Bible Commentaries
Jonah 1

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1

Book Comments

Walking Thru The Bible



The book of Jonah is a humiliating confession by its author that shows his growth in the Lord as he becomes the great prophet of 2 Kings 14. Jonah had to learn some important lessons: namely, that God is everywhere and one can’t run away from Him; and secondly that God is concerned about every nation and the citizens, the children and even the animals in every nation.

The book is often accused of being myth by modernist and religious liberals because of the miracle of the great fish. But Jonah was a real person (2 Kings 14:24) and Jesus credited the story of the great sea creature as factual (Matthew 12:39-41).

The Lord also represents the story as true that Nineveh repented (Luke 11:29-32). There is no way to doubt the historicity of Jonah and have regard for the integrity of Jesus.


Jonah was a well known prophet of God associated with the royal court of Jeroboam II (ca 790-749 BC). Jonah was a states-man prophet like Isaiah and Jeremiah, not a ’backwoods’ prophet like Elijah or John the Baptist.

He was called to cry against that "great city" Nineveh, the capital of Assyria and long time enemy of Israel. Nineveh was surrounded by a complex of suburbs with a heavy population of about 600,000 at this time. It was fortified with several walls, the greatest defense being a wall 8 miles long and 100 feet high and wide enough for three chariots to drive abreast, with 1500 towers which were 200 feet high.

Jonah’s experience was a "sign" to the people of Nineveh and they repented upon hearing his message of destruction for their city. In sack cloth and ashes they showed remorse for their evil and God spared them from destruction to the regret and pouting of Jonah.


Chapter 1 Jonah Running AWAY from God

Chapter 2 Jonah Running TO God

Chapter 3 Jonah Running WITH God

Chapter 4 Jonah Running AHEAD of God

A key passage that allows us to understand why Jonah tried to resign his duty as a prophet, and also gives us great insight into the character of the wonderful and magnificent God who is our Creator is found in 4:2 "... for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. (Jonah 4:2)

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Verse Comments

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Jonah 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. 2021.