Jonah 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

New Living Translation
The people of Nineveh believed God's message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.

English Standard Version
And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The men of Nineveh believed in God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth--from the greatest of them to the least.

International Standard Version
The people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least important.

NET Bible
The people of Nineveh believed in God, and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The people of Nineveh believed God. They decided to fast, and everyone, from the most important to the least important, dressed in sackcloth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.

Darby Bible Translation
And the men of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

English Revised Version
And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
The people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Young's Literal Translation
And the men of Nineveh believe in God, and proclaim a fast, and put on sackcloth, from their greatest even unto their least,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 5-9. § 3. The Ninevites hearken to the cry of Jonah, believe in God, and repent. Verse 5. - Believed God; believed in God, which implies trust and hope; Vulgate, crediderunt in Deum. They recognized Jonah as God's messenger; they recognized God's power as able to execute the threat, and they had confidence in his mercy if they repented. This great result has seemed to some incredible, and has occasioned doubts to be east upon the history. But, as we have seen in the Introduction, Jonah's mission occurred probably at a time of national depression, when men's minds were disposed to expect calamity, and anxious to avert it by any means. Other considerations led to the same result. They had heard much of the God of the Hebrews, much of the doings of his great prophets Elijah and Elisha; and now they had in their midst one of these holy men, who, as they were informed, had been miraculously preserved from death in order to carry his message to them; for that it was thus that Jonah was "a sign unto the Ninevites" (Luke 11:30) seems most certain. They saw the Divine inspiration beaming in his look, dictating his utterance, animating his bearing, filling him with courage, confidence, and faith. The credulity with which they received the announcements of their own seers, their national predilection for presages and omens, encouraged them to open their ears to this stranger, and to regard his mission with grave attention. Their own conscience, too, was on the prophet's side, and assisted his words with its powerful pleading. So they believed in God, and proclaimed a fast. Spontaneously, without any special order from the authorities. Before the final fall of Nineveh, the inscriptions mention, the then king ordered a fast of one hundred days and nights to the gods in order to avert the threatened danger (see a note by Professor Sayce, in G. Smith's 'History of Babylon,' p. 156). Put on sackcloth (comp. Genesis 37:34; 1 Kings 21:27; Joel 1:13). The custom of changing the dress in token of mourning was not confined to the Hebrews (comp. Ezekiel 26:16).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

So the people of Nineveh believed God,.... Or "in God" (r): in the word of the Lord, as the Targum; they believed there was a God, and that he, in whose name Jonah came, was the true God; they believed the word the prophet spake was not the word of man, but, the word of God; faith came by hearing the word, which is the spring of true repentance, and the root of all good works. Kimchi and R. Jeshuah, in Aben Ezra, suppose that the men of the ship, in which Jonah had been, were at Nineveh; and these testified that they had cast him into the sea, and declared the whole affair concerning him; and this served greatly to engage their attention to him, and believe what he said: but this is not certain; and, besides, their faith was the effect of the divine power that went along with the preaching of Jonah, and not owing to the persuasion of men;

and proclaimed a fast; not of themselves, but by the order of their king, as follows; though Kimchi thinks this was before that:

and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them; both, with respect to rank and age, so universal were their fasting and mourning; in token of which they stripped themselves of their common and rich apparel, and clothed themselves with sackcloth; as was usual in extraordinary cases of mourning, not only with the Jews, but other nations.

(Jonah would be a quite a sight to behold. The digestive juices of the fish would have turned his skin to a most unnatural colour and his hair was most like all gone. Indeed, anyone looking like that would attract your attention and give his message more credence, especially after he told you what had happened to him. A God who creates storms, prepares large fish to swallow a man and preserves him in the fish, would not likely have too much trouble destroying your city. Editor)

(r) "in Deum", V. L.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. believed God—gave credit to Jonah's message from God; thus recognizing Jehovah as the true God.

fast … sackcloth—In the East outward actions are often used as symbolical expressions of inward feelings. So fasting and clothing in sackcloth were customary in humiliation. Compare in Ahab's case, parallel to that of Nineveh, both receiving a respite on penitence (1Ki 21:27; 20:31, 32; Joe 1:13).

from the greatest … to the least—The penitence was not partial, but pervading all classes.

Jonah 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Nineveh Repents
5Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6When 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.…
Cross References
Matthew 12:41
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.

Luke 11:32
The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

Revelation 11:3
And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth."

Esther 4:1
When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly.

Jeremiah 36:9
In the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, a time of fasting before the LORD was proclaimed for all the people in Jerusalem and those who had come from the towns of Judah.

Daniel 9:3
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

Joel 1:14
Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.

Jonah 3:7
This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

believed.

Exodus 9:18-21 Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very …

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and …

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

Acts 27:25 Why, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be …

Hebrews 11:1,7 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things …

and proclaimed.

2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed …

Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might …

Jeremiah 36:9 And it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah …

Joel 1:14 Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and …

Joel 2:12-17 Therefore also now, said the LORD, turn you even to me with all your …

from.

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man …

Jeremiah 42:1,8 Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, …

Acts 8:10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, …

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