Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Jonah 1:2

    Jonah 1:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Up! go to Nineveh, that great town, and let your voice come to it; for their evil-doing has come up before me.

    Webster's Revision

    Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

    World English Bible

    "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before me."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

    Clarke's Commentary on Jonah 1:2

    Go to Nineveh - This was the capital of the Assyrian empire, and one of the most ancient cities of the world, Genesis 10:10; and one of the largest, as it was three days' journey in circumference. Ancient writers represent it as oblong; being in length one hundred and fifty stadia, and ninety in breadth, the compass being four hundred and eighty stadia. Now as the stadium is allowed to have been equal to our furlong, eight of which make a mile, this amounts to fifty-four English miles: see on Jonah 3:3 (note). But we must not suppose that all this space was covered with compact streets and buildings; it took in a considerable space of country, probably all the cultivated ground necessary to support all the inhabitants of that district. Calmet computes the measurement of the circumference to be equal to twenty-five French leagues. It is reported to have had walls one hundred feet high, and so broad that three chariots might run abreast upon them. It was situated on the Tigris, or a little to the west, or on the west side of that river. It was well peopled, and had at this time one hundred and twenty thousand persons in it reputed to be in a state of infancy, which on a moderate computation would make the whole number six hundred thousand persons. But some, supposing that persons not being able to distinguish their right hand from their left must mean children under two years of age, and reckoning one such child for every twenty persons from that age upwards, make the population amount to two millions five hundred thousand. Nor can this be considered an exaggerated estimate, when we know that London, not one-tenth of the size of ancient Nineveh, contains a population of upwards of one million. But calculations of this kind, relative to matters of such remote antiquity, are generally precarious, and not very useful: and ancient authors, though the only guides, are not always safe conductors. Mosul is generally supposed to be the same as the ancient Nineveh. It is in the province of Dearbekir, on the west bank of the Tigris.

    Their wickedness is come up before me - This is a personification of evil. It ascends from earth to heaven; and stands before the Supreme Judge, to bear witness against its own delinquency, and that of the persons whom it has seduced.

    Barnes' Notes on Jonah 1:2

    Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city - The Assyrian history, as far as it has yet been discovered, is very bare of events in regard to this period. We have as yet the names of three kings only for 150 years. But Assyria, as far as we know its history, was in its meridian. Just before the time of Jonah, perhaps ending in it, were the victorious reigns of Shalmanubar and Shamasiva; after him was that of Ivalush or Pul, the first aggressor upon Israel. It is clear that this was a time Of Assyrian greatness: since God calls it "that great city," not in relation to its extent only, but its power. A large weak city would not have been called a "great city unto God" Jonah 3:3.

    And cry against it - The substance of that cry is recorded afterward, but God told to Jonah now, what message he was to cry aloud to it. For Jonah relates afterward, how he expostulated now with God, and that his expostulation was founded on this, that God was so merciful that He would not fulfill the judgment which He threatened. Faith was strong in Jonah, while, like Apostles "the sons of thunder," before the Day of Pentecost, he knew not" what spirit he was of." Zeal for the people and, as he doubtless thought, for the glory of God, narrowed love in him. He did not, like Moses, pray Exodus 32:32, "or else blot me also out of Thy book," or like Paul, desire even to be "an anathema from Christ" Romans 9:3 for his people's sake, so that there might be more to love his Lord. His zeal was directed, like that of the rebuked Apostles, against others, and so it too was rebuked. But his faith was strong. He shrank back from the office, as believing, not as doubting, the might of God. He thought nothing of preaching, amid that multitude of wild warriors, the stern message of God. He was willing, alone, to confront the violence of a city of 600,000, whose characteristic was violence. He was ready, at God's bidding, to enter what Nahum speaks of as a den of lions Nahum 2:11-12; "The dwelling of the lions and the feeding-place of the young lions, where the lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses." He feared not the fierceness of their lion-nature, but God's tenderness, and lest that tenderness should be the destruction of his own people.

    Their wickedness is come up before Me - So God said to Cain, Genesis 4:10. "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground:" and of Sodom Genesis 18:20 :21, "The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, because their sin is very grievous; the cry of it is come up unto Me." The "wickedness" is not the mere mass of human sin, of which it is said 1 John 5:19, "the whole world lieth in wickedness," but evil-doing toward others. This was the cause of the final sentence on Nineveh, with which Nahum closes his prophecy, "upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?" It bad been assigned as the ground of the judgment on Israel through Nineveh Hosea 10:14-15. "So shall Bethel do unto you, on account of the wickedness of your wickedness." It was the ground of the destruction by the flood Genesis 6:5. "God saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth." God represents Himself, the Great Judge, as sitting on His Throne in heaven, Unseen but All-seeing, to whom the wickedness and oppressiveness of man against man "goes up," appealing for His sentence against the oppressor. The cause seems ofttimes long in pleading. God is long-suffering with the oppressor too, that if so be, he may repent. So would a greater good come to the oppressed also, if the wolf became a lamb. But meanwhile, " every iniquity has its own voice at the hidden judgment seat of God." Mercy itself calls for vengeance on the unmerciful.

    Wesley's Notes on Jonah 1:2

    1:2 That great city - It is said to have been one hundred and fifty furlongs in length, that is eighteen miles and three quarters, and eleven miles and one quarter in breadth.