THEME: The God of the Gentiles - "gracious and merciful" 4.2.
MESSAGE: Is that in Romans 3:29. Jehovah is the Lord not only of Jews but also of the Gentiles, for whom he had purposes of grace and love 3.10; 4.11.
The Disobedient Prophet (Chapter 1). God sends Jonah to cry out against Nineveh, but the prophet boards a ship going to the western Mediterranean. Comes the storm; ashamed, Jonah asks to be launched into the sea. A "big fish" swallows him, and God keeps him alive inside the fish.
The Song of Praise (Chapter 2). Jonah thanks God for his salvation from the waters. The fish casts him ashore.
The Repentance of the Ninevites (Chapter 3). Sent again, Jonah goes to Nineveh and announces its destruction. The entire population repents and God does not destroy it.
The Love of God (chapter 4). Jonah resents the divine mercy toward Nineveh (enemies of Israel). He goes out of the city, still awaiting fulfilment of the prophecy!.... By the plant God teaches Jonah His love for His creation.
Jonah son of Amitai, was of Gath-Hepher, in Galilee, and prophesied in Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II in the 8th century, BC (see 2 Kings 14:25). The book is anonymous, but it is not impossible that Jonah himself wrote it.
Each chapter has miraculous elements: the storm, the salvation of Jonah, the repentance of Nineveh, the plant. The Lord Jesus quotes the book as history (Matthew 12.40-41, Luke 11.29-32); if it were fiction or a fable, His words would be meaningless.
The Assyrians were wicked and cruel, hated by all nations and destined to destroying Israel. The attitude of Jonah was therefore understandable, but as the "eldest son" in Luke 15:32, he did not understand God's compassion (Isaiah 55.6-9).
1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish's belly.
2 And he said: "I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, And He answered me. "Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, And You heard my voice.
3 For You cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the floods surrounded me; All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
4 Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.'
5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head.
6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God.
7 "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple.
8 "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."