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Video Lessons

I.        Jonah Runs (1:1-16)
a.        Jonah’s first commission
i.        The Lord’s command
ii.        Jonah heads to Tarshish
b.        The storm’s start
c.        The storm’s source
i.        Jonah’s lack of fear of God
ii.        Causes the sailors to fear for their lives
d.        The sailors sacrifice
i.        Of Jonah to the sea
ii.        Of offerings to the Lord
II.        Jonah Returns (1:17-2:10)
a.        Jonah’s song
i.        His praise to God
ii.        His promise to God
b.        Jonah deposited on land
III.        Nineveh Repents (3:1-9)
a.        Jonah’s second commission
i.        The Lord’s command
ii.        Jonah preaches in Nineveh
b.        The Ninevites repent
i.        They learn of their sin
ii.        They fast
iii.        They pray
iv.        They hope for mercy
IV.        God Relents (3:10-4:11)
a.        God’s compassion on Nineveh
b.        Jonah’s angry response
c.        God’s compassion for Jonah’s discomfort
d.        Jonah’s angry response
e.        God compassion on Jonah’s ignorance

                                                                                                            Adapted from Owen Wildman.

Jonah is sometimes called the reluctant prophet because of his refusal to answer the call of
the LORD to prophecy to Nineveh.

Jonah was swallow by a great fish, not a whale. It was probably a sturgeon.
Jonah learned that it was useless to try to flee from God.

Jonah is the only prophet to grow angry over success in reaching those whom he was sent to
prophecy against.

Nin'eveh (abode of Ninus), the capital of the ancient kingdom and empire of Assyria. The
name appears to be compounded from that of an Assyrian deity "Nin," corresponding, it is
conjectured, with the Greek Hercules, and occurring in the names of several Assyrian kings,
as in "Ninus," the mythic founder, according to Greek tradition of the city. Nineveh is situated
on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, 50 miles from its mouth and 250 miles north of
Babylon. It is first mentioned in the Old Testament in connection with the primitive
dispersement and migrations of the human race. Asshur, or according to the marginal
reading, which is generally preferred, Nimrod is there described, Ge 10:11 as extending his
kingdom from the land of Shinar or Babylonia, in the south, to Assyria in the north and
founding four cities, of which the most famous was Nineveh. Hence Assyria was
subsequently known to the Jews as "the land of Nimrod," cf. Mic 5:6 and was believed to
have been first peopled by a colony from Babylon. The kingdom of Assyria and of the
Assyrians is referred to in the Old Testament as connected with the Jews at a very early
period, as in Nu 24:22,24 and Psal 83:8 but after the notice of the foundation of Nineveh in
Genesis no further mention is made of the city until the time of the book of Jonah, or the
eighth century B.C. In this book no mention is made of Assyria or the Assyrians, the king to
whom the prophet was sent being termed the "king of Nineveh," and his subjects "the people
of Nineveh." Assyria is first called a kingdom in the time of Menahem, about B.C. 770. Nahum
(? B.C. 645) directs his prophecies against Nineveh; only once against the king of Assyria. cf.
Na 3:18

In 2Ki 19:36 and Isai 37:37 the city is first distinctly mentioned as the residence of the
monarch. Sennacherib was slain there when worshipping in the temple of Nisroch his god.
Zephaniah, about B.C. 630, couples the capital and the kingdom together,  Zep 2:13 and this is
the last mention of Nineveh as an existing city. The destruction of Nineveh occurred B.C. 606.
The city was then laid waste, its monuments destroyed and its inhabitants scattered or
carried away into captivity. It never rose again from its ruins. This total disappearance of
Nineveh is fully confirmed by the records of profane history. …

                                                                                                                    Smith’s Bible Dictionary

Jesus used the incidents of Jonah to speak of His resurrection from the grave.
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a
sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation
seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be
three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in
judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching
of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (Matthew 12:38-41)

Jonah is assailed by the critics because of its pivotal position in the prophecy and fulfillment
of the resurrection of Jesus. If Jonah is discredited, it goes a long way towards discredited

One of the best treatments of the importance of Jonah in reference to the gospel is found in J.
W. McGarvey’s  classic work, Jesus and Jonah; 1896 Christian Standard Publishing. It can be
viewed free online at: http://gravelhillchurchofchrist.com/ebooks/McGarvey%20-%20Jesus%