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April 26    Scripture

Bible Books: Jonah
The Book of Jonah in the Bible

Jonah in the Bible. An Errand of Mercy to Nineveh. Jonah proclaims a coming judgment upon Nineveh. But they repented and judgment was spared. -Outline of the Books of the Bible

JONAH [OLD TESTAMENT] [PROPHETICAL] [MINOR PROPHETS]


Book of Jonah in Easton's Bible Dictionary This book professes to give an account of what actually took place in the experience of the prophet. Some critics have sought to interpret the book as a parable or allegory, and not as a history. They have done so for various reasons. Thus (1) some reject it on the ground that the miraculous element enters so largely into it, and that it is not prophetical but narrative in its form; (2) others, denying the possibility of miracles altogether, hold that therefore it cannot be true history. Jonah and his story is referred to by our Lord (Matt. 12:39, 40; Luke 11:29), a fact to which the greatest weight must be attached. It is impossible to interpret this reference on any other theory. This one argument is of sufficient importance to settle the whole question. No theories devised for the purpose of getting rid of difficulties can stand against such a proof that the book is a veritable history. There is every reason to believe that this book was written by Jonah himself. It gives an account of (1) his divine commission to go to Nineveh, his disobedience, and the punishment following (1:1-17); (2) his prayer and miraculous deliverance (1:17-2:10); (3) the second commission given to him, and his prompt obedience in delivering the message from God, and its results in the repentance of the Ninevites, and God's long-sparing mercy toward them (ch. 3); (4) Jonah's displeasure at God's merciful decision, and the rebuke tendered to the impatient prophet (ch. 4). Nineveh was spared after Jonah's mission for more than a century. The history of Jonah may well be regarded "as a part of that great onward movement which was before the Law and under the Law; which gained strength and volume as the fulness of the times drew near.", Perowne's Jonah.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/J/Jonah,+Book+of/


Book of Jonah in Wikipedia The Book of Jonah (Hebrew: Sefer Yonah) is a book in the Hebrew Bible. It tells the story of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah ben Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission.[1] Set in the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BCE), it was probably written in the post-exilic period, sometime between the late fifth to early fourth century BC.[2] The story has an interesting interpretive history (see below) and has become well-known through popular children’s stories. In Judaism it is the Haftarah for the afternoon of Yom Kippur due to its story of God's willingness to forgive those who repent...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jonah


Chart of the Prophets of Israel and Judah God raised up certain "prophets" who were His mouthpieces. They would speak out against their sin and idolatry and would continually warn of God's judgment. Some of the prophets spoke out in the North and some in the South, but God was faithfully warning them of certain catastrophe if they would not turn to him.
http://www.bible-history.com/black-obelisk/kings-prophets.html


Jonah in Easton's Bible Dictionary a dove, the son of Amittai of Gath-hepher. He was a prophet of Israel, and predicted the restoration of the ancient boundaries (2 Kings 14:25-27) of the kingdom. He exercised his ministry very early in the reign of Jeroboam II., and thus was contemporary with Hosea and Amos; or possibly he preceded them, and consequently may have been the very oldest of all the prophets whose writings we possess. His personal history is mainly to be gathered from the book which bears his name. It is chiefly interesting from the two-fold character in which he appears, (1) as a missionary to heathen Nineveh, and (2) as a type of the "Son of man."
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/J/Jonah/


Jonah in Smiths Bible Dictionary (dove), the fifth of the minor prophets, was the son of Amittai, and a native of Gath-hepher. 2Ki 14:25 He flourished in or before the reign of Jeroboam II., about B.C. 820. Having already, as it seems, prophesied to Israel, he was sent to Nineveh. The time was one of political revival in Israel; but ere long the Assyrians were to be employed by God as a scourge upon them. The prophet shrank from a commission which he felt sure would result, Jon 4:2 in the sparing of a hostile city. He attempted therefore to escape to Tarshish. The providence of God, however, watched over him, first in a storm, and then in his being swallowed by a large fish (a sea monster, probably the white shark) for the space of three days and three nights. [On this subject see article WHALE] After his deliverance, Jonah executed his commission; and the king, "believing him to be a minister form the supreme deity of the nation," and having heard of his miraculous deliverance, ordered a general fast, and averted the threatened judgment. But the prophet, not from personal but national feelings, grudged the mercy shown to a heathen nation. He was therefore taught by the significant lesson of the "gourd," whose growth and decay brought the truth at once home to him, that he was sent to testify by deed, as other prophets would afterward testify by word, the capacity of Gentiles for salvation, and the design of God to make them partakers of it. This was "the sign of the prophet Jonas." Lu 11:29,30 But the resurrection of Christ itself was also shadowed forth in the history of the prophet. Mt 12:39,41; 16:4 The mission of Jonah was highly symbolical. The facts contained a concealed prophecy. The old tradition made the burial-place of Jonah to be Gath-hepher; the modern tradition places it at Nebi-Yunus, opposite Mosul.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/J/Jonah/


