How Do I Apply This
Do you ever find yourself fighting Godyour desires pulling you one way, Gods desires pulling you another? Jonah found himself in that very position, but his own desire won out over Gods for a time. Or so he thought. As we often see in our own lives, God accomplished His purposes through Jonah even though it meant God doling out a heavy dose of humility on a prideful and unwilling heart.
While Jonah eventually departed and proclaimed Gods message, the lesson of his story does not end there. Jonah prophesied to Nineveh but he wasnt happy about it . Herein we find another touchstone for our lives: aligning our desires with Gods is always a process. Just because we go through the motions of following Gods will does not mean our hearts are aligned with His. God wanted Jonahs actions and his heart. He wants ours as well.
Who Wrote The Book
The book of Jonah, written primarily in the third person, does not explicitly name the prophet as the author of his own account, but we have no reason to doubt either the inspiration or the historical veracity of the book. Identified in verse 1 as the son of Amittai, Jonah came from a town called Gath-hepher, near Nazareth in the area that later came to be known as Galilee . This makes Jonah one of the few prophets who hailed from the northern kingdom of Israel.
Jason From Greek Mythology
Campbell also noted several similarities between the story of Jonah and that of Jason in Greek mythology. The Greek rendering of the name Jonah is Jonas, which differs from Jason only in the order of soundsâboth os are omegas suggesting that Jason may have been confused with Jonah. Gildas Hamel, drawing on the Book of Jonah and Greco-Roman sourcesâincluding Greek vases and the accounts of Apollonius of Rhodes, Gaius Valerius Flaccus and Orphic Argonauticaâidentifies a number of shared motifs, including the names of the heroes, the presence of a dove, the idea of “fleeing” like the wind and causing a storm, the attitude of the sailors, the presence of a sea-monster or dragon threatening the hero or swallowing him, and the form and the word used for the “gourd” .
Hamel takes the view that it was the Hebrew author who reacted to and adapted this mythological material to communicate his own, quite different message.
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What Are Some Distinctive Features Of This Book
Unlike other prophetic books in the Old Testament, the book of Jonah is not a record of Jonahâs prophecies but a narrative about the prophetâs experiences. The account contains details that appear to be exaggerations, which has raised questions for some readers about how much of the book is historical. Nevertheless, its literary elements make it a âbeautiful poemâ containing valuable lessons. Jesus Christ referred to Jonahâs three days and nights in the belly of the whale as a sign of His death and Resurrection .
Jonahâs actions may reflect the hostile feelings and attitudes some Israelites held toward the Gentiles. The bookâs testimony of Godâs mercy to the Ninevites echoes the messages of Old Testament prophets who taught of Godâs concern for people outside of Israel , and it foreshadows the future incorporation of Gentiles into the Church in New Testament times.
Atonement Images From Within The Great Fish In Jonah : 1: 10
The parallels between the story told in the book of Jonah and the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ become even more striking as the story continues.
Jonah was swallowed into the Lords great fish. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights . In the belly of Jehovahs great fish, Jonah suffered a Gethsemane-like affliction in unfathomable darkness. Such a vivid image of horror brings to mind the graphic answer this same Lord described to the sorrowful Prophet Joseph Smith while imprisoned in the Liberty Jail dungeon: If thou be cast into the deep if the billowing surge conspire against thee if fierce winds become thine enemy if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? .
LDS scholar Richard D. Draper expounds on this statement by Jesus.
Being forsaken. Jonah mourned, I am cast out of thy sight . This description of separation from his Lord Jehovah calls to mind the words of Jesus while on the cross, when he cried out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? .
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Has A Whale Ever Swallowed A Human
While the veracity of the story is in question, it is physically possible for a sperm whale to swallow a human whole, as they are known to swallow giant squid whole. However, such a person would be crushed, drowned or suffocated in the whales stomach. Similar to ruminants the sperm whale has a four-chambered stomach.
