Book of Jonah

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The Book of Jonah gives an account of (1) Jonah's 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).[1] Nineveh was spared after Jonah's mission for more than a century.[1] 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. [1]

Jonah and his story is referred to by Jesus (Matthew 12:39, 40; Luke 11:29), a fact to which the greatest weight must be attached.[1] It is impossible to interpret this reference on any other theory.[1] This one argument is of sufficient importance to settle the whole question.[1] No theories devised for the purpose of getting rid of difficulties can stand against such a proof that the book is a veritable history.[1]

There is every reason to believe that this book was written by Jonah himself.[1] It professes to give an account of what actually took place in the experience of the prophet Jonah.[1] Some critics have sought to interpret the book as a parable or allegory, and not as a history.[1] They have done so for various reasons.[1] 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.[1]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Easton's Bible Dictionary, article on Jonah originally published in 1897.