Jonah in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE jo'-na (yonah, "dove"; 'Ionas): (1) According to 2 Ki 14:25, Jonah, the son of Amittai, of Gath-hepher, a prophet and servant of Yahweh, predicted the restoration of the land of Israel to its ancient boundaries through the efforts of Jeroboam II. The prophet lived and labored either in the early part of the reign of Jeroboam (790-750 BC), or during the preceding generation. He may with great probability be placed at 800-780 BC. His early ministry must have made him popular in Israel; for he prophesied of victory and expansion of territory. His native village of Gath-hepher was located in the territory of Zebulun (Josh 19:13). (2) According to the book bearing his name, Jonah the son of Amittai received a command to preach to Nineveh; but he fled in the opposite direction to escape from the task of proclaiming Yahweh's message to the great heathen city; was arrested by a storm, and at his own request was hurled into the sea, where he was swallowed by a great fish, remaining alive in the belly of the fish for three days. When on his release from the body of the fish the command to go to Nineveh was renewed, Jonah obeyed and announced the overthrow of the wicked city. When the men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of the prophet, God repented of the evil He had threatened to bring upon them. Jonah was grieved that the oppressing city should be spared, and waited in the vicinity to see what would be the final outcome. An intense patriot, Jonah wished for the destruction of the people that threatened to swallow up Israel. He thought that Yahweh was too merciful to the heathen oppressors. By the lesson of the gourd he was taught the value of the heathen in the sight of Yahweh. It is the fashion now in scholarly circles to treat the Book of Jonah as fiction. The story is said to be an allegory or a parable or a symbolic narrative. Why then did the author fasten upon a true and worthy prophet of Yahweh the stigma of rebellion and narrowness? On theory that the narrative is an allegory, J. Kennedy well says that "the man who wrote it was guilty of a gratuitous insult to the memory of a prophet, and could not have been inspired by the prophet's Master thus to dishonor a faithful servant." (3) our Lord referred on two different occasions to the sign of Jonah the prophet (Mt 12:38-41; Lk 11:29-32; Mt 16:4). He speaks of Jonah's experience in the belly of the fish as parallel with His own approaching entombment for three days, and cites the repentance of the Ninevites as a rebuke to the unbelieving men of his own generation. Our Lord thus speaks both of the physical miracle of the preservation of Jonah in the body of the fish and of the moral miracle of the repentance of the Ninevites, and without the slightest hint that He regarded the story as an allegory.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/J/JONAH/


The Book of Jonah in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE This little roll of four short chapters has given rise to almost as much discussion and difference of opinion as the first four chapters of Genesis. It would be presumptuous to think that one could, in a brief article, speak the final word on the questions in debate. I. Contents of the Book. The story is too well known to need retelling. Moreover, it would be difficult to give the events in fewer words than the author employs in his classic narrative. One event grows out of another, so that the interest of the reader never flags. 1. Jonah Disobedient, Jonah 1:1-3: When the call came to Jonah to preach in Nineveh, he fled in the opposite direction, hoping thus to escape from his unpleasant task. He was afraid that the merciful God would forgive the oppressing heathen city, if it should repent at his preaching. Jonah was a narrow-minded patriot, who feared that Assyria would one day swallow up his own little nation; and so he wished to do nothing that might lead to the preservation of wicked Nineveh. Jonah was willing to prophesy to Israel; he at first flatly refused to become a foreign missionary. 2. Jonah Punished, Jonah 1:4-16: The vessel in which the prophet had taken passage was arrested by a great storm. The heathen sailors inferred that some god must be angry with some person on board, and cast lots to discover the culprit. When the lot fell upon Jonah, he made a complete confession, and bravely suggested that they cast him overboard. The heathen mariners rowed desperately to get back to land, but made no progress against the storm. They then prayed Yahweh not to bring innocent blood upon them, and cast Jonah into the sea. As the storm promptly subsided, the heathen sailors offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows. In this part of the story the mariners give an example of the capacity of the Gentiles to perform noble deeds and to offer acceptable worship to Yahweh...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/J/JONAH,+THE+BOOK+OF/


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