"Hath He said it, and shall He not do it?" "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". God‘s sparing Nineveh, when in the jaws of destruction, on the first dawn of repentance encourages the timid penitent, and shows beforehand that Israel‘s doom, soon after accomplished, is to be ascribed, not to unwillingness to forgive on God‘s part, but to their own obstinate impenitence. The foundational proposition and premise of the book of Jonah is that God is not a respecter of persons nor places. It was exceedingly prompt. God repented — See on Joel 2:13 (compare Amos 7:3). (9) Fasting and praying, in order to be acceptable before God, must be accompanied with a renunciation of all sin. The change here mentioned is not in the Lord's mind, but in the Lord's providence. What is said through all the scriptures concerning the Lord's repenting of what he had before said he would, and doing it not, is meant to show the change by his grace wrought in man, and not the least, change in himself. That I may not do what I predict. As then we cannot otherwise be terrified, that we may be humbled before God and repent, except He sets forth before us His wrath, the Scripture accommodates itself to the grossness of our understanding. 3:1 "the word of the Lord came to Jonah" This reflects 1:1. In other words He showed mercy towards them because of their repentance. What cannot God accomplish, when by the sovereign act of his love he inclines the sinner's heart, and turns the whole tide of the affections back again. Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not. It would be up to them how they responded. But unless God sees turning, he sees no work in a fast, saith one upon this very text. Not otherwise. Jonah was a *prophet in the land of Israel about 800-750 BC.During this time, an important event happened to Israel. It is a clear possibility that they might; and very likely the realization by them of this awful possibility is one of the elements which compose and complete the certainty of perseverance unto the end. ); and he is pleased to call his grace in us our works, for our encouragement in well doing, and freely to crown it in us, without any merit on our part. 5. in Greek) and effected by Nabopolassar and Astyages. (3) As Jonah previously "arose and fled," so now "he arose and went." He always acts consistently with Himself. God is now angry with us, and then, as though He were pacified, He offers pardon, and is propitious to us. All of God's promises, whether to bless or to destroy, in the last analysis, are conditional; and one of the purposes of Jonah is to exemplify that principle. Some passages of Scripture attribute repentance to the Most High, and some other passages deny that He ever does repent. Not so God; but contrariwise, He both predicts and delays, and terrifies with words, and leaves nothing undone, that He may not bring what He threatens. Chapter 2. But Jonah heard of the reprieve and pardon not only without joy, but with angry displeasure. "It was not until the repentance of Nineveh was manifested through works that their salvation was effected by God. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/jonah-3.html. 1685. Plato went three times into Sicily to convert Dionysius, the tyrant, and could do no good on him. "We may know the character of God only from what he does and the words he uses to explain his actions. If the question is put, "Why was not Nineveh destroyed? 1909-1922. To this, and this alone, God hath respect in all his dispensations, both in providence and grace. 4 But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. [Note: Gaebelein, p111.]. And God saw their works - o“He did not then first see them; He did not then first see their sackcloth when they covered themselves with it. God may say to impenitent fasters, saith another, as Isaac did to his father, "Behold the fire and wood, but where is the lamb?" The prophet Jonah (= a dove) is already mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25. See also Thomas L. Constable, "What Prayer Will and Will Not Change," in Essays in Honor of J. Dwight Pentecost, pp99-113; and Robert B. Chisholm Jeremiah , "Does God "Change His Mind"?" "Helpful also is the analogy of the thermometer. Yet to that end Scripture condescendeth healthfully to those words from which thou shrinkest, that thou shouldest not think that what thou deemest great is said worthily of Him. We hence see that some kind of change appears to us, whenever God either threatens or gives hopes of pardon and reconciliation; and to this must be referred this mode of speaking which Jonah adopts when he says that God repented. It was not that the city was destroyed, in Jonah’s sense. Matthew 3:7-10). 1832. But it is according to our perceptions that there is any change when God forgets His wrath, as though He had put on a new character. Were not the prophet‘s words bow and spear and sharp sword, when he said, “yet forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed?” But He discharged not the shaft, for it was prepared, not to be shot, but to be laid up.”, “When we read in the Scriptures or hear in Churches the word of God, what do we hear but Christ? “We say these things of God, because we do not find anything better to say. Elohim, the strong one) appears exclusively. The reason of his inhuman displeasure was a fear for his own fame. Sinfulness on the part of man always produces righteous judgment. Copyright StatementThe New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. God’s repentance is God reacting to human adjustment to His standards. Israel shared itsnorthern border with Syria. Be discerning: Utley is Amillennial and replaces Israel with the Church. (5) One day's preaching of God's minister sufficed to bring a whole people to their knees. That gives the changeless principle of God’s government, and it explains all the changes in His attitude towards nations and persons. Book List. When the city was humbled, He changed His mind, and waved the destroying angel home. The difficulty is this, there are passages in Holy Scripture which assert in the strongest way that God cannot repent, and that He never does. He promises blessing if they repent, punishment if not (cf. Any change in God’s attributes would make Him less than God. Jonah 3:10. by Grant Richison | Dec 5, 2001 | Jonah | 3 comments. Here is an apparent contradiction. And God repented] This was mutatio rei non Dei, change of intention not of God himself, as is above noted. Continued from Ch. (6) Jonah was in his own person, as Jesus saith, "a sign unto the Ninevites." He saw that they turned from their evil way — And that was what he looked for and required. If we repent of all sin and grow into all goodness, His thought and feeling will rise with us; and as, repenting, He spared Nineveh, so will He spare us, and we shall live and not die. It is more like a thermostat of mercury that rises and falls with the temperature. BibliographyCalvin, John. 