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The LORD commissions Jonah again to go to Nineveh. This time Jonah obeys the LORD. He goes through the city and proclaims a message of judgment to the Ninevites, as the LORD has commanded him.
The king and the people of Nineveh respond positively to Jonah’s message. They abandon their evil behavior and turn to God.
When God sees the people’s genuine response, He responds with compassion and spares them from the announced judgment.
After the fish vomits Jonah onto dry land, the LORD commands him again to go to Nineveh to predict its destruction within forty days. The prophet faithfully carries the message through the city, and the Ninevites believe in God. To express their sorrow, they wear sackcloth and declare a city-wide fast. When Jonah’s message reaches the king of Nineveh, he exchanges his royal robes for sackcloth and elevates the fast to a new level. He commands both humans and animals to fast and wear sackcloth without tasting anything. He also asks the people to cry out to God and abandon their wicked behavior. Thus, when God sees the genuine response of the people, He spares them from the announced judgment. The outline of the passage is as follows: