New International Reader's Version

Jonah 3

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

1A message from the Lord came to Jonah a second time. The Lord said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce to its people the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the Lord. He went to Nineveh. It was a very large city. In fact, it took about three days to go through it. Jonah began by going one whole day into the city. As he went, he announced, “In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed.” The people of Nineveh believed God’s warning. So they decided not to eat any food for a while. And all of them put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad. That’s what everyone did, from the least important of them to the most important.

Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh. He got up from his throne. He took off his royal robes. He also dressed himself in the clothing of sadness. And then he sat down in the dust. Here is the message he sent out to the people of Nineveh.

“I and my nobles give this order.

Don’t let people or animals taste anything. That includes your herds and flocks. People and animals must not eat or drink anything. Let people and animals alike be covered with the clothing of sadness. All of you must call out to God with all your hearts. Stop doing what is evil. Don’t harm others. Who knows? God might take pity on us. He might not be angry with us anymore. Then we won’t die.”

10 God saw what they did. He saw that they stopped doing what was evil. So he took pity on them. He didn’t destroy them as he had said he would.