Jonah 3:10 and paragraph summary
3:10 - When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
Enmasse, the Ninevites turned from their wicked way and sought mercy from the Lord. God brought about His perfect will in an evil, degenerate city. The repentance could only be accredited to God as He caused not only the swift spread of the message to the parts of Nineveh that Jonah didn't reach, but also the quick response by the king, nobles, and the city.
Chapter 3 Notes and Summary
At this point, the original audience may have started to get wind of the book's message to them. Here is the evil, brutal, hardened pagan city of Nineveh, the jewel of the Assyrian empire and center of absolute wickedness, that falls to their knees in true repentance at the preaching of a simple eight word message.
Yet, God sent prophet after prophet to Israel with many more messages and arguments to repent, but Israel refused. Oh the hard hearted Israelites are being shamed by the wicked Gentiles!
If the book of Jonah was just about turning a wayward prophet back to the will of the Lord, then it would end here:
God commanded, Jonah bolted.
God brought discipline, Jonah relented.
God commanded, Jonah obeyed.
God brought a warning, Nineveh repented.
If the book of Jonah was about God's bringing salvation to whom He wishes, then the book would end here as well:
The sailors were saved.
Jonah was saved (from physical harm).
Nineveh was saved (from destruction).
Salvation belongs to the Lord!
But, the book does not end with chapter three and so God's message remains to be found.
Chapter 3 boiled down to a sentence: God works miracles through the weakest of messages.