Jonah’s Preaching

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time:(A) “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh(B) and preach(C) the message that I tell you.” So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the Lord’s command.

Now Nineveh was an extremely large city,[a](D) a three-day walk.[b] Jonah set out on the first day of his walk in the city and proclaimed,(E) “In 40 days Nineveh will be demolished!” The men of Nineveh believed in God.[c] They proclaimed a fast(F) and dressed in sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least.

When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth,(G) and sat in ashes. Then he issued a decree(H) in Nineveh:

By order of the king and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, is to taste anything at all. They must not eat or drink water. Furthermore, both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth, and everyone must call out earnestly to God.(I) Each must turn from his evil ways(J) and from the violence[d] he is doing.[e] Who knows?(K) God may turn and relent; He may turn from His burning anger so that we will not perish.(L)

10 Then God saw their actions—that they had turned from their evil ways(M)—so God relented from the disaster(N) He had threatened to do to them. And He did not do it.


  1. Jonah 3:3 Or was a great city to God
  2. Jonah 3:3 Probably the time required to cover the city on foot
  3. Jonah 3:5 Or believed God
  4. Jonah 3:8 Or injustice
  5. Jonah 3:8 Lit violence in their hands