DATE: 760 B.C.
Although some consider this book to be an allegory, according to 2 Kings 14:25, Jonah was not only a real person but a proven prophet from Gath-hepher near Nazareth. The book is also written as a historical narrative. Furthermore, Jesus validated Jonah’s experience in the belly of the fish as factual (Matt. 12:39-41).
In 2 Kings 14:27 Jonah is identified as having lived during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel (793-753 B.C.). In writing the book, Jonah was honest about his reluctant and even disobedient response to God’s commands to go Ninevah to warn them of judgment. Jonah did not want the wicked city of Ninevah to repent, but God’s mercy is magnified in His desire to bring revival and His grace exalted when the whole city repents.
A number of miracles are recorded in the book: the calming of the sea before the crew lost their lives (1:15); the provision of the great fish and the preservation of Jonah in the fish (1:17); the disgorging of Jonah on land (2:10); the preparing of the plant (4:6), the worm (4:7), and the wind (4:8); and the salvation of many Ninevites.
The story is quite simple.
Chapter 1: God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach coming judgment. Jonah didn’t like the Ninevites and didn’t want God to spare them from judgment, so he fled in the opposite direction by boarding a ship heading to Tarshish. A storm arose and Jonah slept. The sailors cast lots and determined Jonah was the cause of the storm. Jonah told them to throw him overboard and they did so. Then they called out to the LORD. God prepared a great fish (whale?) and it swallowed Jonah. Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish (1:17).
Chapter 2-3: God caused the fish to vomit up Jonah and three days later Jonah obeyed God and went to Nineveh. He preached coming judgment and the whole city repented (3:5).
Chapter 4: God not only cared about saving Ninevah, He also cared about changing Jonah’s heart. So God taught Jonah about His love and compassion.
Jonah is the only book in the Bible that ends with a question. We are not really told whether Jonah fully understood God’s love and compassion, but we might think that he did. He authored this book and told the details of his disobedience as well as God’s grace and love for all people. The lessons from Jonah are even greater than the great fish event. And, it certainly seems the reluctant prophet was not reluctant when it came to preserving this historical record for all ages — so we might better understand our gracious and merciful God.
OUTLINE OF JONAH
I. Jonah Fleeing, 1:1-17
A. The Reason for His Flight, 1:1-2
B. The Route of His Flight, 1:3
C. The Results of His Flight, 1:4-17
1. To the sailors, 1:4-11
2. To Jonah, 1:12-17
II. Jonah Praying, 2:1-10
A. The Characteristics of His Prayer, 2:1-9
B. The Answer to His Prayer, 2:10
III. Jonah Preaching, 3:1-10
A. God’s Command to Preach, 3:1-3
B. The Content of Jonah’s Preaching, 3:4
C. The Consequences of Jonah’s Preaching, 3:5-10
IV. Jonah Learning, 4:1-11
A. Jonah’s Complaint to God, 4:1-3
B. God’s Curriculum for Jonah, 4:4-11
The Top Ten Power of Hope Articles from 2018
- JESUS WEPT. Why? And…it’s not the shortest verse in the Bible!
- The GATE OF THE YEAR: A Message to a Troubled Nation
- TWO WOMEN—Two Stories—Two Songs
- “LAUGHTER is the Best Medicine” Who Said That?
- The WIZARD OF OZ and God
- Following the Good, Great, and Chief SHEPHERD
- The best EULOGY to remember a father!
- ISRAEL Celebrates 70 YEARS As A Nation & the Significance for Christians
- HELLO DARKNESS, My Old Friend: The Sounds of Silence
- CHARLIE BROWN THEOLOGY
Our Ministry’s Two Favorite Articles from 2018:
Facing Terminal Cancer with Hope & Joy
When the Battle is Lost but the Victory is Won — Saying Goodbye to a Friend
The Top Ten Got Questions? Articles from 2018
- The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
- The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
- Is my TATTOO a sin?
- What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
- What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
- Where did OT Saints go at death?ABRAHAM'S BOSOM? Where was that?
- Why Does the LGBT Use God’s Rainbow For Its Flag?
- Should we call HIS NAME Jesus? Or Yahweh?Or Yeshua?
- Jesus said, I NEVER KNEW YOU. Why?
- Can JEWS go to HEAVEN without knowing Jesus?
Other Popular Questions:
- Something ALL Christians must know: IVDARR
- Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER? Or Should We Call Him Satan?
- If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Baptized Again?
- Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
- Why Is PRAYER Important?
- Is There a Hidden Message in Revelation 7?
- What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS?
- Is It a Sin to Drink ALCOHOL?
- What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
- Is SUICIDE an Unforgivable Sin?
Top Three Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
- Christian Version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah
- Memorial Day Bagpipes Tribute: Amazing Grace
- Psalm 34 – Taste and See That the Lord is Good
Reasons for Hope* Jesus is a non-profit, donor-supported ministry.
PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING REASONS FOR HOPE* JESUS.
A donation of any amount is helpful and greatly appreciated.
You Can Make a Difference: ~ CLICK TO DONATE ~
Use PayPal or a Credit Card for safe, secure giving.
Visit our Store