some trivia on the book of Jonah

Date: Sun Aug 18 2002 - 09:38:31 EDT

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    Just a reflection:

    Some time ago, there was some discussion about the literal interpretation of
    Jonah in which it was mentioned that the descriptions of the size of
    the city of
    Nineveh were exaggerated. However, it recently occurred to me that to walk
    around in Beijing from one end of the old part of the city to the other would

    probably take almost one day. In fact, to walk from say the Tokyo
    train station
    to the Shinjuku train station (which spans the major part of the older
    city) would probably take a good part of a day, especially the way
    Tokyo is laid out.

    For Nineveh, with about 120000 inhabitants and an eight mile circumference,
    I'm not sure how the streets were organized there (cir. 700 BC), but
    it wouldn't surprise me if most of them were rather haphazard (except
    possibly the main military access
    roads). Add to that the kind of chaos that one would encounter
    as they tried to negotiate these streets, and progress could become quite slow.
    There may have been more city as well in the outer regions.
    Hence, the description might be more realistic than we think (although
    three days is probably still exaggerating a bit).

    Note: this is not an indorsement for a strict literal interpretation of Jonah,
    only an observation.

    by Grace we proceed,

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