How Long After Jonah Was Nineveh Destroyed (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Around 200 Years

Bible is a very popular religious text. Like every other religious text, it presents its own history of the world. Many historians have been trying to relocate the existence of such history-related acts. One of them was in the Book of Jonah.



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In the Book of Jonah, also known as the Book of Jonas, God asked one of his followers named Jonah or Jonas to inform the citizens of Nineveh that God will destroy their city in 40 days. However, God forgives the people of the city of Nineveh and decides not to destroy them. Anyhow, much later, their city sees a fall and gets destroyed.

How Long After Jonah Was Nineveh Destroyed

How Long After Jonah Was Nineveh Destroyed?

In the Bible, Nineveh is shown as a corrupt city. The people of Nineveh were sinners and did not follow God. So, God gives a task to one of its true followers, Jonah. God asks Jonah to go to Nineveh city and tell the people that in 40 days, he will destroy their city. However, Jonah disliked Nineveh and its citizens. So, he decides to move away from the city of Nineveh rather than going towards it.

Jonah crosses a desert and gets to a seashore. He gets on a ship where shipmen followed their own god. On their voyage, they face a sea storm and, they lose control over the ship. Jonah suggests that God did this to them as he did not follow God’s command. He asks the pirate to throw him into the river. As Jonah insists, the pirates agree and throw Jonah in the sea.

In a minute, the storm vanishes miraculously. A giant fish swallows Jonah without killing him. Inside the stomach of the fish, Jonah thanks God and promises to do his task. The fish spits out Jonah on a seashore and, Jonah goes to the city of Nineveh. He gives God’s message to the people of Nineveh. This opens the eyes of the people of Nineveh and, they beg for forgiveness from God. As everyone, including the animals, begging for forgiveness, God decides to forgive them. The act of Jonah delivering the message of Nineveh’s destruction is said to be set in somewhere around the 9th Century BC. Although, the actual fall of Nineveh is dated around the 6th Century BC.

Forgiven by God (according to Bible)9th Century BC
Destroyed in war6th Century BC

Why Did It Take That Long For Nineveh To Fall?

It is assumed that it was around the 9th century when God forgave the people of Nineveh. Jonah’s message to the people on Nineveh opened their eyes. The people of Nineveh turned to god people. They started to follow God’s teachings with all their heart. They started to pray to God. From the path of sinfulness, they moved towards the path of virtues. That is why God decided to forgive them and did not destroy the city of Nineveh.

In around 6th century B.C., Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire was attacked. The Babylonians and Medes came together and attacked Nineveh. Nineveh could not defend itself, and it faced its fall. The war of Nineveh not only was a great victory for Babylonians and Medes but weakened Assyrian Empire, as it was a heavy blow for them.

We can say that God decided not to destroy the city of Nineveh, but it got destroyed anyhow much later. Although it took around 200 years for it to happen. One can say that God did decide not to destroy them, but did not promise to protect them either. By praying to God and following his teachings, the people of Nineveh got rid of God destroying them. But, the time and future were not very bright for them as they faced a major fall that history remembers. Or one can say that they were pardoned by God so that they can destroy themselves.


There are readings of religious texts that talk about history. So did Bible about the city of Nineveh. In Bible, God asked Jonah to give his message to the people of Nineveh. After a bit of distraction, Jonah finished his job and told the people of Nineveh that God will destroy Nineveh in 40 days. However, after seeing a change in behaviour in the people of Nineveh, God decided not to destroy the city.

However, the city got destroyed as it was attacked by Babylonians and Medes. It took 2 centuries for the city to be destroyed.


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