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Below you will also find the summary of this book.
Purpose of The Book of Jonah:
The purpose of the book of Jonah is to show God's people that His plan is exceedingly compassionate (God is gracious) and exceedingly certain (God is sovereign). In other words, “salvation belongs to the Lord” (Jonah 2:10). This is the central theme of the book of Jonah: that God loves in freedom. We should desire to understand, accept, and love God’s sovereign grace, rather than oppose it or be resentful of it. The book of Jonah stresses the freedom and primacy of God and God’s initiative and grace toward humanity. Christians, applying the theology of Jonah to the person and work of Jesus, could claim that Jesus Christ is the freedom of God acting in love toward humanity.
Summary of The Book of Jonah:
The story of Jonah is one of the most well-known Bible stories of all. Jonah is a narrative about God’s compassion for some hated Gentiles by way of a Hebrew prophet who wanted nothing to do with them. The reluctant prophet, Jonah, is commanded to go and preach to the Ninevites, Israel's sworn enemies, so that destruction might not fall upon them. Jonah would love nothing more than to see Nineveh destroyed, but he knows that God is compassionate and will forgive them if they repent, therefore he boards a ship heading the other direction away from Nineveh.
God's wrath follows the ship, until Jonah is thrown overboard by the other sailors and swallowed by a giant fish. While in the belly of the fish, he repents of his own disobedience and is delivered back onto shore, at which point he preaches against Nineveh's sin and commands them to repent. They do, in wholehearted fashion, and God relents from destroying them. The book ends with Jonah waiting in vain for Nineveh to be destroyed, bitter that God would show such kindness to a people who are at war with His own.
Author and Dates of The Book of Jonah:
We learn from 2 Kings that Jonah was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam II, 786 - 746 B.C. The book of Jonah is unique among the prophetic books of the Old Testament. Rather than being a collection of the oracles of the prophet, it relates episodes in his life. In the Old Testament, the prophet Jonah is mentioned outside the book only in 2 Kings 14:25, Matthew 12:38 - 41, Matthew 16:4 and 17, and Luke 11:29 - 32. Although the prophet lived in the eighth century BC there is dispute on the correct dating of the book. It is written in the third person, and no author is identified any where in the Bible.
Outline of The Book of Jonah:
Themes of The Book of Jonah:
Mercy: God's compassion extends even beyond what we would like, even to those whom we ourselves show no mercy.
God's Sovereignty: God’s plan will be carried out and cannot be avoided.
Resentment: The book is a vivid portrait of what bitterness and resentment against other people and against God's plan can do to a person's soul-even the soul of God's own prophet.