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by Frederick Brotherton Meyer
Outline of Jonah
An Unwilling Prophet of the Merciful God
I. Jonah’s Disobedience, John 1:1-14
II. His Punishment,John 1:15-17; John 1:15-17
III. His Prayer and Rescue, John 2:1-10
IV. His Preaching in Nineveh,John 3:1-4; John 3:1-4
V. The City’s Repentance,John 3:5-10; John 3:5-10
VI. Jonah’s Displeasure; God’s Mercy,John 4:1-11; John 4:1-11
Introduction to Jonah
Jonah was a native of Gath-hepher in Zebulun. Some think that he was a contemporary and disciple of Elijah, and that he therefore lived about 850 b.c. He is the oldest of the prophets whose writings have come down to us. That the book is historical may be gathered from the references of our Lord in Matthew 12:39-41 and Matthew 16:4 .
The narrative presents a most striking contrast between the long-suffering mercy of God and the hard indifference of a good man to the fate of a great Gentile city. Probably it indicates the dawn of a better era, when the Chosen People shall enter upon that long education, the results of which Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:19-22 ; Ephesians 3:1-8 .
e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Jonah in the printed edition
Review Questions on Jonah
( a ) What are the five divisions of the book of Jonah?
( b ) What contrast appears in the Conclusion?
( c ) Who was Jonah?
( d ) What evidence is there that his book is historical?
( e ) What striking contrast is found in the narrative?
Section 1-4.John 1:1-17; John 1:1-17 ; John 2:1-10 ; John 3:1-10 ; John 4:1-11
Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments .
1. How did Jonah seek to evade duty?
2. What experience taught the prophets the folly of fleeing from God? What answer was made to Jonah’s prayer?
3. What second chance was given the prophet? What was the result of his preaching?
4. How was the prophet’s narrow, selfish spirit rebuked?
the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany