Jonah 3:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.

New Living Translation
This time Jonah obeyed the LORD's command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all.

English Standard Version
So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the LORD's command. Now Nineveh was an extremely large city, a three-day walk.

International Standard Version
So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh to do what the LORD had ordered. Now Nineveh was a very large city, requiring a three-day journey to cross through it.

NET Bible
So Jonah went immediately to Nineveh, as the LORD had said. (Now Nineveh was an enormous city--it required three days to walk through it!)

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jonah immediately went to Nineveh as the LORD told him. Nineveh was a very large city. It took three days to walk through it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city of three days' journey around it.

American King James Version
So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

American Standard Version
So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days journey.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the word of the Lord: now Ninive was a great city of three days' journey.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

World English Bible
So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey across.

Young's Literal Translation
and Jonah riseth, and he goeth unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. And Nineveh hath been a great city before God, a journey of three days.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-4 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - Arose, and went. He was now as prompt to obey as formerly to flee. Was; i.e. when Jonah visited it. Nothing can be argued from the past tense here as to the date of the composition of the book. It is a mere historical detail, and cannot be forced into a proof that Jonah wrote after the destruction of Nineveh. An exceeding great city; literally, a city great to God; πόλις μεγάλη τῷ Θεῷ (Septuagint); great before God - in his estimation, as though even God must acknowledge it. So Nimrod is called (Genesis 10:9) "a mighty hunter before the Lord;" and Moses, in Acts 7:20, is said to have been" beautiful to God." The expression may also mean that God (Elohim, God as Governor of the world) regarded this city with interest, as intended in the Divine counsels to perform an important part. For he is not the God of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles (Romans 3:29). Of three days' journey; i.e. in circumference - about sixty miles (see note on Jonah 1:2). Or the writer may mean that it took Jonah three days to visit the various quarters of this huge place. The area of the vast quadrangle containing the remains of the four cities comprised under the name Nineveh is estimated by Professor Rawlinson at two hundred and sixteen square miles. We ought, however, to omit Khorsabad from this computation, as it was not founded till Sargon's time, B.C. 710.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord,.... He was no longer disobedient to the heavenly vision; being taught by the rod, he acts according to the word; he is now made willing to go on the Lord's errand, and do his business, under the influence of his power and grace; he stands not consulting with the flesh, but immediately arises and sets forward on his journey, as directed and commanded, being rid of that timorous spirit, and those fears, he was before possessed of; his afflictions had been greatly sanctified to him, to restore his straying soul, and cause him to keep and observe the word of the Lord; and his going to Nineveh, and preaching to a Heathen people, after his deliverance out of the fish's belly, was a type of the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles by the apostles, according to the commission of Christ renewed unto them, after his resurrection from the dead, Acts 26:23; and after many failings of theirs;

now Nineveh was an exceeding great city: or "a city great to God" (m); not dear to him, for it was full of wickedness; not great in his esteem, with whom the whole earth is as nothing; but known by him to be what it was; and the name of God is often used of things, to express the superlative nature and greatness of them, as trees of God, mountains of God, the flame of God, &c. Psalm 36:7; it was a greater city than Babylon, of which See Gill on Jonah 1:2;

of three days' journey; in compass, being sixty miles, as Diodorus Siculus (n) relates; and allowing twenty miles for a day's journey on foot, as this was, and which is as much as a man can ordinarily do to hold it, was just three days journey; and so Herodotus (o) reckons a day's journey at an hundred fifty furlongs, which make about nineteen miles; but, according to the Jewish writers, a middling day's journey is ten "parsas" (p), and every "parsa" makes four miles, so that with them it is forty miles: or else it was three days' journey in the length of it, as Kimchi thinks, from end to end. This is observed to show the greatness of the city, which was the greatest in the whole world, as well as to lead on to the following account.

