Jonah 3:4
And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
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(4) And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey.—This is apparently equivalent to And Jonah entered the city, and walked for a day through it. To enter on a minute inquiry as to whether his course was straight or circuitous seems trivial. The writer has no thought of furnishing data for ascertaining the exact dimensions of Nineveh, but only of producing a general sense of its vast size.

Yet forty days.—The conciseness of the original, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh overthrown,” forcibly expresses “the one deep cry of woe” which the prophet was commissioned to utter. “This simple message of Jonah bears an analogy to what we find elsewhere in Holy Scripture. The great preacher of repentance, St. John the Baptist, repeated doubtless oftentimes that one cry, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our Lord vouchsafed to begin His own office with those self-same words. And probably, among the civilised but savage inhabitants of Nineveh that one cry was more impressive than any other would have been, Simplicity is always impressive. They were four words which God caused to be written on the wall amid Belshazzar’s impious revelry: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. We all remember the touching history of Jesus, son of Anan, an unlettered rustic, who, “four years before the war, when Jerusalem was in complete peace and affluence,” burst in on the people at the Feast of Tabernacles with the oft-repeated cry, “A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice on Jerusalem and the Temple, a voice on the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice on the whole people;” how he went about through all the lanes of the city, repeating, day and night, this one cry, and when scourged till his bones were laid bare, echoed every lash with “Woe, woe, to Jerusalem!” and continued as his daily dirge and his one response to daily good or ill treatment, “Woe, woe, to Jerusalem!” (Pusey.) Instead of “forty days” the LXX. read “three.”

Jonah 3:4. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey — That is, he proceeded into the city as far as he could go in a day. And he cried, Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown — The threat is express; but there was a reserve with God on condition of repentance. And it must be observed, that in most of the threatenings of God there is a condition expressed or understood. This is the general rule for interpreting all such denunciations, as has been observed in the note on Jeremiah 18:8, unless where God makes an express declaration that the iniquity of the people against whom he denounces his judgments is full, and that he will not spare them; or, as it is expressed by our Saviour, with regard to Jerusalem, that the things which belong unto their peace are then hid from their eyes.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.And Jonah began to enter the city a day's journey - Perhaps the day's journey enabled him to traverse the city from end to end, with his one brief, deep cry of woe; "Yet forty days and Nineveh overthrown." He prophesied an utter overthrow, a turning it upside down. He does not speak of it as to happen at a time beyond those days. The close of the forty days and the destruction were to be one. He does not say strictly, "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown," but, "Yet forty days and Nineveh overthrown." The last of those forty days was, ere its sun was set, to see Nineveh as a "thing overthrown." Jonah knew from the first God's purpose of mercy to Nineveh; he had a further hint of it in the altered commission which he had received. It is perhaps hinted in the word "Yet" . "If God had meant unconditionally to overthrow them, He would have overthrown them without notice. 'Yet,' always denotes some long-suffering of God." But, taught by that severe discipline, he discharges his office strictly.

He cries, what God had commanded him to cry out, without reserve or exception. The sentence, as are all God's threatenings until the last, was conditional. But God does not say this. That sentence was now within forty days of its completion; yet even thus it was remitted. Wonderful encouragement, when one Lent sufficed to save some 600,000 souls from perishing! Yet the first visitation of the cholera was checked in its progress in England, upon one day's national fast and humiliation; and we have seen how general prayer has often-times at once opened or closed the heavens as we needed. "A few years ago," relates Augustine, "when Arcadias was Emperor at Constantinople (what I say, some have heard, some of our people were present there,) did not God, willing to terrify the city, and, by terrifying, to amend, convert, cleanse, change it, reveal to a faithful servant of His (a soldier, it is said), that the city should perish by fire from heaven, and warned him to tell the Bishop! It was told. The Bishop despised it not, but addressed the people. The city turned to the mourning of penitence, as that Nineveh of old. Yet lest men should think that he who said this, deceived or was deceived, the day which God had threatened, came. When all were intently expecting the issue with great fears, at the beginning of night as the world was being darkened, a fiery cloud was seen from the East, small at first then, as it approached the city, gradually enlarging, until it hung terribly over the whole city.

All fled to the Church; the place did not hold the people. But after that great tribulation, when God had accredited His word, the cloud began to diminish and at last disappeared. The people, freed from fear for a while, again heard that they must migrate, because the whole city should be destroyed on the next sabbath. The whole people left the city with the Emperor; no one remained in his house. That multitude, having one some miles, when gathered in one spot to pour forth prayer to God, suddenly saw a great smoke, and sent forth a loud cry to God." The city was saved. "What shall we say?" adds Augustine. "Was this the anger of God, or rather His mercy? Who doubts that the most merciful Father willed by terrifying to convert, not to punish by destroying? As the hand is lifted up to strike, and is recalled in pity, when he who was to be struck is terrified, so was it done to that city." Will any of God's warnings "now" move our great Babylon to repentance, that it be not ruined?

4. a day's journey—not going straight forward without stopping: for the city was but eighteen miles in length; but stopping in his progress from time to time to announce his message to the crowds gathering about him.

Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown—The commission, given indefinitely at his setting out, assumes now on his arrival a definite form, and that severer than before. It is no longer a cry against the sins of Nineveh, but an announcement of its ruin in forty days. This number is in Scripture associated often with humiliation. It was forty days that Moses, Elijah, and Christ fasted. Forty years elapsed from the beginning of Christ's ministry (the antitype of Jonah's) to the destruction of Jerusalem. The more definite form of the denunciation implies that Nineveh has now almost filled up the measure of her guilt. The change in the form which the Ninevites would hear from Jonah on anxious inquiry into his history, would alarm them the more, as implying the increasing nearness and certainty of their doom, and would at the same time reprove Jonah for his previous guilt in delaying to warn them. The very solitariness of the one message announced by the stranger thus suddenly appearing among them, would impress them with the more awe. Learning from him, that so far from lightly prophesying evil against them, he had shrunk from announcing a less severe denunciation, and therefore had been cast into the deep and only saved by miracle, they felt how imminent was their peril, threatened as they now were by a prophet whose fortunes were so closely bound up with theirs. In Noah's days one hundred twenty years of warning were given to men, yet they repented not till the flood came, and it was too late. But in the case of Nineveh, God granted a double mercy: first, that its people should repent immediately after threatening; second, that pardon should immediately follow their repentance.

The former verse gives us intelligence of Jonah’s arrival at Nineveh; now, so soon as come, he preacheth.

Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said; to walk through and to preach the dreadful threats of God against Nineveh, and he proclaimed openly and plainly what God commanded; he feared not to tell all what concerned all; he did it with earnestness, as deeply affected with what he spake from God against this mighty city.

Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown; a very short time, some might think, for this great city; but it is more time than God was bound to give, or than they could deserve, or than God gave to Sodom and Gomorrah, the sins of which cities were no doubt found in Nineveh now Jonah preached, and grew ripe by that time Nahum came to foretell their ruin; see Nahum. The threat is express and peremptory in its form and words; though there be a reserve with God on condition of repentance, which operated in due time, and manifestly proved that God intended mercy to repenting Nineveh, though he threatened an overthrow to impenitent Nineveh. How it should be overthrown is not expressed; some conjecture by a foreign enemy, which carrieth unlikelihood with it; others guess by fire from heaven: but since it was not destroyed we need not inquire how it should have been, and had they not repented the event would have informed us fully. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey,.... As soon as he came to it, he did not go into an inn, to refresh himself after his wearisome journey; or spend his time in gazing upon the city, and to observe its structure, and the curiosities of it; but immediately sets about his work, and proclaims what he was bid to do; and before he could finish one day's journey, he had no need to proceed any further, the whole city was alarmed with his preaching, was terrified with it, and brought to repentance by it:

and he cried; as he went along; he lifted up his voice like a trumpet, that everyone might hear; he did not mutter it out, as if afraid to deliver his message, but cried aloud in the hearing of all; and very probably now and then made a stop in the streets, where there was a concourse of people, or where more streets met, and there, as a herald, proclaimed what he had to say:

and said, yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown; not by a foreign army besieging and taking it, which was not probable to be done in such a space of time, but by the immediate power of God; either by fire from heaven, as he overthrow Sodom and Gomorrah, their works being like theirs, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe, or by an earthquake; that is, within forty days, or at the end of forty days, as the Targum; not exceeding such a space, which was granted for their repentance, which is implied, though not expressed; and must be understood with this proviso, except it repented, for otherwise why is any time fixed? and why have they warning given them, or the prophet sent to them? and why were they not destroyed at once, as Sodom and Gomorrah, without any notice? doubtless, so it would have been, had not this been the case. The Septuagint version very wrongly reads, "yet three days", &c. and as wrongly does Josephus (q) make Jonah to say, that in a short time they would lose the empire of Asia, when only the destruction of Nineveh is threatened; though, indeed, that loss followed upon it.

