Excerpted from one of several texts “On Repentence” (CPG 4017) attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian.
The Lord revoked his threat and the Ninevites were spared. Repentance made entreaty and the city returned to its former status.
The city here stands for the whole world, and the the Ninevites represent all humanity. The prophet Isaiah speaks likewise, since he prophecies concerning Babylon in the following way: “The word which the Lord spoke to the whole world.”
He said to Adam alone, “You are earth and to the earth you will return,” and behold, we all die.
In the same way, the sparing of Nineveh is applied to all. Christ is risen, and humanity receives the glad tidings of the resurrection.
* Ed. Phrantzoles 5:56.