3:5 The people 1 of Nineveh believed in God, 2 and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 3 3:6 When the news 4 reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes.
1 tn Heb “men.” The term is used generically here for “people” (so KJV, ASV, and many other English versions); cf. NIV “the Ninevites.”
2 sn The people of Nineveh believed in God…. Verse 5 provides a summary of the response in Nineveh; the people of all ranks believed and gave evidence of contrition by fasting and wearing sackcloth (2 Sam 12:16, 19-23; 1 Kgs 21:27-29; Neh 9:1-2). Then vv. 6-9 provide specific details, focusing on the king’s reaction. The Ninevites’ response parallels the response of the pagan sailors in 1:6 and 13-16.
3 tn Heb “from the greatest of them to the least of them.”
4 tn Heb “word” or “matter.”