4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Jonah 3:4, NIV
ESV - 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!
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I would say that Jonah's message to Nineveh was not untrue, but conditional (although that condition was not explicitly stated by God or Jonah). There would have been no purpose in God sending Jonah to Nineveh to preach if God had been determined to destroy Nineveh, no matter how the Ninevites might have responded to that preaching. It was for the purpose of having the Ninevites repent that Jonah was told to go to Nineveh and preach to them. Because the Ninevites repented, God chose to have mercy on the city, rather than destroying it, which was entirely His prerogative (just as He could/would have destroyed the city in accordance with Jonah's preaching if the Ninevites had not repented). However, God did not reveal to Jonah the conditional aspect of His intentions toward Nineveh because he wanted to impress the urgency of the situation upon the Ninevites through Jonah's preaching.
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