Then the Lord spoke to Jonah for a second time. Go immediately to the great city of Nineveh and announce the message I'm giving you.” Jonah did what God told him. He set out and went to Nineveh, a city that was so big* it took three days to walk through it. Jonah went into the city, walking for one day, shouting out, “In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed in God. They announced a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
When the news of what was happening reached the king of Nineveh he came down from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then the king and the nobles issued a proclamation throughout Nineveh: “No person, no animal, no herd, and no flock, shall eat or drink anything. Every person and every animal is to wear sackcloth. Everyone is to pray sincerely to God, give up the evil things they do, and stop using violence. Who knows? God may change his mind and relent. He may decide not to destroy us in his fierce anger.”
10 God saw what they had donethat they had given up their evil waysso he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.
* 3:3 Literally, “great to God.” 3:5 To show their repentance. 3:8 Literally, “with force.”