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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Jonah

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One of the minor prophets, was a native of Gath-hepher, in Zebulun, 2 Kings 14:25 . Being ordered of God to prophesy against Ninevah, probably in or before the reign of Jeroboam 2, which begun 825 B. C., he endeavored to avoid the command by embarking at Joppa for Tarshish, in order to fly as far as possible in the opposite direction. But being overtaken by a storm, he was thrown overboard at his own request, and miraculously preserved by being swallowed by a large fish. See WHALE . Several Greek and Roman legends seem to have been borrowed from this source. After three days, typical of our Savior's stay in the tomb, the fish cast Jonah out upon the shore; the word of the Lord a second time directed him to go to Nineveh, and he obeyed. The allusions of the narrative to the vast extent and population of this city, are confirmed by other ancient accounts and by modern investigations. See NINEVEH . At the warning word of the prophet, the Ninevites repented, and the destruction threatened was postponed; but the feelings of Jonah at seeing his predictions unfulfilled and the enemies of God's people spared, rendered necessary a further exercise of the forbearance of God. See GOURD .

The literal truth of the narrative is established by our Savior's repeated quotations, Matthew 12:39-41 16:4 Luke 11:29-32 . It is highly instructive, as showing that the providential government of God extends to all heathen nations, and that his grace has never been confined to his covenant people.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Jonah'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/j/jonah.html. 1859.

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