(q) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 10. sect. 2.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's {c} journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

(c) He went forward one day in the city and preached, and so he continued until the city was converted.

4. And Jonah began to enter into the city] Calvin well brings out the moral grandeur of the scene which this verse so simply and briefly describes; the promptitude of Jonah’s action, in entering without delay or hesitation or enquiry, immediately, as it would seem, upon his reaching the city, upon his difficult and dangerous task; his boldness, as a helpless and unprotected stranger, in standing in the heart of “the bloody city,” and denouncing destruction upon it. It was, indeed, to “beard the lion in his den” to adventure himself on such an errand into “the dwelling of the lions and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion’s whelp, and none made them afraid.” (Nahum 2:11.)

a day’s journey] “He began to perambulate the city, going hither and thither, as far as was possible, in the first day.” (Maurer.) And as he went he cried. In him was personified the description of the wise King of Israel:

“Wisdom crieth without;

She uttereth her voice in the streets:

She crieth in the chief place of concourse,

in the openings of the gates:

In the city she uttereth her words,


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Turn ye at my reproof.”

Proverbs 1:20-23.

Some have supposed that, as a day’s journey would suffice to traverse from one side to the other a city, of which the dimensions were such as have been assigned (Jonah 3:3) to Nineveh, and as, moreover, Jonah is found afterwards (Jonah 4:5) on the east side of Nineveh (i. e. the opposite side to that on which he would have entered it in coming from Palestine), we are intended here to understand that he walked quite through the city in a single day, uttering continually as he went “his one deep cry of woe.” The other view, however, is more natural, and it enhances the idea of the impressibility of the Ninevites, and their readiness to believe and repent, which it is evidently the design of the inspired writer to convey, if we suppose that while the preacher himself was seen and heard in only a portion of the vast city, his message was taken up and repeated, and sped and bore fruit rapidly in every direction, till tidings of what was happening came to the king himself (Jonah 3:6), and in obedience to the yet distant and unseen prophet, he issued the edict which laid the whole of Nineveh, man and beast, abashed and humbled before the threatened blow.

Yet forty days] “He threatens the overthrow of the city unconditionally. From the event, however, it is clear that the threat was to be understood with this condition, ‘unless ye shall (in the mean time) have amended your life and conduct.’ Comp. Jeremiah 18:7-8.”—(Rosenm.) God’s threatenings are always implied promises.

overthrown] The word is the same as that used of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, both in the history of that event (Genesis 19:25; Genesis 19:29), and in subsequent reference to it (Deuteronomy 29:23 [Heb. 22]). Not necessarily by the same means, (comp. “overthrown by strangers,” Isaiah 1:7,) but as complete and signal shall the overthrow be. The use of the participle, lit., Yet forty days and Nineveh overthrown, is very forcible. To the prophet’s eye, overlooking the short interval of forty days, Nineveh appears not a great city with walls and towers and palaces, and busy marts and crowded thoroughfares, but one vast mass of ruins.

