FAITH – HOPE – FORGIVENESS by Growing Older


Old Testament Survey: Book of Jonah

The Name Jonah:  Means Dove

Jonah was from the Northern Kingdom. His hometown was 3 miles from the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem.

The first mention of Jonah: II Kings 14:25

The Book: It shows that the love of God and the redemption of man is not just for the Jew … but for ALL who will repent.

Date: Approximately 862 B.C.

Ninevah: At this time – the capital of the Assyrian Empire  at its height.  Until its fall in 612 B.C.

it was the greatest city of that time.

Within its walls were gardens and groves; vast, lush pastures; splendid temples and palaces.

Its walls were 40-50’ high following 2  miles down the Tigris River, then 8 miles around the inner city = 20 sq. miles.

They had their own water system. The Kings Palace  contained 71 rooms with walls lined with sculptured  slabs.

Chapter 4:11 – there were 120,000 infants. The total population is estimated at between 400,000 & 500,000 people.

Jonah 1:2: It was a wicked city.

Jonah 3:3: It was 3 days journey through that great city

Jonah 3:5: The   people repented – So … Why did Jonah run?

                                                                          Brief Outline Of The Book

                                                                                 I. Fleeing – chap. 1

                                                                                II. Praying – chap. 2

                                                                               III. Preaching – chap 3

                                                                               IV. Learning – chap. 4

Jonah knew of the prophecy regarding the Assyrians. Their capitol; was Nineveh; a rising power during Jonah’s time. One day, they  would destroy Israel, Jonah’s homeland. Jonah  also knew of the savagery of the Assyrians, their brutality, unspeakable torture, and killing of those they conquered.

God tells Jonah to preach to those murderous savages so that they would be saved; knowing that one day …. they would conquer his people.  Jonah was willing to spare his people – give up everything of importance to him and sacrifice his own life, if necessary, for Israel.  He knew that if he preached and they got saved – God would spare Nineveh and Israel’s fate would be sealed.

Jonah was wrong for putting his people first and obedience to God second. We must obey God, even if  it doesn’t make sense to us …. even if we don’t understand it …. even if we don’t like the outcome of it.    

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