Ninevites

Concise Bible Dictionary:

The Ninevites or Assyrians, as known in scripture and on the monuments, are judged to have belonged to the Semitic stock—the older inhabitants of the district having been expelled or destroyed. They would thus be allied in blood and in language to the Hebrews. They differed from the Babylonians who were a mixed race, partly Accadian and partly Semitic.
The Accadians invented the cuneiform system of writing which was adopted by the Assyrians, and tablets have been found explaining Accadian words by Assyrian words. A learned Assyrian studied Accadian as a dead language, as Latin is now studied by educated people. The Assyrians were, however, a warlike people, and were not much given to literature and peaceful pursuits; yet various “lesson books” have been discovered which show that literature was not altogether neglected.
The records give evidence of the great ferocity of the Assyrians, who were less humane than the Babylonians. They impaled some of their victims, burnt others, and they even flayed alive the king of Hamath. Their cruelty is alluded to in Nahum 2:1212The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. (Nahum 2:12): “The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.”
The greater part of the religious system of Babylon was transported into Assyria, though the Assyrians were less given to religious observances. They had, however, their ritual and their prayers. One of these is remarkable:
“Let the wind carry away the transgression I have committed,{br}Destroy my manifold wickedness like a garment.{br}O my God, seven times seven are my transgressions,{br}My transgressions are ever before me.”
But excuses were made that the sins were those of ignorance:
“The transgression that I committed I knew not,{br}The sin that I sinned I knew not.”
The whole (about 60 lines) was to be repeated ten times, and at the end is added, “For the tearful supplication of the heart let the glorious name of every god be invoked sixty-five times, and the heart shall have peace” (Assyria: Its Princes, Priests, and People).
They had their temple, with its inner and outer courts, and a shrine to which only priests were admitted. A “sea” of water was at its entrance, and winged bulls, called “cherubs,” protected the place. They had their “sabbath” and their sacrifices, principally the bullock, part of which was burnt on the altar, and part eaten by the offerer, or given to the priest. This appears to have been a counterfeit of the tabernacle and its service.

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

gentilic of Nineveh

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Henderson’s translation is more graphic: “thoroughly soaked with their wine.” The prophet here has reference to the drinking habits of the Ninevites, of which the monuments give abundant illustration. Rawlinson says: “In the banquet scenes of the sculptures it is drinking, and not eating, that is represented. Attendants dip the wine-cups into a huge bowl or vase, which stands on the ground and reaches as high as a man’s chest, and carry them full of liquor to the guests, who straightway fall to a carouse.... Every guest holds in his right hand a wine-cup of a most elegant shape, the lower part modeled into the form of a lion’s head, from which the cup itself rises in a graceful curve. They all raise their cups to a level with their heads, and look as if they were either pledging each other or else one and all drinking the same toast” (Five Great Monarchies, vol.1, pp. 579-580).