It may be asked whether the whole of Jonah’s preaching to the Ninevites consisted of this one sentence incessantly repeated. The sacred text, taken simply as it stands, seems to imply that it did. We have indeed here “the spectacle of an unknown Hebrew, in a prophet’s austere and homely attire, passing through the splendid streets of the proudest town of the Eastern world;” but not (except so far as imagination completes the picture) of his “uttering words of rebuke and menace, bidding the people not only to make restitution of their unlawfully acquired property, but to give up their ancestral deities for the one God of Israel.” (Kalisch.) To an oriental mind (and Almighty God is wont to adapt His means to those whom they are to reach) the simple, oft-repeated announcement might be more startling than a laboured address. “Simplicity is always impressive. They were four words which God caused to be written on the wall amid Belshazzar’s impious revelry; Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. We all remember the touching history of Jesus the son of Anan, an unlettered rustic, who, ‘four years before the war, when Jerusalem was in complete peace and affluence,’ burst in on the people at the feast of tabernacles with one oft-repeated cry, ‘A voice from the East, a voice from the West, a voice from the four winds, a voice on Jerusalem and the temple, a voice on the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice on the whole people;’ how he went about through all the lanes of the city, repeating, day and night, this one cry; and when scourged until his bones were laid bare, echoed every lash with ‘Woe, woe, to Jerusalem,’ and continued as his daily dirge and his one response to daily good or ill-treatment, ‘Woe, woe, to Jerusalem.’ The magistrates and even the cold Josephus thought that there was something in it above nature.” (Pusey.)Verse 4. - § 2. Jonah, undeterred by the danger of the enterprise, executes his mission at one, and announces the approaching destruction of the city. Began to enter into the city a day's journey. Jonah commenced his day's journey in the city, and, as he found a suitable place, uttered his warning cry, not necessarily continuing in one straight course, but going to the most frequented spots. At the time of Jonah's preaching the royal residence was probably at Chalah: i.e. Nimrud, the most southern of the cities. Coming from Palestine, he would reach this part first, so that his strange message would soon come to the king's ears (ver. 6). Yet forty days. "Forty" in Scripture is the number of probation (see Genesis 7:4, 12; Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8; Matthew 4:2). The LXX. has, ἔτι τρεῖς ἡμέραι, "yet three days" owing probably to some clerical error, as writing γ instead of μ. St. Augustine ('De Civit.,' 18:44) endeavours to explain the discrepaney mystically as referring to Christ under different circumstances, as being the same who remained forty days on earth after his resurrection, and who rose again on the third day. Shall be overthrown. This is the word used for the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19:25, 27; Amos 4:11). The prophet appears to have gone on through the city, repeating this one awful announcement, as we read of fanatics denouncing woe on Jerusalem before its final destruction (Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 6:05. 3). The threat was conditional virtually, though expressed in uncompromising terms. In the Hebrew the participle is used, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh overthrown," as though he saw at the end of the specified time the great city lying in ruins. One sees from Isaiah 36:11, 13, that Jonah could readily be understood by the Assyrians. "Hear this word, ye cows of Bashan, that are upon the mountain of Samaria, that oppress there the humble and crush the poor, that say to their lords, Bring hither, that we may drink. Amos 4:2. The Lord Jehovah hath sworn by His holiness: behold, days come upon you, that they drag you away with hooks, and your last one with fish-hooks. Amos 4:3. And ye will go out through breaches in the wall, every one before him, and be cast away to Harmon, is the saying of Jehovah." The commencement of this chapter is closely connected, so far as the contents are concerned, with the chapter immediately preceding. The prophet having there predicted, that when the kingdom was conquered by its enemies, the voluptuous grandees would perish, with the exception of a very few who would hardly succeed in saving their lives, turns now to the voluptuous women of Samaria, to predict in their case a shameful transportation into exile. The introduction, "Hear this word," does not point therefore to a new prophecy, but simply to a fresh stage in the prophecy, so that we cannot even agree with Ewald in taking Amos 4:1-3 as the conclusion of the previous prophecy (Amos 3:1-15). The cows of Bashan are well-fed, fat cows, βόες εὔτροφοι, vaccae pingues (Symm., Jer.), as Bashan had fat pastures, and for that reason the tribes that were richest in flocks and herds had asked for it as their inheritance (Numbers 32). The fuller definitions which follow show very clearly that by the cows of Bashan, Amos meant the rich, voluptuous, and violent inhabitants of Samaria. It is doubtful, however, whether he meant the rich and wanton wives of the great, as most of the modern commentators follow Theodor., Theodoret, and others, in assuming; or "the rulers of Israel, and all the leading men of the ten tribes, who spent their time in pleasure and robbery" (Jerome); or "those rich, luxurious, and lascivious inhabitants of the palace of whom he had spoken in Amos 3:9-10" (Maurer), as the Chald., Luther, Calvin, and others suppose, and whom he calls cows, not oxen, to denote their effeminacy and their unbridled licentiousness. In support of the latter opinion we might adduce not only Hosea 10:11, where Ephraim is compared to a young heifer, but also the circumstance that from Amos 3:4 onwards the prophecy refers to the Israelites as a whole. But neither of these arguments proves very much. The simile in Hosea 10:11 applies to Ephraim as a kingdom of people, and the natural personification as a woman prepares the way for the comparison to an ‛eglâh; whereas voluptuous and tyrannical grandees would be more likely to be compared to the bulls of Bashan (Psalm 22:13). And so, again, the transition in Hosea 10:4 to the Israelites as a whole furnishes no help in determining more precisely who are addressed in Hosea 10:1-3. By the cows of Bashan, therefore, we understand the voluptuous women of Samaria, after the analogy of Isaiah 3:16. and Isaiah 32:9-13, more especially because it is only by forcing the last clause of Isaiah 32:1 that it can be understood as referring to men. שׁמעוּ for שׁמענה, because the verb stands first (compare Isaiah 32:11). The mountain of Samaria is mentioned in the place of the city built upon the mountain (see at Amos 3:9). The sin of these women consisted in the tyrannical oppression of the poor, whilst they asked their lords, i.e., their husbands, to procure them the means of debauchery. For עשׁק and רצץ, compare Deuteronomy 28:33 and 1 Samuel 12:3-4, where the two words are already connected. הביאה stands in the singular, because every wife speaks in this way to her husband.

