Jonah 3:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
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."

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
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!

World English Bible
Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried out, and said, "In forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!"

Young's Literal Translation
And Jonah beginneth to go in to the city a journey of one day, and proclaimeth, and saith, 'Yet forty days -- and Nineveh is overturned.'

Jonah 3:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

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?

Jonah 3:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Of the Public Fast.
A public fast is when, by the authority of the magistrate (Jonah iii. 7; 2 Chron. xx. 3; Ezra viii. 21), either the whole church within his dominion, or some special congregation, whom it concerneth, assemble themselves together, to perform the fore-mentioned duties of humiliation; either for the removing of some public calamity threatened or already inflicted upon them, as the sword, invasion, famine, pestilence, or other fearful sickness (1 Sam. vii. 5, 6; Joel ii. 15; 2 Chron. xx.; Jonah iii.
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

"Nineveh, that Great City"
Among the cities of the ancient world in the days of divided Israel one of the greatest was Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian realm. Founded on the fertile bank of the Tigris, soon after the dispersion from the tower of Babel, it had flourished through the centuries until it had become "an exceeding great city of three days' journey." Jonah 3:3. In the time of its temporal prosperity Nineveh was a center of crime and wickedness. Inspiration has characterized it as "the bloody city, . . . full
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Matthew 12:41
"The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Luke 11:30
"For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.

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

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.

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