Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Jonah 3:3

Context
NET ©

So Jonah went immediately to Nineveh, as the Lord had said. (Now Nineveh was an enormous city 1  – it required three days to walk through it!) 2 

NIV ©

Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days.

NASB ©

So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk.

NLT ©

This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all.

MSG ©

This time Jonah started off straight for Nineveh, obeying GOD's orders to the letter. Nineveh was a big city, very big--it took three days to walk across it.

BBE ©

So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh as the Lord had said. Now Nineveh was a very great town, three days’ journey from end to end.

NRSV ©

So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across.

NKJV ©

So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three–day journey in extent .


KJV
So Jonah
<03124>
arose
<06965> (8799)_,
and went
<03212> (8799)
unto Nineveh
<05210>_,
according to the word
<01697>
of the LORD
<03068>_.
Now Nineveh
<05210>
was an exceeding
<0430>
great
<01419>
city
<05892>
of three
<07969>
days
<03117>_'
journey
<04109>_.
{exceeding: Heb. of God}
NASB ©
So Jonah
<03124>
arose
<06965>
and went
<01980>
to Nineveh
<05210>
according to the word
<01697>
of the LORD
<03068>
. Now Nineveh
<05210>
was an exceedingly
<0430>
great
<01419>
city
<05892>
, a three
<07969>
days'
<03117>
walk
<04109>
.
HEBREW
Mymy
<03117>
tsls
<07969>
Klhm
<04109>
Myhlal
<0430>
hlwdg
<01419>
rye
<05892>
htyh
<01961>
hwnynw
<05210>
hwhy
<03068>
rbdk
<01697>
hwnyn
<05210>
la
<0413>
Klyw
<01980>
hnwy
<03124>
Mqyw (3:3)
<06965>
LXXM
kai
<2532
CONJ
anesth
<450
V-AAI-3S
iwnav
<2495
N-NSM
kai
<2532
CONJ
eporeuyh
<4198
V-API-3S
eiv
<1519
PREP
nineuh {N-ASF} kaywv
<2531
ADV
elalhsen
<2980
V-AAI-3S
kuriov
<2962
N-NSM
h
<3588
T-NSF
de
<1161
PRT
nineuh {N-NSF} hn
<1510
V-IAI-3S
poliv
<4172
N-NSF
megalh
<3173
A-NSF
tw
<3588
T-DSM
yew
<2316
N-DSM
wsei
<5616
ADV
poreiav
<4197
N-APF
odou
<3598
N-GSF
hmerwn
<2250
N-GPF
triwn
<5140
A-GPF
NET © [draft] ITL
So Jonah
<03124>
went
<01980>
immediately
<06965>
to
<0413>
Nineveh
<05210>
, as
<01697>
the Lord
<03068>
had said. (Now Nineveh
<05210>
was
<01961>
an enormous
<01419>
city
<05892>
– it required three
<07969>
days
<03117>
to walk
<04109>
through it!)
NET ©

So Jonah went immediately to Nineveh, as the Lord had said. (Now Nineveh was an enormous city 1  – it required three days to walk through it!) 2 

NET © Notes

tn Heb “was a great city to God/gods.” The greatness of Nineveh has been mentioned already in 1:2 and 3:2. What is being added now? Does the term לֵאלֹהִים (lelohim, “to God/gods”) (1) refer to the Lord’s personal estimate of the city, (2) does it speak of the city as “belonging to” God, (3) does it refer to Nineveh as a city with many shrines and gods, or (4) is it simply an idiomatic reinforcement of the city’s size? Interpreters do not agree on the answer. To introduce the idea either of God’s ownership or of dedication to idolatry (though not impossible) is unexpected here, being without parallel or follow-up elsewhere in the book. The alternatives “great/large/important in God’s estimation” (consider Ps 89:41b) or the merely idiomatic “exceptionally great/large/important” could both be amplified by focus on physical size in the following phrase and are both consistent with emphases elsewhere in the book (Jonah 4:11 again puts attention on size – of population). If “great” is best understood as a reference primarily to size here, in view of the following phrase and v. 4a (Jonah went “one day’s walk”), rather than to importance, this might weigh slightly in favor of an idiomatic “very great/large,” though no example with “God” used idiomatically to indicate superlative (Gen 23:6; 30:8; Exod 9:28; 1 Sam 14:15; Pss 36:6; 80:10) has exactly the same construction as the wording in Jonah 3:3.

tn Heb “a three-day walk.” The term “required” is supplied in the translation for the sake of smoothness and clarity.

sn Required three days to walk through it. Although this phrase is one of the several indications in the book of Jonah of Nineveh’s impressive size, interpreters are not precisely sure what “a three-day walk” means. In light of the existing archaeological remains, the phrase does not describe the length of time it would have taken a person to walk around the walls of the city or to walk from one end of the walled city to the other. Other suggestions are that it may indicate the time required to walk from one edge of Nineveh’s environs to the other (in other words, including outlying regions) or that it indicates the time required to arrive, do business, and leave. More information might also show that the phrase involved an idiomatic description (consider Gen 30:36; Exod 3:18; a three-day-journey would be different for families than for soldiers, for example), rather than a precise measurement of distance, for which terms were available (Ezek 45:1-6; 48:8-35). With twenty miles as quite a full day’s walk, it seems possible and simplest, however, to take the phrase as including an outlying region associated with Nineveh, about sixty miles in length.



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