Jonah 3:5
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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,

Jonah 3:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And the people of Nineveh believed God; - strictly, "believed in God." To "believe in God" expresses more heart-belief, than to "believe God" in itself need convey. To believe God is to believe what God says, to be true; "to believe in" or "on God" expresses not belief only, but that belief resting in God, trusting itself and all its concerns with Him. It combines hope and trust with faith, and love too, since, without love, there cannot be trust. They believed then the preaching of Jonah, and that He, in Whose Name Jonah spake, had all power in heaven and earth. But they believed further in His unknown mercies; they cast themselves upon the goodness of the hitherto "unknown God." Yet they believed in Him, as the Supreme God, "the" object of awe, the God אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym Jonah 3:5, Jonah 3:8, האלהים ha'ĕlohı̂ym Jonah 3:9, although they knew Him not, as He Is , the Self-Existent One. Jonah does not say how they were thus persuaded.

God the Holy Spirit relates the wonders of God's Omnipotence as common everyday things. They are no marvels to Him Who performed them. "He commanded and they were done." He spake with power to the hearts which He had made, and they were turned to Him. Any human means are secondary, utterly powerless, except in "His" hands Who Alone doth all things through whomsoever He doth them. Our Lord tells us that "Jonah" himself "was a sign unto the Ninevites" . Whether then the mariners spread the history, or howsoever the Ninevites knew the personal history of Jonah, he, in his own person and in what befell him, was a sign to them. They believed that God, Who avenged "his" disobedience, would avenge their's. They believed perhaps, that God must have some great mercy in store for them, Who not only sent His prophet so far from his own land to "them" who had never owned, never worshiped Him, but had done such mighty wonders to subdue His prophet's resistance and to make him go to them.

And proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth - It was not then a repentance in word only, but in deed. A fast was at that time entire abstinence from all food until evening; the haircloth was a harsh garment, irritating and afflictive to the body. They who did so, were (as we may still see from the Assyrian sculptures) men of pampered and luxurious habits, uniting sensuality and fierceness. Yet this they did at once, and as it seems, for the 40 days. They "proclaimed a fast." They did not wait for the supreme authority. Time was urgent, and they would lose none of it. In this imminent peril of God's displeasure, they acted as men would in a conflagration. People do not wait for orders to put out a fire, if they can, or to prevent it from spreading. Whoever they were who proclaimed it, whether those in inferior authority, each in his neighborhood, or whether it spread from man to man, as the tidings spread, it was done at once. It seems to have been done by acclamation, as it were, one common cry out of the one common terror. For it is said of them, as one succession of acts, "the men of Nineveh believed in God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from their great to their little," every age, sex, condition . "Worthy of admiration is that exceeding celerity and diligence in taking counsel, which, although in the same city with the king, perceived that they must provide for the common and imminent calamity, not waiting to ascertain laboriously the king's pleasure." In a city, 60 miles in circumference, some time must needs be lost, before the king could be approached; and we know, in some measure, the forms required in approaching Eastern monarchs of old.

Jonah 3:5 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 11:32
"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.

Revelation 11:3
"And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

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

Jeremiah 36:9
Now in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the LORD.

Daniel 9:3
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.

Joel 1:14
Consecrate a fast, Proclaim a solemn assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land To the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD.

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