The announcement of the punishment for such conduct is introduced with a solemn oath, to make an impression, if possible, upon the hardened hearts. Jehovah swears by His holiness, i.e., as the Holy One, who cannot tolerate unrighteousness. כּי (for) before הנּה introduces the oath. Hitzig takes ונשּׂא as a niphal, as in the similar formula in 2 Kings 20:17; but he takes it as a passive used impersonally with an accusative, after Genesis 35:26 and other passages (though not Exodus 13:7). But as נשּׂא unquestionably occurs as a piel in 1 Kings 9:11, it is more natural to take the same form as a piel in this instance also, and whilst interpreting it impersonally, to think of the enemy as understood. Tsinnōth equals tsinnı̄m, Proverbs 22:5; Job 5:5, צנּה equals צּן, thorns, hence hooks; so also sı̄rōth equals sı̄rı̄m, thorns, Isaiah 34:13; Hosea 2:8. Dūgâh, fishery; hence sı̄rōth dūgâh, fish-hooks. 'Achărı̄th does not mean posterity, or the young brood that has grown up under the instruction and example of the parents (Hitzig), but simply "the end," the opposite of rē'shı̄th, the beginning. It is "end," however, in different senses. Here it signifies the remnant (Chaldee), i.e., those who remain and are not dragged away with tsinnōth; so that the thought expressed is "all, even to the very last" (compare Hengstenberg, Christology, i. p. 368). אחריתכן has a feminine suffix, whereas masculine suffixes were used before (אתכם, עליכם); the universal gender, out of which the feminine was first formed. The figure is not taken from animals, into whose noses hooks and rings are inserted to tame them, or from large fishes that are let down into the water again by nose-hooks; for the technical terms applied to these hooks are חח, חוח, and חכּה (cf. Ezekiel 29:4; Job 41:1-2); but from the catching of fishes, that are drawn out of the fish-pond with hooks. Thus shall the voluptuous, wanton women be violently torn away or carried off from the midst of the superfluity and debauchery in which they lived as in their proper element. פּרצים תּצאנה, to go out of rents in the wall, יצא being construed, as it frequently is, with the accusative of the place; we should say, "though rents in the wall," i.e., through breaches made in the wall at the taking of the city, not out at the gates, because they had been destroyed or choked up with rubbish at the storming of the city. "Every one before her," i.e., without looking round to the right or to the left (cf. Joshua 6:5, Joshua 6:20). The words והשּׁלכתּנה ההרמונה are difficult, on account of the ἁπ. λεγ. ההרמונה, and have not yet been satisfactorily explained. The form השׁלכתּנה for השׁלכתּן is probably chosen simply for the purpose of obtaining a resemblance in sound to תּצאנה, and is sustained by אתּנה for אתּן in Genesis 31:6 and Ezekiel 13:11. השׁליך is applied to thrusting into exile, as in Deuteronomy 29:27.

