Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me. [Gen. 10:11-12]. [The Amplified Bible].
That Jonah was a historical character and not fictional, is evidenced beyond question by the reference to him in 2 Kings 14:25: “[Jeroboam] restored the border of Israel…according to the word of the Lord…which He spoke by His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher.”
In spite of the fact that three times in the Old Testament [Gen. 10:11-12: Jonah 1:2; 3:3] and once in the Apocrypha [Judith 1:1] Nineveh is called a “great city,” skeptical Bible critics long believed the statement to be greatly exaggerated.
When the walled city was excavated it was found to be less than nine miles in circumference.
There were claims that the author, Jonah, did not know what he was talking about; but the real Author, the Holy Spirit, was being overlooked.
Later, excavations have proved that Nineveh had many suburbs, three of which are mentioned in connection with it in Genesis 10:11, 12.
One first Century writer [Diodorus Siculus] justifiably says Nineveh was a quadrangle measuring about sixty miles in circuit. A “great city” indeed.
– The Amplified Bible: page 1040
– Posted by Sage