Jonah 3:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

King James Bible
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Darby Bible Translation
and let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God; and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

World English Bible
but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and animal, and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands.

Young's Literal Translation
and cover themselves with sackcloth let man and beast, and let them call unto God mightily, and let them turn back each from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.

Jonah 3:8 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth - The gorgeous caparisons of horses, mules and camels was part of Eastern magnificence. Who knows not how man's pride is fed by the sleekness of his stud, their "well-appointed" trappings? Man, in his luxury and pride, would have everything reflect his glory, and minister to pomp. Self-humiliation would have everything reflect its lowliness. Sorrow would have everything answer to its sorrow. People think it strange that the horses at Nineveh were covered with sackcloth, and forget how, at the funerals of the rich, black horses are chosen and are clothed with black velvet.

And cry unto God mightily - , "with might which conquereth judgment." A faint prayer does not express a strong desire, nor obtain what it does not strongly ask for, as having only half a heart.

And let them turn, every man from his evil way - Isaiah 59:6. "See what removed that inevitable wrath. Did fasting and sackcloth alone? No, but the change of the whole life. How does this appear? From the prophet's word itself. For he who spake of the wrath of God and of their fast, himself mentions the reconciliation and its cause. "And God saw their works." What works? that they fasted? that they put on sackcloth? He passes by these, and says, "that every one turned from his evil ways, and God repented of the evil which He had said that He would do unto them." Seest thou, that not the fast plucked them from the peril, but the change of life made God propitious to these pagan. I say this, not that we should dishonor, but that we may honor fasting. For the honor of a fast is not in abstinence from food, but in avoidance of sin. So that tie who limiteth fasting to the abstinence from food only, he it is, who above all dishonoreth it. Fastest thou? Show it me by its works. 'What works?' askest thou? if you see a poor man, have mercy; if an enemy, be reconciled; if a friend doing well, envy him not; if a beautiful woman, pass on. Let not the mouth alone fast; let eyes too, and hearing and feet, and hands, and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, clean from rapine and avarice! let the feet fast, holding back from going to unlawful sights! let the eyes fast, learning never to thrust themselves on beautiful objects, nor to look curiously on others' beauty, for the food of the eye is gazing. Let the ear too fast, for the fast of the ears is not to hear detractions and calumnies. Let the mouth too fast from foul words and reproaches. For what boots it, to abstain from birds and fish, while we bite and devour our brethren? The detractor preys on his brother's flesh."

He says, each from his evil way, because, in the general mass of corruption, each man has his own special heart's sin. All were to return, but by forsaking, each, one by one, his own habitual, favorite sin.

And from the violence - "Violence" is singled out as the special sin of Nineveh, out "of all their evil way;" as the angel saith, Mark 16:7. "tell His diciples and Peter." This was the giant, Goliath-sin. When this should be effaced, the rest would give way, as the Philistines fled, when their champion was fallen to the earth dead. "That is in their hands," literally "in their palms" , the hollow of their hand. The hands being the instruments alike of using violence and of grasping its fruits, the violence cleaves to them in both ways, in its guilt and in its gains. So Job and David say, Job 16:17; 1 Chronicles 12:17. "while there was no violence in my hands;" and Isaiah, "the work of wickedness is in their hands." Repentance and restitution clear the hands from the guilt of the violence: restitution, which gives back what was wronged; repentance, which, for love of God, hates and quits the sins, of which it repents. "Keep the winning, keep the sinning. The fruits of sin are temporal gain, eternal loss. We cannot keep the gain and escape the loss. Whoever keeps the gain of sin, loves it in its fruits, and will have them, all of them. The Hebrews had a saying , "Whoso hath stolen a beam, and used it in building a great tower, must pull down the whole tower and restore the beam to its owner," i. e., restitution must be made at any cost. "He," they say , "who confesses a sin and does not restore the thing stolen, is like one who holds a reptile in his hands, who, if he were washed with all the water in the world, would never be purified, until he cast it out of his hands; when he has done this, the first sprinkling cleanses him."

Jonah 3:8 Parallel Commentaries

Of the Public Fast.
A public fast is when, by the authority of the magistrate (Jonah iii. 7; 2 Chron. xx. 3; Ezra viii. 21), either the whole church within his dominion, or some special congregation, whom it concerneth, assemble themselves together, to perform the fore-mentioned duties of humiliation; either for the removing of some public calamity threatened or already inflicted upon them, as the sword, invasion, famine, pestilence, or other fearful sickness (1 Sam. vii. 5, 6; Joel ii. 15; 2 Chron. xx.; Jonah iii.
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

"Nineveh, that Great City"
Among the cities of the ancient world in the days of divided Israel one of the greatest was Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian realm. Founded on the fertile bank of the Tigris, soon after the dispersion from the tower of Babel, it had flourished through the centuries until it had become "an exceeding great city of three days' journey." Jonah 3:3. In the time of its temporal prosperity Nineveh was a center of crime and wickedness. Inspiration has characterized it as "the bloody city, . . . full
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Revelation 11:3
"And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

Job 16:17
Although there is no violence in my hands, And my prayer is pure.

Job 36:10
"He opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they return from evil.

Psalm 130:1
A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD.

Isaiah 1:16
"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,

Isaiah 55:6
Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

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