Jonah 3:3-4 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
The Jewish season of Teshuvah is upon us with the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul. The season begins at sunset on August 21, 2017 on a Gregorian calendar. Elul is the last month of the civic calendar in Judaism. Elul is the sixth month of the religious calendar. The 40 day period of Teshuvah ends on Tishri 10, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.
Click on video below for geography of Ancient Nineveh and analysis.
Ancient Nineveh had their season of repentance with their introduction to the prophet Jonah. Nineveh heeded the call of the prophet from the top down. The prophet’s text speaks for itself.
Jonah 3:5-9 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”
Prior to Jonah’s arrival, Nineveh may have received a message from above.
“The path of totality of the Bur-Sagle Eclipse, which is one of the most famous solar eclipses in ancient history, occurred just north of Nineveh on 14th June, 763 BC during the reign of King Ashur-Dan III of Assyria, and was recorded for posterity in the Assyrian Eponym Canon – a series of cuneiform tablets discovered in the 19th century. We know that the Prophet Jonah was a contemporary of King Ashur-Dan III because of a brief mention of him in the Second Book of Kings, which places his prophetic ministry during the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel.” – Emmett O’Regan
Jonah apparently stayed in Nineveh. The prophet was respected by the gentiles in the ancient city. He was buried there. Jonah rested peacefully until ISIS in 2014. ISIS destroyed Jonah’s tomb with sledgehammers and explosives.
Judgment is not automatic. God is merciful, compassionate, gracious, and forgiving (even in the Old Testament). Keep in mind, these characteristics were demonstrated towards an evil, gentile Assyrian kingdom. Assyria was a historical nemesis to Israel.
Jonah 3:10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
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