For word came to the king of Nineveh [of all that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God], and he arose from his throne and he laid his robe aside, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
When the message reached the king of Nineveh, he got up off his throne, threw down his royal robes, dressed in burlap, and sat down in the dirt. Then he issued a public proclamation throughout Nineveh, authorized by him and his leaders: “Not one drop of water, not one bite of food for man, woman, or animal, including your herds and flocks! Dress them all, both people and animals, in burlap, and send up a cry for help to God. Everyone must turn around, turn back from an evil life and the violent ways that stain their hands. Who knows? Maybe God will turn around and change his mind about us, quit being angry with us and let us live!”
The people of Nineveh told each other about this, until the news made it all the way to the king of Nineveh, who ruled the entire Assyrian Empire. The king changed from his royal robes to sackcloth, and instead of sitting up high on his throne, he sat down low in the dust.
And the word came to the king of Nineveh; and he rose off his seat, and casted away his clothing from him (and he rose up off his throne, and threw off his clothes), and was clothed with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
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