Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jonah 1:2

Here are my notes on the next verse:

"Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me."
Jonah 1:2

Noticed "arise" (Pastor's wife mentioned verbs like this being something to notice :0)

What does Nineveh mean? Found this at

Nineveh = "abode of Ninus" Definition: Capital of the ancient kingdom of Assyria; located on the east bank of the Tigris river, 550 miles (880 km) from its mouth and 250 miles (400 km) north of Babylon
Who is Ninus?
According to Wikipedia "he does not seem to represent any one personage known to modern history, and is more likely a conflation of several real and/or fictional figures of antiquity, as seen to the Greeks through the mists of time...He has sometimes been thought to be connected with the figure identified in the Torah as Nimrod the hunter", son of Cush (see Genesis 10:6-12). In some interpretations of the Hebrew text of Genesis 10, it is Nimrod who founded Nineveh, but this too is ambiguous: other translators render the same Torah verse as naming Ashur, son of Shem as the founder of Nineveh."
Where is Nineveh? Found it on this map and this map. Wow, Ninevah is quite a way from Joppa. Wonder how long it took Jonah to get there? It would help to know where the fish threw him up!

How big was it at the time? Well, it was the capital of Assiriya, so couldn't have been small.

Do we know what their evil was? Nineveh is mentioned 11 times outside the book of Jonah. Genesis 10:11, 12; 2 Kings 19:36, Isaiah 37:37, Nahum 1:1; 2:8; 3:7, Zephaniah 2:13, Matthew 12:41, Luke 11:30, 32. Nahum was a prophet to Nineveh, but a century later and not with the same results as Jonah. I gather, from what I've read, that being against God's Holy Nation, Israel, did not put them on His blessing side. I'm not sure what they were doing during Jonah's time, but Nahum shows them being very violent and enticing people (I'm assuming Israel) away as a prostitute would. Nahum 1:11 says "From you came one who plotted evil against the LORD..." 3:1 "...bloody city, all full of lies and plunder - no end to the prey!" 3:3 "...dead bodies without end..." So, I'm guessing their original sin was similar, although their heart purer as they repented after Jonah, but not after Nahum.

What does it mean for their evil to come up before Him? From the following verses, I deduce it simply means their ways are known to HaShem, they have made their evil ways known in the presence of the Lord.
The verses:

"Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus." Esther 1:19
"Let my cry come before you, O LORD" Psalms 119:169
"When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?" Isa 1:12

Of course, Proverbs 15:3 says "the eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good," so He always knows what we are doing. On one hand, Jonah 4:2 shows that HaShem is "a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster." On the other hand, Nahum 1:3 reminds us that "the LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty." He is patient, but He is just and avenging and will not let evil prevail forever.

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