10 When God saw their actions—that they turned from their evil way of living.[a]—God relented concerning the judgment[b] he had threatened them with[c] and did not destroy them.[d]
Jonah 3:10tnHeb “from their evil way” (so KJV, ASV, NAB); cf. NASB “wicked way.”
Jonah 3:10tnHeb “calamity” or “disaster.” The noun רָעָה (raʿah, “calamity, disaster”) functions as a metonymy of result—the cause being the threatened judgment (e.g., Exod 32:12, 14; 2 Sam 24:16; Jer 18:8; 26:13, 19; 42:10; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; HALOT 1263 s.v. רָעָה 6). The root רָעָה is repeated three times in vv. 8 and 10. Twice it refers to the Ninevites’ moral “evil” (vv. 8 and 10a), and here it refers to the “calamity” or “disaster” that the Lord had threatened (v. 10b). This repetition of the root forms a polysemantic wordplay that exploits this broad range of meanings of the noun. The wordplay emphasizes that God’s response was appropriate: because the Ninevites repented from their moral “evil,” God relented from the “calamity” he had threatened.
Jonah 3:10tnHeb “the disaster that he had spoken to do to them.”
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