🔼The name Nineveh in the Bible
Nineveh was situated on the eastern bank of the river Haddakel (= Tigris), opposite the modern city of Mosul. Expanded by various Assyrian kings and finally Sennacherib, it became the largest city in the world for about fifty years. It was destroyed in 612 BC by a coalition of Medes, Persians, Babylonians and some other nations that were supposed to be subjected to Assyria.
In the Bible the city of Nineveh features most predominantly in the Books of Nahum and Jonah. The latter is much more than the story of a wayward prophet and a great fish. Coming from a subject of the realm, the author of Jonah committed high treason, initially against the Assyrian empire, but then, when showing God's counter-intuitive compassion on Nineveh, against the people that Assyria suppressed including his own.
The name Nineveh appears also in the Greek New Testament, but only in the context of the sign of Jonah and the resurrection, when the men of Nineveh (spelled Νινευι, Nineui, or Ninevites Νινευιτης, Nineuites) will judge the generation of Christ (Matthew 12:41, Luke 11:30-32).
🔼Etymology of the name Nineveh
In cognate languages the city of Nineveh was known as Nina, Ninua (Ninwa) or Ninu, so the Hebrew rendering of Nineveh should be expected to be a meaningless transliteration more than a deliberate name. However, the form Nineveh may have reminded a Hebrew audience of a combination of נין (nin) and נוה (naweh):
Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Offspring's Habitation, or Habitation Of Ninus, where Ninus is a powerful, historical figure, who remains otherwise unmentioned by the Bible.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary do not translate.