Josephus has transformed what Bickerman has called a morality play, which, in the Bible, focuses upon the sinful people of Nineveh, their genuine repentance, and their forgiveness by God, into a historical episode centering upon the historical figure of Jonah, who, as a prophet, is closely akin to the historian, and upon his political mission. All the reasons why the book was chosen for the haftarah of the afternoon service of the most sacred day of the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement, namely, to emphasize that God is the God of all mankind, that it is impossible to flee from His presence, and that He pities His creatures and forgives those who turn to Him in truth—all these are conspicuously absent from Josephus' account. The biblical version is more an unfulfilled prophecy than a book about a prophet, whereas Josephus' is about a prophet and, via Nahum, of a fulfilled prophecy. In an effort to appeal to his non-Jewish audience, he has emphasized the qualities of character of Jonah and muted the role of God. He has avoided taking responsibility for the central miracle of the book, the episode of Jonah in the big fish. Above all, in order not to offend his Roman hosts, who were very sensitive about proselytizing by Jews, he avoids subscribing to the biblical indications that the inhabitants of Nineveh had repented and had turned to Judaism, in whole or, at any rate, in part.