Jonah 3:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

New Living Translation
When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

English Standard Version
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then God saw their actions--that they had turned from their evil ways--so God relented from the disaster He had threatened to do to them. And He did not do it.

International Standard Version
God took note of what they did—that they turned from their evil ways. Because God relented concerning the trouble about which he had warned them, he did not carry it out.

NET Bible
When God saw their actions--they turned from their evil way of living!--God relented concerning the judgment he had threatened them with and he did not destroy them.

New Heart English Bible
God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. God relented of the disaster which he said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God saw what they did. He saw that they turned from their wicked ways. So God reconsidered his threat to destroy them, and he didn't do it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, which He said He would do unto them; and He did it not.

New American Standard 1977
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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And God saw their works, because they turned from their evil way, and he repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and he did not do it.

King James 2000 Bible
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented of the disaster, that he had said that he would bring upon them; and he did it not.

American King James Version
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 to them; and he did it not.

American Standard Version
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not.

Darby Bible Translation
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that he had said he would do unto them, and he did [it] not.

English Revised Version
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 to them; and he did it not.

World English Bible
God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. God relented of the disaster which he said he would do to them, and he didn't do it.

Young's Literal Translation
And God seeth their works, that they have turned back from their evil way, and God repenteth of the evil that He spake of doing to them, and he hath not done it.
Study Bible
Nineveh Repents
9"Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish." 10When 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.
Cross References
Exodus 32:14
So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

1 Kings 21:27
It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.

1 Chronicles 21:15
And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the LORD saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, "It is enough; now relax your hand." And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Isaiah 30:18
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Jeremiah 18:8
if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.

Jeremiah 31:18
"I have surely heard Ephraim grieving, 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained calf; Bring me back that I may be restored, For You are the LORD my God.

Jeremiah 36:3
"Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the calamity which I plan to bring on them, in order that every man will turn from his evil way; then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin."

Jeremiah 42:10
'If you will indeed stay in this land, then I will build you up and not tear you down, and I will plant you and not uproot you; for I will relent concerning the calamity that I have inflicted on you.

Amos 7:3
The LORD changed His mind about this. "It shall not be," said the LORD.

Amos 7:6
The LORD changed His mind about this. "This too shall not be," said the Lord GOD.
Treasury of Scripture

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 to them; and he did it not.

God saw.

1 Kings 21:27-29 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his …

Job 33:27,28 He looks on men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that …

Jeremiah 31:18-20 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; You have chastised …

Luke 11:32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, …

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great …

and God repented.

Jonah 4:2 And he prayed to the LORD, and said, I pray you, O LORD, was not …

Jeremiah 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, …

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD …

Amos 7:3,6 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, said the LORD…

(10) And God repented.--See Note, Genesis 6:6.

And he did it not.--As we are entirely ignorant of the nature of the threatened destruction, so are we also of the mode in which it was averted. Possibly some inscription throwing light on the book of Jonah may yet be discovered.

Verse 10. - § 4. God accepts this repentance, and the threatened destruction is averted. God saw their works. There is no notice in the inscriptions of this "repentance," or of any change in the polytheistic worship of the Ninevites. But the existing records of this period are singularly meagre, and show a state of calamity and depression, of internal commotions and famine. Nor is it usual in the monumental history to find mention of any events but wars and the execution of material works; moral reformations are not recorded. God repented of the evil (Exodus 32:14). This is an anthropopathical mode of speaking; God acted as if, taking man's view of the transaction, he repented. The sentence was conditional, as Jonah well knew (Jonah 4:2), in accordance with the great principle laid down in Jeremiah 18:7, etc., viz. that if a nation against which sentence is pronounced turn from its evil way, the sentence shall not be executed. God does not change, but he threatens that man may change (see note on Amos 7:3; and observe the same principle applied to individuals, Ezekiel 33:8, 13-16). He did it not. The evil day was postponed. This partial repentance, though it was not permanent and made little lasting impression on the national life, showed that there was some element of good in these Assyrians, and that they were not yet ripe for destruction. It has been considered to be a proof of the unhistorical character of the Book of Jonah that no mention of any of the incidents is made in the Books of Kings and Chronicles; but there is nothing strange in this. Those records never touch external politics except as closely connected with Israel's fortunes; and, derived as they were from national annals, it would have been unnatural for them to have narrated events happening so far away, and not likely to be introduced in the documents on which their history was founded.



And God saw their words, that they turned from their evil way,.... Not their outward works, in putting on sackcloth and ashes, and fasting; but their inward works, their faith in him, and repentance towards him; and which were attended with fruits and works meet for repentance, in that they forsook their former course of life, and refrained from it; and these he saw not barely with his eye of omniscience, as he sees all persons and things, good and bad, but so as to like them, approve of them, and accept them, in which sense the word is used, Genesis 1:4; and so the repentance of these men is spoken of with commendation by Christ, and as what would rise up in judgment, and condemn the men of that generation, Matthew 12:41;

and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and he did it not; this is spoken after the manner of men, as Aben Ezra observes; and is to be understood, not of any such affection in God as repentance; but of an effect done by him, which carries in it a show of repentance, or resembles what is done by men when they repent; then they change their course and conduct; so, the Lord, though he never changes his will, nor repents of or revokes his decrees, or alters his purposes; yet he sometimes wills a change, and makes an alteration in the dispensations of his providence, according to his unchangeable will. God, in this case, did not repent of his decrees concerning the Ninevites, but of what he had said or threatened respecting the overthrow of Nineveh, in case of their impenitence; it was his will that they should be told of their sin and danger, and by this means be brought to repentance, and the wrath threatened them be averted; so that here was a change, not of his mind and will concerning them, but of his outward dispensations towards them; see Jeremiah 18:7. 10. God repented of the evil—When the message was sent to them, they were so ripe for judgment that a purpose of destruction to take effect in forty days was the only word God's righteous abhorrence of sin admitted of as to them. But when they repented, the position in which they stood towards God's righteousness was altered. So God's mode of dealing with them must alter accordingly, if God is not to be inconsistent with His own immutable character of dealing with men according to their works and state of heart, taking vengeance at last on the hardened impenitent, and delighting to show mercy on the penitent. Compare Abraham's reasoning, Ge 18:25; Eze 18:21-25; Jer 18:7-10. What was really a change in them and in God's corresponding dealings is, in condescension to human conceptions, represented as a change in God (compare Ex 32:14), who, in His essential righteousness and mercy, changeth not (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17). The reason why the announcement of destruction was made absolute, and not dependent on Nineveh's continued impenitence, was that this form was the only one calculated to rouse them; and at the same time it was a truthful representation of God's purpose towards Nineveh under its existing state, and of Nineveh's due. When that state ceased, a new relation of Nineveh to God, not contemplated in the message, came in, and room was made for the word to take effect, "the curse causeless shall not come" [Fairbairn]. Prophecy is not merely for the sake of proving God's omniscience by the verification of predictions of the future, but is mainly designed to vindicate God's justice and mercy in dealing with the impenitent and penitent respectively (Ro 11:22). The Bible ever assigns the first place to the eternal principles of righteousness, rooted in the character of God, subordinating to them all divine arrangements. God's sparing Nineveh, when in the jaws of destruction, on the first dawn of repentance encourages the timid penitent, and shows beforehand that Israel's doom, soon after accomplished, is to be ascribed, not to unwillingness to forgive on God's part, but to their own obstinate impenitence. 3:5-10 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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