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Jonah 3:5 "The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least,"

When the text said that they believed in Elohim, did they believe in him for salvation or believed only in the message of Jonah that Nineveh will be destroyed?

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  • Did they believe in Him how? Throughout all their history? Or merely after Noah’s prophetic message and shortly thereafter? Did they believe He was a God among other gods? Please clarify what you are asking. Thank you – Nihil Sine Deo Dec 14 '20 at 13:14
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    I think I'll just start with the meaning of Jonah 3:5, I've edited the question – Theo Dec 14 '20 at 14:44
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Let's look at the context:

Jonah3:4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.

The Ninevites reacted specifically to Jonah's message of destruction. Eternal salvation was not formally introduced until the time of Jesus. However, little beknown to them, they would reap the benefit just the same as announced by Jesus in

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.

Whether they knew it or not, those who believed God and repented would inherit eternal salvation.

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