1. From a semantic perspective, one can interpret the word “pity” in different ways: first, to love and protect, to feel tenderness toward something; second, to love dearly; finally, to be both unwilling to hurt it and unable to bear doing so. In short, it implies tender affection and love, as well as an unwillingness to give up someone or something; it means God’s mercy and tolerance toward man. Although God used a word commonly spoken among men, the use of this word lays bare the voice of God’s heart and His attitude toward mankind.
2. While the city of Nineveh was filled with people just as corrupt, evil and violent as those of Sodom, their repentance caused God to change His heart and decide not to destroy them. Because their reaction to God’s words and instructions demonstrated an attitude in stark contrast to that of the citizens of Sodom, and because of their honest submission to God and honest repentance for their sins, as well as their true and heartfelt behavior in all regards, God once more demonstrated His heartfelt pity and bestowed it upon them.
from “God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh