Jonah Preached in Nineveh
ACCORDING to the Bible record, in the ninth century B.C.E. the Hebrew prophet Jonah traveled hundreds of miles to preach to the inhabitants of the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh. As a result of his preaching, “the men of Nineveh began to put faith in God.” Even “the king of Nineveh . . . covered himself with sackcloth . . . And the true God got to see their works, that they had turned back from their bad way; and so the true God felt regret over the calamity that he had spoken of causing to them; and he did not cause it.”—Jonah 3:1-10.
The Bible, however, is not the only source that testifies to Jonah’s visit to that ancient site of Nineveh. The Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 16, page 461, 1946 edition, observes: “The ancient capital of the Assyrian empire lay on the right bank of the Tigris opposite the modern city of Mosul. It consists of two great mounds, Kouyunjik and that on which today is the reputed tomb of the prophet Jonah (Nebi Yunus).” The name “Nebi Yunus” means “The Tomb of the Prophet Jonah.”
The books Everyday Life in Ancient Times by the National Geographic Society, and Archaeology and Our Old Testament Contemporaries by James Kelso, contain pictures of the mound and mosque built to one side of it. It is interesting to note that, throughout the ages, the people of that area have honored the memory of the one who enabled early inhabitants of Nineveh to escape destruction.