6.10 Jonah -- Nineveh's Response
God repeated His command to Jonah to go to Nineveh. This time, after a long hot shower and a change of robes, he went.
On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth (Jon 3:4-5).
I find this verse harder to believe than Jonah's three days in the fish. Nineveh was city of great importance and power (Jon 3:3), and would likely have resisted any call to humble themselves.
God responded to Nineveh's repentance:
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened (Jon 3:10).
"The people and their king are reminiscent of the sailors: in both cases the heathen appear in a much better light than the prophet" (von Rad, Old Testament Theology, vol. 2, 290-91).