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3:1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
3:7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

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Everything King James Bible:Jonah
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jonah
Book: Jonah
Chapter: 3

Jonah sent again to Nineveh, preaches there. (1-4) Nineveh is
spared upon the Repentance of the inhabitants. (5-10)

1-4 God employs Jonah again in his service. His making use of
us is an evidence of his being at peace with us. Jonah was not
disobedient, as he had been. He neither endeavoured to avoid
hearing the command, nor declined to obey it. See here the
nature of Repentance; it is the change of our mind and way, and
a return to our work and duty. Also, the benefit of affliction;
it brings those back to their place who had deserted it. See the
power of Divine Grace, for affliction of itself would rather
drive men from God, than draw them to him. God's servants must
go where he sends them, come when he calls them, and do what he
bids them; we must do whatever the Word of the Lord commands.
Jonah faithfully and boldly delivered his errand. Whether Jonah
said more, to show the Anger of God against them, or whether he
only repeated these words again and again, is not certain, but
this was the purport of his message. Forty days is a long time
for a righteous God to delay judgments, yet it is but a little
time for an unrighteous people to repent and reform in. And
should it not awaken us to get ready for Death, to consider that
we cannot be So sure that we shall live forty days, as Nineveh
then was that it should stand forty days? We should be alarmed
if we were sure not to live a Month, yet we are careless though
we are not sure to live a Day.

5-10 There was a wonder of Divine Grace in the Repentance and
reformation of Nineveh. It condemns the men of the Gospel
Generation, Mt 12:41. A very small degree of Light may
convince men that humbling themselves before God, confessing
their sins with Prayer, and turning from Sin, are means of
escaping wrath and obtaining Mercy. The people followed the
Example of the King. It became a national act, and it was
necessary it should be So, when it was to prevent a national
ruin. Let even the brute creatures' cries and moans for want of
Food remind their owners to cry to God. In Prayer we must cry
mightily, with fixedness of thought, firmness of Faith, and
devout affections. It concerns us in Prayer to stir up all that
is within us. It is not enough to Fast for Sin, but we must Fast
from Sin; and, in order to the success of our prayers, we must
No more regard iniquity in our hearts, Ps 66:18. The work of a
Fast-Day is not done with the Day. The Ninevites hoped that God
would turn from his fierce Anger; and that thus their ruin would
be prevented. They could not be So confident of finding Mercy
upon their Repentance, as we may be, who have the Death and
merits of Christ, to which we may trust for Pardon upon
Repentance. They dared not presume, but they did not despair.
Hope of Mercy is the great encouragement to Repentance and
reformation. Let us boldly cast ourselves down at the Footstool
of free Grace, and God will look upon us with compassion. God
sees who turn from their evil ways, and who do not. Thus he
spared Nineveh. We read of No sacrifices offered to God to make
Atonement for Sin; but a broken and a contrite Heart, such as
the Ninevites then had, he will not despise.

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