New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:3 exceeding great city. Nineveh was a very ancient city, founded by Nimrod, and remained great until its destruction by Babylonia and its allies about 612 B.C. It was also a very wicked city, with its pagan worship centered around the fertility goddess Ishtar. The apex of its greatness, however, was not reached until the reign of Sennacherib, several decades after Jonah’s ministry there, with a newer and more wicked generation. Jonah’s ministry had taken place sometime during the reign of Jeroboam II in Israel, beginning around 780 B.C.
3:3 three days’ journey. The extraordinary size of Nineveh was not exaggerated. In the conventional notation of the day, its dimensions probably included its sister cities: Rehoboth, Calah and Resen (Genesis 10:11-12). Even the inner walled city of Nineveh itself was at least eight miles in circumference.