Study of Jonah


The Title

The Author

The Purpose

The Outline

The book of Jonah takes its name from its author and principal character, Jonah, whose name means dove.

Jonah, the son of Amittai, was an Israelite from Gath-hepher in Galilee. He is only mentioned once in the Old Testament outside his prophecy. That is in II Kings 14:25 which teaches that Jereboam II restored the border of Israel according to the word of the Lord God, which he spoke by the hand of his servant, Jonah. Jereboam II reigned from about 793-753 B.C. While Jonah is not dated, it is likely that this prophecy should be dated shortly before the reign of Jereboam II or at least early in Jereboam's reign. Jonah's prophecy was directed against the city of Nineveh.

The purpose of Jonah was to show that God's mercy and compassion extend even to the heathen nations on condition of their repentance.

The following outline is taken from Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 602:

Part I. The Prophet's First Call and Disobedience, 1:1 - 2:10

a. The Divine commission and his flight, 1:1-3

b. The storm, 1:4-7

c. The confession, 1:8-12

d. The prophet's being thrown in the sea, 1:13-17

e. His intercession and salvation, 2:1-10

Part II. The Prophet's Second Call and His Obedience, 3:1 - 4:11

a. He goes to Nineveh, 3:1-4

b. The Ninevites repent, 3:5-9

c. The city is saved, 3:10

d. Jonah is angered, 4:1-4

e. Jonah is reproved, 4:5-11