This time the response of Jonah was quite different. Instead of running away, Jonah went to Nineveh as the word of Yahweh had instructed him. Next, we have a short description of this Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrians, a very large city that would take 3 days to walk across it. Actually, it was only about 3 miles wide and 1½ miles wide. It was one of the largest cities in the ancient world until the civil war of 612 BCE, probably with a population of around 120,000 people. Geographically, Nineveh was on the outskirts of modern day Mosul, Iraq, on the east bank of the Tigris River.
“Then all the renegade lawless people plotted and said.
Jonathan and his men are living in quiet and confidence.
Now let us bring Bacchides back.
He will capture them all in one night.’
They went and consulted with him. Bacchides started to come with a large force. He secretly sent letters to all his allies in Judea. He told them to seize Jonathan and his men. However, they were unable to do it, because their plan became known. Jonathan’s men seized about fifty of the men of the country who were leaders in this treachery, and killed them.”
Once again, we see the lawless Hellenistic renegade Jews plotting against Jonathan. Jonathan seemed to have been left alone. They wanted to bring back General Bacchides and capture him in one night. This once again emphasizes the civil war aspect of his uprising. After they consulted with General Bacchides, he started out with a large force. He sent letters to his allies to tell them to seize Jonathan. However, the opposite happened. Jonathan seized about 50 men who were against him and killed them.