ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Thu Nov 19 16:52:37 EST 1998
On Wed 18 Nov 98 (20:07:18), brent.lynn.emery at prodigy.net wrote:
> I think the word HaPaK is used in Jonah if my memory serves me and is
> in fact one of the key words in the book. Jonah wants Nineveh to think
> that in 40 days (LXX has three) that they will be "overturned" which in
> fact they are but not in the way Jonah wanted.
Thank you for that. Nineveh did share the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, in
that the site was destroyed by volcanic eruption in 612 BCE, as prophesied
by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah. Nineveh was captured and plundered by
the Medes and their allies in 616; but was "overthrown" in 612.
Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, and so God mercifully
suspended execution of sentence for two more generations. AH Layard in his
fascinating book /Nineveh and its Remains/, 1849, tells of a bas-relief on
some of the walls depicting a person standing upright in the mouth of a
large fish (representing the goddess Nina). This will go a long way to
explain Jonah's extraordinary preaching success in Nineveh, commented upon
by Jesus in Matthew 12:41, Luke 11:30. This was shortly after he had
condemned Chorazin and Bethsaida and Capernaum, adding that if the mighty
works they had seen him do there "had been done *in Sodom*, it would have
remained until this day" (Matthew 11:21-23; Luke 10:12-15). Josephus in
/The Wars of the Jews/ tells us how this grim prophecy was fulfilled well
within 40 years (66CE).
None of the commentaries in my possession comment on the discrepancy
between the MT and LXX concerning the number of days' grace given by YHWH
for repentance to take place before the "overthrowing". Maybe it is a case
of homoioteleuton with the "three days' journey" of the preceding verse.
Or it is an accommodation to the three days of chapter 4, when Jonah
camped out on the hill to watch the "overthrow" take place, like Lot at
Zoar (the days of the booth; the gourd; the worm and the east wind), and
was so upset when it didn't happen. If it was only three days (LXX), then
with EB Pusey we may well ask, what did Jonah do on the other 37 days!
> Have a paper that you both may be interested in that goes further into
> this if you are interested.
Very possibly. Tell us more (by email if you prefer).
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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