Wednesday of the First Week of Lent
Jonah 3: 1-10
Psalm 50: 3-4, 12-13, 18-19 (R. 19b)
Nineveh is in the news. Nineveh is, of course, the present day city of Mosul in Northern Iraq, not far from the Turkish border. Its ruins spread over 1800 acres: a huge green space on the eastern bank of the Tigris River. The ancient Nineveh of the Assyrians was an immense city, seven times larger than the Old City of Jerusalem.
The very mention of Nineveh cast fear into every Jewish heart. Sennacherib, the King of Assyria whose palace was in Nineveh, invaded Judah in the days of King Hezekiah. To placate Sennacherib, Hezekiah gave him “all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house” (2 K 18:15). He even “stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord” (2 K 18:16) and gave it to Sennacherib. God intervened to save Jerusalem from the invading Assyrians. “The angel of the Lord went forth, and slew a hundred and