Book of Jonah
|Book of Jonah|
|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS||
The Book of Jonah gives an account of the prophet Jonah and the well-known story in which God commands him to prophesy to the people of Nineveh to persuade them to repent or face destruction. The book records Jonah, when attempting to run in the other direction, is thrown from a ship in a storm and swallowed by a giant fish, from which he spewed out near Nineveh. After this Jonah did in fact preach to the city, and its citizens and king repented. Because of their repentant nature God spared the city which upset Jonah greatly. The book ends with God's beautiful rebuke of Jonah where God clearly reveals his merciful nature and calls on us to act mercifully too.
The "fish" in Jonah has been subject to a lot of debate over the years. Some interpret the fish to actually be a very large fish or whale that did indeed swallow Jonah. Others suggest that the fish was a special creature (not like the fish we know today) that God used specifically for the task. Still others suggest that the story does not actually represent historical fact but rather is more like a parable to teach us about God and ourselves.