Jonah and the Whale: Larger-Than-Life LessonsThe story of Jonah and the Whale, one of the oddest accounts in the Bible, opens with God speaking to Jonah , son of Amittai, commanding him to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh. Jonah found God's order unbearable. Not only was Nineveh known for its wickedness, but it was also the capital of the Assyrian empire , one of Israel's fiercest enemies. Jonah, a stubborn fellow, did just the opposite of what he was told. He went down to the seaport of Joppa and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish, heading directly away from Nineveh.
Jonah and the Whale - Bible Story
He is the eponymous central figure of the Book of Jonah , in which he is called upon by God to travel to Nineveh and warn its residents of impending divine wrath. Instead, Jonah boards a ship to Tarshish. Caught in a storm, he orders the ship's crew to cast him overboard, whereupon he is swallowed by a giant fish. Three days later, after Jonah agrees to go to Nineveh, the fish vomits him out onto the shore. Jonah successfully convinces the entire city of Nineveh to repent, but waits outside the city in expectation of its destruction. God shields Jonah from the sun with a plant , but later sends a worm to cause it to wither.
He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. Get up and call on your god!
Jonah Preaches to Nineveh
Book of Jonah , also spelled Jonas , the fifth of 12 Old Testament books that bear the names of the Minor Prophets , embraced in a single book, The Twelve, in the Jewish canon. According to the opening verse, Jonah is the son of Amittai. It is possible that some of the traditional materials taken over by the book were associated with Jonah at an early date, but the book in its present form reflects a much later composition. It was written after the Babylonian Exile 6th century bc , probably in the 5th or 4th century and certainly no later than the 3rd, since Jonah is listed among the Minor Prophets in the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus , composed about Like the Book of Ruth , which was written at about the same period, it opposes the narrow Jewish nationalism characteristic of the period following the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah with their emphasis on Jewish exclusivity. Thus the prophet Jonah, like the Jews of the day, abhors even the idea of salvation for the Gentiles. Thus Jonah does not want to prophesy, because Nineveh might repent and thereby be saved.