Jonah's message to the Ninevites is unusual in specifying a time limit before judgment comes. But while the MT and most manuscripts read "forty days" the LXX reads "three days". The history of interpretation of both "forty" and "three" is briefly surveyed before a fresh proposal is offered. The LXX represents a perception of what would be appropriate for Jonah to say, on the assumption that his message is faithful to his commission. The MT depicts a Jonah who does not want the Ninevites to respond.