Jonah 1 – Jonah a Jewish Prophet is called by God to go prophecy to the Gentiles in Nineveh the capital of Assyria [modern Mosul, Northern Iraq] — ‘Jonah 1:1-2 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.’

Jonah rejects the call of God instructing him to go to the Gentiles: Jonah 1:3-6 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish [Europe] from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa [modern Tel Aviv-Jaffa]; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But 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. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

Jonah 2 – Jonah is cast from the ship into the sea and swallowed by a giant fish “prepared” by God — ‘Jonah 1:17 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.’

Jonah repents from the belly of the fish: 'Jonah 2:1-10 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.' - It seems that in being thrown overboard and being in the belly of the fish that at one point Jonah briefly died and was resurrected in order to then go on preach his message of salvation to the Gentiles. - 'Matthew 12:39-41 But He (Jesus) answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, *but [one] the sign of the prophet Jonas [Jonah]: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of Man (Jesus) be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise [resurrection] in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.'

Jonah 3 – Jonah is given a second chance to accomplish his ministry for God — ‘Jonah 3:1-2 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.’

Jonah prophesies to the citizens of Nineveh: Jonah 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. *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. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil [calamity], that he had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not.

Jonah 4 – Jonah becomes upset that God spared Nineveh from His judgment — ‘Jonah 4:1-4 But it [the repentance of the Ninevehites] displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: *for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. *Then said the LORD, Doest thou well [do you have the right] to be angry?’

God works in Jonah's heart: Jonah 4:5-11 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: *And should not I (God) spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand [don't know the Laws of Moses]; and also much cattle? - God is showing the world both the Jewish and Gentile world that God's plan encompasses all mankind and all of creation including all of the animals. Nineveh – Nineveh [Capital of Assyria], an “exceeding great city”, as it is called in the Book of Jonah, lay on the eastern bank of the Tigris in ancient Assyria, across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul, Iraq

History: Texts from the Hellenistic period and later offered an eponymous Ninus as the founder of Nineveh. The historic Nineveh is mentioned about 1800 BC as a centre of worship of Ishtar, whose cult was responsible for the city's early importance. The goddess' statue was sent to Pharaoh Amenhotep III of Egypt in the 14th century BC, by orders of the king of Mitanni. The city of Nineveh was one of Mitanni's vassals until the mid-14th century BC, when the Assyrian kings of Assur seized it. ... It was Sennacherib who made Nineveh a truly magnificent city (c. 700 BC). He laid out new streets and squares and built within it the famous "palace without a rival", the plan of which has been mostly recovered and has overall dimensions of about 503 by 242 metres (1,650 ft × 794 ft). It comprised at least 80 rooms, many of which were lined with sculpture. A large number of cuneiform tablets were found in the palace. ... The stone carvings in the walls include many battle scenes, impalings and scenes showing Sennacherib's men parading the spoils of war before him. He also bragged about his conquests: he wrote of Babylon "Its inhabitants, young and old, I did not spare, and with their corpses I filled the streets of the city." He later wrote about a battle in Lachish "And Hezekiah of Judah who had not submitted to my yoke...him I shut up in Jeruselum his royal city like a caged bird. Earthworks I threw up against him, and anyone coming out of his city gate I made pay for his crime. His cities which I had plundered I had cut off from his land." ... Nineveh's greatness was short-lived. Around 633 BC the Assyrian empire began to show signs of weakness, and Nineveh was attacked by the Medes, who about 625 BC, joined by the Babylonians and Susianians, again attacked it. Nineveh fell in 612 BC, and was razed to the ground. The people in the city who could not escape to the last Assyrian strongholds in the west, were either massacred or deported. Many unburied skeletons were found by the archaeologists at the site. The Assyrian empire then came to an end, the Medes and Babylonians dividing its provinces between them. ... Modern Nineveh: On 15 October 2005, the province of Nineveh (Ninawa) cast the deciding votes in the referendum for Iraq's Constitution. One of three mostly Sunni Arab provinces whose veto could defeat the constitution, Nineveh was closely watched through the extended electoral count. Home to a majority Sunni Arab population and ethnically diverse minority which includes Kurds (Yezidi and Sunni) and Assyrian Christians, as well as the oil processing center Mosul (which is often considered to be the modern Nineveh city, and is called so by Aramaic speakers), the province of Nineveh promises to play a large role in Iraqi politics into the future. [link]

THE MINOR PROPHETS Jonah by Al Maxey – The name Jonah (Hebrew: Yonah) means “dove” [dove = Holy Spirit] – From II Kings 14:25 we know that Jonah lived during the time of Jeroboam II (793-753 BC) – He was sent to Nineveh — the capital city of Assyria — to deliver a warning from God that unless they repented they would be destroyed – God’s love and concern is for all people, and anyone who is willing to repent and turn to God can find salvation – In Jonah one sees “the forerunner of the universal gospel message” – Jonah is the only “minor prophet” ever to be mentioned by Jesus Christ – He [Jonah] is also the only O.T. figure that Jesus Himself likens unto Himself (Matthew 12:39-41; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32)