The ἁπ. λεγ. ההרמונה with ה htiw loc. appears to indicate the place to which they were to be carried away or cast out. But the hiphil השׁלכתּנה does not suit this, and consequently nearly all the earlier translators have rendered it as a passive, ἀποῤῥι-φήσεσθε (lxx), projiciemini (Jerome); so also the Syr. and Chald. ויגלון יתהון, "men will carry them away captive." One Hebrew codex actually gives the hophal. And to this reading we must adhere; for the hiphil furnishes no sense at all, since the intransitive or reflective meaning, to plunge, or cast one's self, cannot be sustained, and is not supported at all by the passages quoted by Hitzig, viz., 2 Kings 10:25 and Job 27:22; and still less does haharmōnâh denote the object cast away by the women when they go into captivity.

(Note: The Masoretic pointing probably originated in the idea that harmōnâh, corresponding to the talmudic harmânâ', signifies royal power or dominion, and so Rashi interprets it: "ye will cast away the authority, i.e., the almost regal authority, or that pride and arrogance with which you bear yourselves to-day" (Ros.). This explanation would be admissible, if it were not that the use of a word which never occurs again in the old Hebrew for a thing so frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, rendered it very improbable. At any rate, it is more admissible than the different conjectures of the most recent commentators. Thus Hitzig, for example (Comm. ed. 3), would resolve haharmōnâh into hâhâr and mōnâh equals meōnâh ("and ye will plunge headlong to the mountain as a place of refuge"). The objections to this are, (1) that hishlı̄kh does not mean to plunge headlong; (2) the improbability of meōnâh being contracted into mōnâh, when Amos has meōnâh in Amos 3:4; and lastly, the fact that meōnâh means simply a dwelling, not a place of refuge. Ewald would read hâhâr rimmōnâh after the lxx, and renders it, "ye will cast Rimmonah to the mountain," understanding by Rimmonah a female deity of the Syrians. But antiquity knows nothing of any such female deity; and from the reference to a deity called Rimmon in 2 Kings 5:18, you cannot possibly infer the existence of a goddess Rimmonah. The explanation given by Schlottmann (Hiob, p. 132) and Paul Btticher (Rudimenta mythologiae semit. 1848, p. 10) - namely, that harmōnâh as the Phoenician goddess Chusarthis, called by the Greeks Ἁρμονία - is still more untenable, since Ἁρμονία is no more derived from the talmudic harmân than this is from the Sanscrit pramāna (Btticher, l.c. p. 40); on the contrary, harmân signifies loftiness, from the Semitic root הרם, to be high, and it cannot be shown that there was a goddess called Harman or Harmonia in the Phoenician worship. Lastly, the fanciful idea of Btticher, that harmōnâh is contracted from hâhar rimmōnâh, and that the meaning is, "and then ye throw, i.e., remove, the mountain (your Samaria) to Rimmon, that ancient place of refuge for expelled tribes" (Judges 20:45.), needs no refutation.)

The literal meaning of harmōnâh or harmōn still remains uncertain. According to the etymology of הרם, to be high, it apparently denotes a high land: at the same time, it can neither be taken as an appellative, as Hesselberg and Maurer suppose, "the high land;" nor in the sense of 'armōn, a citadel or palace, as Kimchi and Gesenius maintain. The former interpretation is open to the objection, that we cannot possibly imagine why Amos should have formed a word of his own, and one which never occurs again in the Hebrew language, to express the simple idea of a mountain or high land; and the second to this objection, that "the citadel" would require something to designate it as a citadel or fortress in the land of the enemy. The unusual word certainly points to the name of a land or district, though we have no means of determining it more precisely.

(Note: Even the early translators have simply rendered haharmōnâh according to the most uncertain conjectures. Thus lxx, εἰς τὸὄρος τὸ Ῥομμάν (al. Ῥεμμάν); Aq., mons Armona; Theod., mons Mona; the Quinta: excelsus mons (according to Jerome); and Theodoret attributes to Theodot. ὑψηλὸν ὄρος. The Chaldee paraphrases it thus: להלאה מן טוּרי הרמיני, "far beyond the mountains of Armenia." Symmachus also had Armenia, according to the statement of Theodoret and Jerome. But this explanation is probably merely an inference drawn from 2 Kings 17:23, and cannot be justified, as Bochart supposes, on the ground that mōnâh or mōn is identical with minnı̄.)

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Jonah 3:3
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