Why Was The Book Of Jonah Written
The primary purpose of the book of Jonah is to engage readers in theological reflection on the compas- sionate character of God, and in self-reflection on the degree to which their own character reflects this compassion, to the end that they become vehicles of this compassion in the world that God has made and so
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A Resistant Literature To Ezra & Nehemiah’s Religious Policy
Readers should consider the construction of the final form of the book of Jonah during the post-exilic era in Jerusalem c. 5th century BCE based on the employment of the late biblical Hebrew in the book. For this reason, many scholars are convinced that in the aftermath of Judah’s restoration back into Jerusalem following the edict issued by King Cyrus of Persia c. 539 BCE of their release, there occurred intermarriage issues between Judeans and non-Jews in Jerusalem. One major example concerning this issue is reflected in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah who were also returnees from the Babylonian exile that helped re-establish the political and religious life in Jerusalem.
For example, one of Ezra’s attempts was to re-establish pure Yahwism in Jerusalem as a way to prevent additional destruction upon Jerusalem by their enemies. As a result, Ezra and Nehemiah raise concerns concerning marriage relationships with non-Jews simply to faithfully reestablish their covenantal relationship with their God, YHWH. As generally misunderstood by numerous interpreters’, the call for exclusion of foreign wives in Ezra and Nehemiah were only limited on those who refuse to recant their foreign practices except those non-Jews who have agreed to the procedure of conversion. In the aftermath of the Babylonian experience, the need to re-establish their religious life and commitment to YHWH was necessary.
What Happened To Nineveh
The people of the city of Nineveh repented and changed their waysbut the change wasnt permanent. God did spare the city from destruction, but in time, the Assyrian people returned to ignoring Gods laws.
God used the nation of Assyria as the rod of anger to take most of the nation of Israel into captivity . However, when the Assyrians failed to acknowledge Gods role in their victories, God punished the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks .
The city of Nineveh eventually fell to the invading armies of the Babylonians and Medes .
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All 66 Books Of The Bible Agree
But here is the wonder of it all: When the 66 books of the Bible with their 1,189 chapters made up of 31,173 verses are brought together , we find perfect harmony in the message they convey. As the great scholar F. F. Bruce noted: The Bible is not simply an anthology there is a unity which binds the whole together.
The Bible writers gave Gods messages by voice and pen while they lived, and when they died, their writings lived after them. These prophetic messages were then gathered together, under Gods leading, in the book we call the Bible.
Why Is It So Important
Jonah was one of only four writing prophets that Jesus mentioned by name during His earthly ministry . But Jonah received more than a mere mention. Jesus actually identified Himself with the prophets three-day sojourn in the belly of the great fish, noting it as a foreshadowing of His own death, when Jesus would spend three days in the heart of the earth, before His resurrection . Jesuss identification with the prophet at the lowest point of Jonahs life finds echoes in the book of Hebrews, where it teaches that Jesus had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest . The book of Jonah stands as an important link in the prophetic chain, giving readers a glimpse of Christs death and resurrection hundreds of years before they actually occurred.
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Resonances In Jonahs Mission To Nineveh In Jonah : 1: 11
The gospel is for all nations. After Jonah was delivered, the Lord spoke a second time to Jonah, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee . Not only was Nineveh a Gentile city, it was the major city of Assyria, the great enemy of Israel and Judah, and it represents the epitome of wickedness. Both the Lords first and second calls to Jonah to go to Gentile Nineveh signify Gods universal love and concern over all nations. It was to be Israels charge as the seed of Abraham to eventually be a blessing to all the worlds nations . The import of this second call also extends to Jesuss restoration of the gospel to Joseph Smith.
All people turn to God and peace reigns in the land, even among the animals. So the people of Nineveh believed God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them even to the least of them . This account of total conversion of Nineveh is not verified in ancient historical records,30 but it prefigures that millennial day when every ear shall hear , and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess . . . saying: fear God, and give glory to him . . . for the hour of his judgment is come .
The book of Jonah ends as it began, by revealing the Lord and Savior of both the Old and New Testaments extending his universal love and justice to the entire world.
Lessons Learned From The Prophet Jonah
The little book of Jonah, one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament and one of two that prophesy against the city of Nineveh, though only four chapters long, contains some wonderful lessons for us to learn and apply in this Christian age. If one is not familiar with the accounts of the book of Jonah, we would urge that you read it first so that the following lessons will be more obvious.