(m) "magna Deo", Montanus, Vatablus, Tigurine version, Mercerus, Drusius, Cocceius. (n) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 92. (o) Terpsichore, sive l. 5. c. 53. (p) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 94. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. arose and went—like the son who was at first disobedient to the father's command, "Go work in my vineyard," but who afterwards "repented and went" (Mt 21:28, 29). Jonah was thus the fittest instrument for proclaiming judgment, and yet hope of mercy on repentance to Nineveh, being himself a living exemplification of both—judgment in his entombment in the fish, mercy on repentance in his deliverance. Israel professing to obey, but not obeying, and so doomed to exile in the same Nineveh, answers to the son who said, "I go, sir, and went not." In Lu 11:30 it is said that Jonas was not only a sign to the men in Christ's time, but also "unto the Ninevites." On the latter occasion (Mt 16:1-4) when the Pharisees and Sadducees tempted Him, asking a sign from heaven, He answered, "No sign shall be given, but the sign of the prophet Jonas," Mt 12:39. Thus the sign had a twofold aspect, a direct bearing on the Ninevites, an indirect bearing on the Jews in Christ's time. To the Ninevites he was not merely a prophet, but himself a wonder in the earth, as one who had tasted of death, and yet had not seen corruption, but had now returned to witness among them for God. If the Ninevites had indulged in a captious spirit, they never would have inquired and so known Jonah's wonderful history; but being humbled by God's awful message, they learned from Jonah himself that it was the previous concealing in his bosom of the same message of their own doom that caused him to be entombed as an outcast from the living. Thus he was a "sign" to them of wrath on the one hand, and, on the other, of mercy. Guilty Jonah saved from the jaws of death gives a ray of hope to guilty Nineveh. Thus God, who brings good from evil, made Jonah in his fall, punishment, and restoration, a sign (an embodied lesson or living symbol) through which the Ninevites were roused to hear and repent, as they would not have been likely to do, had he gone on the first commission before his living entombment and resurrection. To do evil that good may come, is a policy which can only come from Satan; but from evil already done to extract an instrument against the kingdom of darkness, is a triumphant display of the grace and wisdom of God. To the Pharisees in Christ's time, who, not content with the many signs exhibited by Him, still demanded a sign from heaven, He gave a sign in the opposite quarter, namely, Jonah, who came "out of the belly of hell" (the unseen region). They looked for a Messiah gloriously coming in the clouds of heaven; the Messiah, on the contrary, is to pass through a like, though a deeper, humiliation than Jonah; He is to lie "in the heart of the earth." Jonah and his Antitype alike appeared low and friendless among their hearers; both victims to death for God's wrath against sin, both preaching repentance. Repentance derives all its efficacy from the death of Christ, just as Jonah's message derived its weight with the Ninevites from his entombment. The Jews stumbled at Christ's death, the very fact which ought to have led them to Him, as Jonah's entombment attracted the Ninevites to his message. As Jonah's restoration gave hope of God's placability to Nineveh, so Christ's resurrection assures us God is fully reconciled to man by Christ's death. But Jonah's entombment only had the effect of a moral suasive; Christ's death is an efficacious instrument of reconciliation between God and man [Fairbairn].

Nineveh was an exceeding great city—literally, "great to God," that is, before God. All greatness was in the Hebrew mind associated with God; hence arose the idiom (compare "great mountains," Margin, "mountains of God," Ps 36:6; "goodly cedars," Margin, "cedars of God," Ps 80:10; "a mighty hunter before the Lord," Ge 10:9).

three days' journey—that is, about sixty miles, allowing about twenty miles for a day's journey. Jonah's statement is confirmed by heathen writers, who describe Nineveh as four hundred eighty stadia in circumference [Diodorus Siculus, 2.3]. Herodotus defines a day's journey to be one hundred fifty stadia; so three days' journey will not be much below Diodorus' estimate. The parallelogram in Central Assyria covered with remains of buildings has Khorsabad northeast; Koyunjik and Nebbi Yunus near the Tigris, northwest; Nimroud, between the Tigris and the Zab, southwest; and Karamless, at a distance inward from the Zab, southeast. From Koyunjik to Nimroud is about eighteen miles; from Khorsabad to Karamless, the same; from Koyunjik to Khorsabad, thirteen or fourteen miles; from Nimroud to Karamless, fourteen miles. The length thus was greater than the breadth; compare Jon 3:4, "a day's journey," which is confirmed by heathen writers and by modern measurements. The walls were a hundred feet high, and broad enough to allow three chariots abreast, and had moreover fifteen hundred lofty towers. The space between, including large parks and arable ground, as well as houses, was Nineveh in its full extent. The oldest palaces are at Nimroud, which was probably the original site. Layard latterly has thought that the name Nineveh belonged originally to Koyunjik, rather than to Nimroud. Jonah (Jon 4:11) mentions the children as numbering one hundred twenty thousand, which would give about a million to the whole population. Existing ruins show that Nineveh acquired its greatest extent under the kings of the second dynasty, that is, the kings mentioned in Scripture; it was then that Jonah visited it, and the reports of its magnificence were carried to the west [Layard].

Jonah 3:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jonah Preaches to the Ninevites
2"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you." 3So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days' walk. 4Then 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."
Cross References
Isaiah 37:37
So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

Jonah 1:2
"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me."

Jonah 4:11
And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left--and also many animals?"
Treasury of Scripture

So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

arose.

Genesis 22:3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, …

Matthew 21:28,29 But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the …

2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you: for he is …

an exceeding great city. Heb. a city great of God. So.

Genesis 30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, …

Psalm 36:6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains; your judgments are …

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