The insights of this presentation is prepared by the author after detailed research of Biblical Scriptures (The Holy Bible) as well as that of
Pseudo Ephiphanius writings
Book of Tobias (Apocrypha/ Orthodox Biblical Canon)
Third book of Machabees (Apocrypha )
The Presentation will help the viewer
To have a better understanding on Biblical History
To have a clear idea about the book of Jonah
The story of Jonah
Jonah was a Prophet in a little town of Joppa ( present day Jaffa) in Philistine .
God called him and asked him to go to a place called Nineveh , capital of Assyria and prophecy against them.
But Jonah disobeyed God and boarded a ship sailing through the Mediterranean sea and headed to a place called Tarshish (Tarsus) [ Spain ]
The story of Jonah
Raging storms broke loose and the sailors found that it was God’s anger that has caused the storm. Jonah was thrown into the sea.
He was gulped by a sea fish [ Whale ]. Jonah repented and prayed inside the tummy of the fish. The fish vomited Jonah upon the dry land
Jonah went and prophesied to Nineveh and the people of Nineveh repented of their sins
To have a better understanding of the places mentioned here, please take a look at the map in the next slide
Jonah becomes a prophet during the reign of Jeroboam II (Israel’s most powerful King) 793 BC
Jonah Prophesied between 793 BC – 753 BC
Jonah Preceded Amos
Jonah was a little boy during the time of the two miracle working prophets -Elijah and Elisha
Shalmaneser III was the King of Assyria when Jonah prophesied to Nineveh
Joppa was an Israeli Territory during that time
Who is this Jonah?
Jonah (Yunus in Arabic) means Dove [peace]
He is the son of Amittai who is from Gath-Hepher (Few miles north of Nazareth) Amittai means Truth in Hebrew ( אמת ) [emet]
Jonah is the 5 th minor prophet in the Old testament order
He is mentioned twice in the Old testament
2 Kings 14:25 – Jonah’s prophecy on Israel’s territory restoration is fulfilled
Book of Jonah
In New Testament , he is again referred twice by Jesus himself
Mt 12:38-41 , Luke 11:29-32 (When the Pharisees tried to corner Jesus by asking him to show a sign, He made a reference to Jonah. Jonah's restoration after three days inside the great whale prefigured the Resurrection of Jesus Christ after three days.
Jonah – Additional Information
According to Judaism, Jonah was the boy who was brought back to life by Elijah (The son of the widow from Zarepath) [1Kings 17:17-24]
This Young boy became one of the disciples of Elijah and was trained by Elijah
Jonah was one among the 50 prophets who stood at the banks of River Jordan when Elijah was taken up into the heavens (2 Kings 2:7)
Later Jonah became a disciple of Elisha and he was asked by Elisha to anoint King Jehu (2 Kings 9 :1-13) . He was a shy prophet and Jehu’s friends called him a mad fellow/false prophet .( This could be one of the factors for Jonah’s disobedience in going to Nineveh)
Now let us enter into the Book of Jonah
Jonah – Book Formation
The book of Jonah was written by an unknown author
There are four chapters in the book of Jonah
Each chapter in the book of Jonah conveys a definite message
There is a relationship between the even chapters and the odd chapters ( we will explore that after understanding the four chapters)
Jonah - 1
God gives an Instruction to Jonah (Go to Nineveh)
Jonah disobeys God ( Travels to Tarshish)
God creates a storm and makes the sailors to understand that the storm was a result of Jonah’s disobedience.
Jonah is thrown inside the sea.
To make matters worse, a big fish swallows Jonah
Moral : If we disobey God, God will Punish us.
Jonah - 2
Jonah understands his mistake and prays inside the tummy of the fish
He submits himself to God and asks for repentance
God forgives him and makes he fish to vomit Jonah upon the dry land
Moral : If we accept our mistakes and repent, God will forgive us and save us.
In Jonah’s case, God used the fish as a submarine.
Jonah - 3
Jonah goes to Nineveh and preaches to the people of Nineveh.
The people of Nineveh repent (From King to Livestock)
God forgives them
Moral : God is a Gracious God. He will forgive and forget our past sins if we really repent and submit ourselves to him
Jonah - 4
When God showed mercy to Nineveh, Jonah gets angry because his prophesy was not fulfilled
Jonah became grumpy and waited to see the destruction of Nineveh. Moreover the burns in his body (acidic burns because of staying inside the fish’s belly) irritated him
God made a gourd to grow and cover up Jonah. Jonah was glad. Then God made a worm to eat the gourd. Now when Jonah felt the heat of the sun, he fainted and wished to die. God did this to make Jonah understand that he was a merciful God.
Moral : God’s plans, thoughts and ways are not ours. If we hold on to him, we would understand his plans.
Relationship between chapters 1 and 3
The same verses in the two chapters have similarities
Verse 1 – God’s command to Jonah
Verse 3 – Jonah’s response to God’s command
Verse 5 – Reaction of people around Jonah
Relationship between chapters 2 and 4
The 2 nd chapter and 4 th chapter shows Jonah’s contrasting behavioral response