Our first lesson is that God says what He means and means what He says. God told Jonah what He wanted Jonah to do. Whether Jonah liked what God commanded, understood the reason for what God commanded or wanted something different than what God commanded made no difference whatsoever. When God speaks, it is up to man to obey. Through Moses God said to the nation of Israel, Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you . This same general instruction is given several times throughout the Bible and included in this Christian age. Paul stated it this way, But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed . What we need to do is understand that the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation and reveals to us the righteousness of God that must be obeyed .
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What Is The Main Message Of Jonah
The primary theme in Jonah is that Gods compassion is boundless, not limited just to us but also available for them. This is clear from the flow of the story and its conclusion: Jonah is the object of Gods compassion throughout the book, and the pagan sailors and pagan Ninevites are also the benefactors of
Jonah And The Big Fish
The Hebrew text of Jonah reads dag gadol , which means lit. “great fish”. The translated this into Greek as ktos megas , “huge whale/sea monster” and in Greek mythology the term was closely associated with sea monsters.Saint Jerome later translated the Greek phrase as piscis grandis in his Latin Vulgate, and as ctus in Matthew. At some point, ctus became synonymous with whale . In his 1534 translation, William Tyndale translated the phrase in Jonah 2:1 as “greate fyshe”, and he translated the word ktos or ctus in Matthew as “whale”. Tyndale’s translation was later followed by the translators of the King James Version of 1611 and has enjoyed general acceptance in English translations.
In line 2:1 the book refers to the fish as dag gadol, “great fish”, in the masculine. However, in 2:2, it changes the gender to dagah, meaning female fish. The verses therefore read: “And the lord provided a great fish for Jonah, and it swallowed him, and Jonah sat in the belly of the fish for three days and nights then, from the belly of the fish, Jonah began to pray.” The peculiarity of this change of gender led later rabbis to conclude that Jonah was comfortable enough in the roomy male fish to not pray, and because of this God transferred him to a smaller, female fish, in which Jonah was uncomfortable, to which he prayed.
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Israel: Artefact Bearing Biblical Name Unearthed In Jerusalem
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The Biblical account of Jonah’s misadventures has been controversial, with no solid evidence to back the Old Testament’s narrative. Jonah was a Hebrew prophet who is believed to have lived in the eighth century BC, during the reign of King Jeroboam II. Although Jonah’s tale is considered by many to be a parable meant to teach about compassion and trust in God, there are some who believe there is more to the story than meets the eye.
How Do I Read It
Jonah is a story. When a person reads a story, he or she pays attention to things such as plot and characters. In terms of Jonahs plot, one basic issue is, What will God do with a prophet who disobeys Gods command? A second central issue is, On whom will God have mercyjust the Israelites, or also Nineveh and other places and people of great evil? There are two central characters: Jonah and God. The basic issue with God is the question of whether God will have mercyMercy is a term used to describe leniency or compassion. Gods mercy is frequently referred to or invoked in both the Old and New Testaments. More on rebellious and wicked peoplesuch as those who live in Nineveh or a prophet who rebels. The basic question with Jonah is whether he can learn to accommodate his own sense of right and wrong to the realities of Gods mercy.
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Jonah/jesus Typologies In Jonah : 316
The first chapter of the book of Jonah offers several parallels to Jesuss life and ministry.
Going down and paying the fare. Jonah went down to Joppa, paid the fare, and went down into the boat. Likewise, as one may see, Jesus came down from heaven , as he became flesh and would descend below all things. Jonah paid the fare, just as Jesus paid all that was required to do the will of the Father.
Asleep in a storm-tossed boat. Upon Jonahs flight from God aboard a ship sailing to Tarshish, the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. . . . But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship and he lay, and was fast asleep . Jesus, like Jonah, slept on his disciples ship despite a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee that threatened to sink them, all of which is described with several similar words: And when he was entered into a ship, . . . behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep .
Casting lots. At the point of Jonahs and Jesuss voluntary sacrifices, both the Gentile crewmen and the Gentile Roman soldiers cast lots regarding their victims. Psalm 22:18 also predicted the casting of lots during Jesuss time on the cross.13 The purposes of the casting of lots was admittedly very different in the two cases: for Jonah, it was to determine who was causing the storm, and for Christ, to divide his raiment.