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Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria, also being the capital for the province named after it (in which the entire province was all dependent on the city). It succeeded the city of Ashur of being Assyria's capital. It is one of the Bible's archetypical examples of immoral cities and had multiple prophecies about its destruction from multiple prophets such as Jonah , Nahum [1], and Zepheniah. The city was founded and built by Nimrod[2] who was the founder of many other large cities.



Some time after the Great Flood, Nimrod a descendant of Ham and Noah[3], began building many cities. In this Nimrod traveled to the land that would eventually become Assyria and built Nineveh[2] and other cities.

Visitation of Jonah[]

Main article: Jonah (Prophet)

During the rulership of Assur-dan III there was a prophet named Jonah, who was commanded by God to go preach against the city's wickedness.[4] Instead of preaching against the city, Jonah ran away from God and headed to the city of Tarshis that was a distance away.[5] While Jonah was on a ship with other sailors, a violent storm came about.[6] Jonah knowing that it was his fault for the storm, had the other sailors throw him into the sea,[7] and then was swallowed by a Great Fish.[8] After three days he was expelled from the fish[9] and once again asked by God to preach to Nineveh.[10]

Jonah now obeyed and went to Nineveh. Since the city was very large, the city would take three days journey to travel through[11]. For an entire day the people of Nineveh heard Jonah proclaiming a prophecy that in forty days the city would be overthrown.[12] When the vassal king of the city of Nineveh and the province heard this proclamation, he covered himself in sackcloth[13] and decreed everyone fast and wear sackcloth.[14] This was done so that God would perhaps spare the city[15] and because the people believed in God Yahweh.[16] After this, God saw the repentance of the people and relented to destroy the city.[17]

Jonah was upset about this, explaining that the chance for Nineveh's repentance was the reason for his fleeing.[18] Jonah took shelter under a plant, but God destroyed it, which Jonah was angry about.[19] God told Jonah that since he cared about the plant, he should've tended it as a sprang up overnight.[20] God then used this as a comparative analogy of the city of Nineveh and explained that He had concern for the city which had a population of over one-hundred and twenty-thousand.[21]


Years later, Nineveh became a wicked city yet again. Nahum prophesied against it saying that it will be destroyed and recorded it in the book of Nahum[1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nahum 1-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gen 10:11
  3. Genesis 10:8 (Link)
  4. Jon 1:2 (Link)
  5. Jon 1:3 (Link)
  6. Jon 1:4 (Link)
  7. Jon 1:12,15 (Link)
  8. Jon 1:17 (Link)
  9. Jon 2:10 (Link)
  10. Jon 3:1 (Link)
  11. Jonah 3:3 (Link)
  12. Jon 3:4 (Link)
  13. Jon 3:6 (Link)
  14. Jon 3:7-8 (Link)
  15. Jon 3:9 (Link)
  16. Jon 3:5 (Link)
  17. Jon 3:10 (Link)
  18. Jon 4:1-3 (Link)
  19. Jon 4:5-8 (Link)
  20. Jon 4:10 (Link)
  21. Jon 4:11 (Link)