THE MAJOR MESSAGES OF JONAH - The overall message of the book is basically twofold: God's love and concern is for all people, and anyone who is willing to repent and turn to God can find salvation (Acts 26:19-20; II Peter 3:9). God is a universal God. There is but ONE God, and He alone is to be the God of all people. Jonah preached to a monotheistic people, but the god they worshipped was Nebo. He warned them they must repent and turn to Jehovah, and worship and serve Him only. Some of the other great lessons of the book of Jonah are: "God's judgments, even when declared in prophecy, can be averted by genuine repentance." This is a "crucial theological truth relating human repentance to escaping from anticipated judgment" (New Layman's Bible Commentary). "Jeremiah 18:7-8 --- "At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it." National sin demands national repentance! Just as this principle applied to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, so also does it apply to the nations of today! This book is a stern rebuke of a narrow exclusiveness that characterized the Israelites. Jonah, whose attitude was typical of his people, had no desire to see the Assyrians saved --- they were the enemy! He fled rather than preach such a distasteful message to this distasteful people. And even after finally preaching it, he sat outside the city waiting to see if God would change His mind and still destroy them. When he realized God was indeed going to show mercy to these people, he prayed to die rather than have to witness such a thing! (Jonah 4:1-3). When we today hold to such an attitude --- "We are the only ones God favors" ....... "We would rather die than see those people saved!" ....... "We're not about to preach the gospel to that bunch" --- then we have repeated the sin of Jonah. Further, we have failed to perceive the universal love of God. Jonah symbolizes a narrow, sectarian spirit! One cannot run away from God (Psalm 139:7-12). "Jonah learned, and through his valuable experience millions have learned, that when God enjoins a disagreeable duty, it is far easier to go and do it than to run away from it" (J.W. McGarvey). "When one sets out to baffle God, there is bound to be a storm" (George L. Robinson). "The infinite concern of God for life is shown in contrast to the concern of man for the material" (Homer Hailey). "The withering of the prophet's gourd, with the regrets it excited, strikes home in all ages, as it must have done in Jonah's day, the contrast between the infinite love of God and the selfish coldness of man. The growth of a night can be pitied when it touches ourselves; but unspeakably higher claims too often awaken no tenderness where we are not personally concerned" (Cunningham Geikie). In Jonah one sees "the forerunner of the universal gospel message" and messenger (Hailey). Also, we see the principle that "the most unpromising mission fields are often the most responsive" (The Ryrie Study Bible). "From the human standpoint Assyria was the last place an Israelite would choose for a missionary venture, so Jonah took a trip in the opposite direction" (Samuel J. Schultz). "There is no remonstrance and no mention of Jonah's former call and flight (Jonah 3:1-2). The Lord passes this over in gracious silence" (Homer Hailey). The Lord is willing to forgive and forget! [link]

Modern – Tel Aviv-Jaffa [Joppa] – Jonah’s mission to Nineveh and their repentance brought about 50 more years of peace to Israel before Assyria invaded (Video)

Thought to be named for Noah's son Japhet, it was already ancient when mentioned in 15th century documents as an Egyptian and Canaainte port. Joshua allocated it to the tribe of Dan, and during David's and Solomon's rule it was Jerusalem's outlet to the great world. From here Jonah set sail to Tarshish and was swallowed by a whale. Here Peter lodged with Simon the tanner. ... Acts 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. {Dorcas: or, Doe, or, Roe} And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid [her] in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring [him] that he would not delay to come to them. {delay: or, be grieved} Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning [him] to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her [his] hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner.... It bears the modern name of Jaffa, and exibituds all the decrepitude and squalor of cities ruled over by the Turks. "Scarcely any other town has been so often overthrown, sacked, pillaged, burned, and rebuilt." It was taken by the French under Napoleon in 1799, who gave orders for the massacre here of 4,000 prisoners. It is connected with Jerusalem by the only carriage road that exists in the country, and also by a railway completed in 1892. It is noticed on monuments B.C. 1600-1300, and was attacked by Sannacharib B.C. 702 [Jonah had just been to Nineveh in about 758 B.C. - then 56 years after the visit of Jonah to Assyria they attacked Joppa Israel].  [link]

Jonah – A Veggie Tales Movie (2002) Trailer (YouTube)

When the singing Veggies encounter some car trouble, they're stranded at old, rundown seafood joint where nothing is quite as it seems. As Bob the Tomato and the kids settle in to wait for a tow truck to help get their van back on the road, the "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" share a little story about a guy named Jonah. Jonah was kind of like a mailman except his messages came straight from God. Jonah loves his job, until the day comes when he has to deliver a message to the people of Nineveh. Instead of carrying out his mission, Jonah turns and sets sail in the opposite direction onboard a pirate ship. Soon Jonah embarks on an adventure that leads him into the belly of a whale, and to the heart of Nineveh for a hilarious showdown. [link]

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