A. The book of Jonah makes no direct claim to its authorship, although the author may be Jonah himself.
B. Jonah was written in the third person; some think this indicates that Jonah did not write the book, but Moses and Isaiah wrote in the third person as well.
C. Jonah’s immediate predecessors were Elijah and Elisha; Jonah, Amos and Hosea were contemporary prophets (cf. Hosea 1:1; Amos 1:1); Isaiah immediately followed them.
II. THE PROPHET
A. Jonah means “dove.”
B. 2 Kings 14:25 is the only other OT reference.
C. The name of Jonah’s father, “Amittai,” means “truthful.”
D. Jonah is the only prophet on biblical record to have run away from God.
E. Jonah was a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel.
Prayerful in urgency, 2:1
Bitter and resentful, 4:3,8
III. DATE: 793-753 B.C.
A. Jonah prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of the North (793-753 B.C.), 2 Kg 14:23-25.\
B. Content & form of the book of Jonah is patterned after Elijah & Elisha.
C. Its position in the Hebrew Canon indicates this date.
D. The story of Jonah coincides with historical conditions at Nineveh.
E. Fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.)
IV. PURPOSE: Picture of God’s reaching out to the Gentiles Shows God’s grace reaching beyond the boundaries of Israel to a Gentile nation
A. Jeroboam II had a successful reign (2 Ki 14:25-28; Amos 6:14).
B. Assyria was under pressure from the northern kingdom of Urartu. This freed Syria to deal with Israel. By the end of the century the Assyrian Empire would become the strongest military force in the world up to that time, but this was not an issue at the writing of Jonah.
C. Nineveh: -was a great city (Lu 24:13) located on the east bank of the Tigris River about 550 miles from the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
–appeared to Jonah as an impregnable fortress with both an outer wall and an inner wall 50 feet wide and 100 feet high.
–measured 90 miles in circumference
–founded by Nimrod population of 600,000.
–a garden city and one of the great wonders of the world.
D. The Assyrians were in temporary decline because of internal dissension, so Jeroboam II seized on the opportunity and increased his territories.
E. Amos, a contemporary of Jonah, warned of impending judgment on Israel due to religious reversion.
F. Israel became haughty with ensuing greed, injustice and formal religion.
VI. MESSAGE· Addressed as a rebuke to the Northern Kingdom of the nation Israel· God loves Gentiles and seeks to win them.
A. External evidence
The twelve prophets were known as a unit by the third century B.C. (Ecclus. 49:10) and the second century B.C. (Tobit 14:4,18; Ben Sirach 49:10)
B. Internal evidence· Name “Jonah” (1:1)
2 Ki 14:25
VIII. CHARACTER OF BOOK
A. The book is greatly maligned by anti-supernaturalism.
B. Jonah is viewed as myth, legend, parable, allegory and history. There is no adequate reason to regard Jonah as non-historical.
1. The form of the book is clearly historical.
2. Jonah was an actual person.
3. Nineveh was an actual city.
4. Jews regarded Jonah as historical (Josephus Antiquities IX, 10, 2).
5. Christian tradition viewed Jonah as historical.
6. Historical record, 2 Kg 14:26
7. Real kings, nations and places
8. Christ view the book as historical, Mt 12:39-41; Lu 11:29-32. If we reject the book of Jonah as literal, we reject the authenticity of Christ’s statement.
9. Archeology dovetails with facts of Jonah.
C. References to Jonah in 2 Kings 14:25; Mt 12:39-41; Lu 11:39-32
D. One of four Old Testament prophets referred to by Jesus. The others were Isaiah (Mt 15:7), Elijah (Mt 17:11-12) and Elisha (Lu 4:27).
E. 4 chapters, 48 verses and 1328 words
F. It is not the prophecy at issue, but the prophet.
G. There is no prophecy in the book except the prophecy that God will destroy Nineveh.
IX. KEY VERSE: 2:9X. KEY WORDS: “God prepared”
God prepared a great fish, 1:17.
God prepared a gourd, 4:6
God prepared a worm, 4:7.
God prepared a vehement east wind, 4:8.
XI. THEME: God’s sovereignty in dealing with Jonah and Nineveh
I. THE PIGHEADED PROPHET AND A CHASTENING GOD, 1:4-17
A. Commission of Jonah, 1:1-2
B. Rejection of commission by Jonah, 1:3
C. God’s discipline of Jonah, 1:4-17
II. THE PLIABLE PROPHET AND A DELIVERING GOD, 2:1-3:10
A. Jonah in need, 2:1-3
B. Jonah in prayer, 2:4-7
C. Jonah in repentance, 2:8,9
D. God’s deliverance of Jonah, 2:10
E. Re-commissioning of Jonah, 3:1-2
F. Obedience of Jonah, 3:3-4
G. Conversion of Nineveh, 3:5-10
III. THE PEEVED PROPHET & A MERCIFUL GOD, 4:1-11
A. The discontent of Jonah, 4:1-5
B. God rebukes Jonah’s discontent, 4:6-11