3. The particular messenger, too, whom God selected for the purpose, who had suffered so much, and who had experienced so miraculous a deliverance, in order to constrain him to go to Nineveh, gave its citizens additional encouragement to sue for mercy. Thou doest it, because thou hast erred; He, because He avengeth or freeth. I. God’s repentance. He sees who turn from their evil ways and who do not; and meets those with favour that meet him in a sincere conversion. And such a change of life could not have taken place, had not the Ninevites been really moved by a sense of God’s wrath. "[39] Those who allege that "There is no ancient documentary proof of the great repentance in Nineveh," are profoundly mistaken. If God took vengeance for his neglect of the divine call, so surely, thought they, will He take vengeance on us, if we heed not his solemn threat. Laying aside his gorgeous robe of state, he wrapped himself in sackcloth, and exchanges his royal throne for a seat in ashes, outdoing even his people in the depth of his humiliation. For the meaning of the prophecy is, that the disposition of the inferior causes, whether in nature or in human acts, is such, that such an effect would follow” (as in regard to Hezekiah and Nineveh), “which order of the cause to the effect is sometimes hindered by other things supervening. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. Background1 Determining date and authorship of Jonah remains problematic, as explicit references do not exist within the narrative. Jeremiah 18:7-10). "Commentary on Jonah 3:10". "Commentary on Jonah 3:10". The superficial observer says it is changeable, for the mercury certainly moves in the tube. Biblical Commentary Jonah 3:1-5, 10 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: This is one of those scripture passages where the preacher must know the underlying story to make sense of the lectionary readings. And God saw their works] i.e. The superficial observer says it is changeable, for the mercury certainly moves in the tube. BibliographyCoffman, James Burton. And God saw what they had done, that they repented from their evil ways, and God was sorry about the evil which He had declared to do to them, and He did not do it. The thought must therefore have been suggested to the King of Nineveh by the same gracious Spirit who inspired Joel. “Prophecy,” says Aquinas in reference to these cases, “cannot contain anything untrue.” For “prophecy is a certain knowledge impressed on the understanding of the prophets by revelation of God, by means of certain teaching. For though some seem to have turned back His thoughts by their deprecations, yet this was His inward thought, that they should be able by their deprecations to turn back His sentence, and that they should receive from Him whereby to avail with Him. God may be said to be, “unchangeably changeable.” Illustrate from the thermometer or from the tides. 3:1-5 A Calling Revived. We humans are sorry and regret things and events that has either happened or has taken place. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. Their works: works, not words, are sure signs of what men are humbling themselves to the dust, extraordinary fasting, and crying unto God, these were some of their works; but God saw more than these external, professing works. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jonah-3.html. Jonah 3:10. The answer is, because they might. Sermon Bible Commentary. The Lord also directed Jonah to preach repentance to Nineveh; not that this capital of the heathen world might be converted at once to faith in the living God, and its inhabitants be received into the covenant of grace which He had made with Israel, but simply to give His people Israel a practical proof that He was the God of the heathen also, and could prepare for Himself even among them a people of His possession. Will any, then, remain impenitent, though he is not sure of living a single day! BibliographyBenson, Joseph. He knows all things from eternity past. God repented: this is spoken as before, Jonah 3:9, (and as his seeing is attributed to him,) after the manner of man, and must be applied unto our unchangeable God so as may not reflect any blemish upon his truth, constancy, or immutability. The Ninevites genuinely faced, acknowledged, and turned from their evil way. Your email address will not be published. BibliographyNicoll, William R. "Commentary on Jonah 3:10". For He is not a man, that He should relent.”. If he had not seen that, their fasting and sackcloth would have been as nothing in his account. "E.W. As, when a large building is on fire, men do not stand on etiquette, but instantly try with all their might to extinguish the flames, so the men of Nineveh, aware that much time would be lost if they waited to comply with the ceremonial customary in approaching an eastern king, and far removed, as many of them were, in the vast city, from the quarter where the palace stood, immediately adopted the only measures likely to obtain deliverance from the impending ruin. The conduct of God towards the repentant Ninevites was in accordance with these general principles of His moral government. (11) The King of the Ninevites used the very same plea in addressing them as that which the prophet Joel suggested to the people of Judah, "Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?" To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient. The words mean no such thing; but he shows it as a fact which followed, that God was pacified, because the Ninevites repented. And in this way, Jerome saith that ‹prophecy is a sort of sign of divine foreknowledge.‘ The truth then of the prophetic knowledge and utterance must be the same as that of the divine knowledge, in which there can be no error. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/jonah-3.html. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us (Psalms 66:18). (Jeremiah 18:7-10.) https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jonah-3.html. Whence, sometimes, the prophetic revelation is a sort of impressed likeness of the Divine Foreknowledge, as it beholds the future contingent things in themselves, and these always take place as they are prophesied: as, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive.”, But sometimes the prophetic revelation is an impressed likeness of Divine Foreknowledge, as it knows the order of causes to effects; and then at times the event is other than is foretold, and yet there is nothing untrue in the prophecy. Copyright StatementThe Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/jonah-3.html. "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". Second, there was a serious, pronounced bias in recording history that gave only the most favorable of impressions. Ac 15:18, “Known to God from eternity are all His works.”. With the Ninevites God was justly angry. 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