John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible
- Jonah's mission renewed and executed, verse 1-4.
- The humiliation and reformation of the Ninevites, verse 5-9.
- Their sentence revoked, verse 10.
Exceeding great - The greatest city of the known world at that day, it was then in its flourishing state greater than Babylon, whose compass was three hundred eighty-five furlongs, but Nineveh was in compass, four hundred and eighty. It is said, her walls were an hundred foot in height, her walls broad enough for three coaches to meet, and safely pass by each other; that it had fifteen hundred towers on its walls, each two hundred foot high, and one million, four hundred thousand men employed for eight years to build it. Of three days journey - To walk round the walls, allowing twenty miles to each day's journey.
Shall be overthrown - The threat is express. But there was a reserve with God, on condition of repentance.
From the greatest - Great and small, rich and poor.
The king - Probably Phul Belochus. His robe - Put off his rich apparel.
Taste any thing - Man and beast are to forbear to eat and drink, that the fast might be most solemn, that the cry of man, seconded with the cry of hungry cattle, might enter the ears of God, who preserveth man and beast.
And beast - Their horses and camels, both which they adorned with rich and costly clothing, they must now in testimony of an hearty repentance, clothe with sackcloth; the clothing of beasts must witness for men. The violence - Oppression and rapine. In their hands - Which are practised by them.