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The prophetic book of Jonah

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Jonah, of the town of Gath-Hepher 2nd Kings 14:25, his name means dove Jonah lived in the northern kingdom and was called to go to Nineveh, to tell that wicked pagan nation to repent and be sparred. However, Jonah was reluctant to do so and rebelled. Reasoning that even after all of Nineveh's vile deeds, God would grant them mercy and forgiveness, if they repented. The book reinforces the fact that; God's love, grace and mercy extends to all people and nations, regardless of our past transgressions.
four chapters
760 BC.

Verse by verse, account of the book of Jonah.

Jonah: chapter 1

1The Word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying; 2Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim against it, for their wickedness has come against Me. 3However, Jonah arose and went down to the shipping yard to flee from the presents of the LORD. There he found a ship going in the other direction to Tarshish. And booking passage, he then went down into the ship, to flee from the presence of the Lord.

4When at sea, the LORD sent out a great storm, so great was the storm that the ship was about to be broken up. 5The entire crew feared and every seaman cried out to his god, as they threw the cargo overboard to lighten the load of the ship. However, Jonah had gone down into the lower parts of the ship and he was fast asleep. 6So the caption came to him and rebuked him for sleeping; saying; get up and call on your God, perhaps your God will consider us that we might not perish. 7Meanwhile, the men on deck, were casting lots to know the cause of the storm, why this trouble had come upon them and the lot fell to Jonah.

8The men then inquired of Jonah's occupation, of his hometown and his ancestry? 9Jonah told them he was a Hebrew and that he feared the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. 10When the men heard this, they were very much afraid, for they knew that he had fled from the presents of the LORD, for Jonah had told them. 11The men then asked him what they should do to him, so that the sea might become calm again, for the sea was becoming more tempestuous? 12Jonah replied; Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will be calm for you, for I know this storm is because of me.

13Nevertheless, the men rowed all the harder to try to get back to land, but the sea continued to grow more tempestuous. 14The men then prayed to the LORD and said; do not let us perish because of this mans life, neither charge us with his blood. 15Having said this they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea. And the sea then became calm. 16Then the men greatly feared, offering up sacrifices and making vows to the LORD.

17Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

Jonah: chapter 2

1While inside the fish's belly, Jonah prayed to the LORD, saying; 2I cry out to the LORD, because of my affliction, out of the belly of hell I cried and the LORD heard me. 3For You have cast me into the deep and I was covered with Your waves. 4You have cast me out of Your sight, yet I shall again look at Your holy temple. 5Death surrounded me, even to the depth my soul as my head was wrapped in seaweed. 6As I went down to the lowest parts of the earth, its gates closed behind me. Yet, You have brought me up from the pit. 7When my soul had lost hope, I turn to the LORD, You heard my prayers and they went to Your holy temple. 8Those who give tribute to worthless idols, forgo their own mercy. 9But I will sacrifice to You with a thankful voice. I will keep the vow that I have made to the LORD, for salvation is of the LORD.

10So the LORD spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah up onto dry land.

Jonah: chapter 3

1The LORD came to Jonah a second time and said; 2Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach the message that I give you. 3So Jonah went to Nineveh, according to the Word of the LORD, a city of more than sixty miles around. 4On the first days walk he entered the city and begun to cry out, Forty days from now, Nineveh shall be overthrown!.

5All the people of Nineveh from the greatest to the least believed God, they proclaimed a fast and all of the people put on sackcloth. 6When the word came to the king, he stepped off of his throne, put his robe aside, putting on sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7And he proclaimed this decree throughout all Nineveh.

Let not man nor animal either eat or drink anything, 8Let them all be covered in sackcloth, crying out mightily to God. Everyone shall turn from his evil way and the violence of his own hand. 9Perhaps, God will relent and turn from His anger, so that we might not perish.

10Then God saw their works, that they had turned from their evil ways and relented from bringing disaster upon them.

Jonah: chapter 4

1It greatly displeased Jonah that the LORD relented from destroying Nineveh and he became angry, 2Jonah then prayed to the LORD and said; LORD this is just what I said would happen when I was in my own country. That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew You were a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in loving kindness. And One who repents from doing harm. 3Therefore, LORD, please now take my life from me, for it is better for me that I should die than live!. 4At this, the LORD asked Jonah; What right have you to be angry? But, Jonah did not answer.

5Jonah then went out of the city and made a shelter for himself on the east side of the city. And sitting under it in the shade, so that he would be able to observe what might become of the city. 6As he was sitting there, the LORD prepared a plant and had it spring up to provide shade for Jonah, to deliver him from his misery and this pleased Jonah very much. 7But in the morning, God prepared a worm and it damage the plant and the plant withered. 8Now when the sun rose up, God prepared a scorching east wind. And the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he grew faint. And again he asked for his life to be taken from him, saying; it is better that I should die than live. 9Then God said to Jonah, Is it right for you to be angry about the plant? And Jonah replied; It is right for me to be angry even unto death! 10The LORD then said to him; you had pity on the plant, for which you did not labor, nor made it grow. Which came up in one night and perished in one night. 11And should I not have pity on the great city of Nineveh, that has more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between good and evil?

Insights on the book of Jonah
Chapter 1:
  • Jonah tried to flee from God. You cannot flee from God!
Chapter 2: Chapter 3:
  • It is not recorded that Jonah ever told Nineveh to repent. The recorded message he gave was; Forty days from now, Nineveh shall be overthrown! God may have gotten Jonah down to Nineveh, but Jonah's heart had not changed.
Chapter 4:
  • Jonah was angry at God's redemption given to Nineveh. God asked Jonah; what right he had to be mad? A parable that tocuhes a similar principle is, of the Laborers and the giving of wages. Even though Jonah did not answer, God did not give up! God supplied a plant for Jonah that sprung up over night, when it withered, Jonah was again angry. God will go to great lengths for our benefits.