Nineveh was not destroyed instead led to repentance. It is clear that God accepts repentance. But Nineveh later was among the nations that attacked Israel. Is there any historical reason--a-Biblical too--for preserving Nineveh that time? Appreciate any Biblical reference to that, if any.
Jonah 1:1 - 17
ESV - 1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying. 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me."
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I would say that, irrespective of Nineveh's later behavior after God had spared it in the time of Jonah, Assyria (of which Nineveh was the capital) was the instrument that God Himself used to later execute His own judgment against the northern kingdom of Israel because of its idolatry and other sins, as recounted in 2 Kings 17. Perhaps God's sparing of Nineveh at the time of Jonah (in addition to being a response to the Ninevites' repentance at that time) was connected to God's foreknowledge of that later purpose (although that fact would not have constituted His approval of any "backsliding" by Assyria after its initial repentance). This is similar to the way in which God later used another pagan kingdom (Babylon) to execute his judgment against Judah, and to carry it into exile (with God even referring to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, as His servant in that regard (Jeremiah 43:10)). This demonstrates God's sovereignty over all nations, even if those nations do not recognize Him as God.
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