[Home]Book of Jonah

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The Book of Jonah is a book in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanach.

The book gives an account of the prophet Jonah and the well-known story in which God tells Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh. Jonah attempts to run the other direction, is thrown from a ship in a storm, swallowed by a giant fish, and transported to Nineveh.

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.

Jonah and his story is referred to by Jesus (Matt. 12:39, 40; Luke 11:29).

It is generally thought that the 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.

Initial text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897 -- Please update as needed

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Last edited October 19, 2001 3:34 am by Alan Millar (diff)