Jonah 3

Jonah goes to Nineveh

1 The Lord spoke to Jonah a second time. 2 He said, ‘Now go to that great city, Nineveh. Tell the people there the message that I will give to you.’

3 Jonah obeyed the Lord and he went to Nineveh.

Nineveh was a very large city. Somebody would need three days to walk all through it.

4 When Jonah arrived in Nineveh, he walked for one day into the city. Then he shouted out to the people, ‘After 40 more days, God will destroy Nineveh.’

3:4Jonah may have said more than these few words when he spoke God's message to the people in Nineveh.

5 The people who lived in Nineveh believed God's message. They told everyone that they must not eat any food for several days. Everyone had to wear sackcloth to show that they were sorry. The most important people and the ordinary people all did that.

6 The king of Nineveh heard about God's message. He got up from his throne and he removed his royal clothes. He dressed himself in sackcloth and he sat in ashes on the ground.

7 Then the king sent this message to all the people in Nineveh. He said, ‘This command comes from the king and his officers. No person or any of your animals may eat any food or drink any water. 8 Everyone must wear sackcloth. You must cover all your animals with sackcloth too. Everyone must pray to God with all their strength. You must all stop doing bad and cruel things. 9 Then perhaps God may agree to forgive us. He may decide that he will not be angry with us. Then perhaps we will not all die.’

10 God saw what the people in Nineveh did. He saw that they stopped doing evil things. He had said that he would punish them for their sins. But now he decided that he would not destroy them.