah’s message from God], he rose from his throne, took off his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in the dust [in repentance]. He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: No man, animal, herd, or flock is to taste anything. They are not to eat or drink water.

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