The Book of Jonah is a book of the Nevi'im ("Prophets") in the Hebrew Bible. It tells of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah son of Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission. Set in the reign of Jeroboam II (786–746 BC), it was probably written in the post-exilic period, some time between the late 5th to early 4th century BC. The story has a long interpretive history and has become well known through popular children's stories. In Judaism, it is the Haftarah portion read during the afternoon of Yom Kippur to instill reflection on God's willingness to forgive those who repent; it remains a popular story among Christians. It is also retold in the Quran.
Unlike the other Prophets, the book of Jonah is almost entirely narrative, with the exception of the poem in chapter 2. The actual prophetic word against Nineveh is given only in passing through the narrative. As with any good narrative, the story of Jonah has a setting, characters, a plot, and themes. It also relies heavily on such literary devices as irony.
Jonah is the central character in the Book of Jonah, in which God commands him to go to the city of Nineveh to prophesy against it "for their great wickedness is come up before me," but Jonah instead attempts to flee from "the presence of the Lord" by going to Jaffa (sometimes transliterated as Joppa or Joppe), and sailing to Tarshish. A huge storm arises and the sailors, realizing that it is no ordinary storm, cast lots and discover that Jonah is to blame. Jonah admits this and states that if he is thrown overboard, the storm will cease. The sailors refuse to do this and continue rowing, but all their efforts fail and they are eventually forced to throw Jonah overboard. As a result, the storm calms and the sailors then offer sacrifices to God. Jonah is miraculously saved by being swallowed by a large fish, in whose belly he spends three days and three nights. While in the great fish, Jonah prays to God in his affliction and commits to thanksgiving and to paying what he has vowed. God then commands the fish to vomit Jonah out.
God again commands Jonah to travel to Nineveh and prophesy to its inhabitants. This time he goes and enters the city, crying, "In forty days Nineveh shall be overthrown." After Jonah has walked across Nineveh, the people of Nineveh begin to believe his word and proclaim a fast. The king of Nineveh puts on sackcloth and sits in ashes, making a proclamation which decrees fasting, the wearing of sackcloth, prayer, and repentance. God sees their repentant hearts and spares the city at that time. The entire city is humbled and broken with the people (and even the animals) in sackcloth and ashes.
Displeased by this, Jonah refers to his earlier flight to Tarshish while asserting that, since God is merciful, it was inevitable that God would turn from the threatened calamities. He then leaves the city and makes himself a shelter, waiting to see whether or not the city will be destroyed. God causes a plant (in Hebrew a kikayon) to grow over Jonah's shelter to give him some shade from the sun. Later, God causes a worm to bite the plant's root and it withers. Jonah, now being exposed to the full force of the sun, becomes faint and pleads for God to kill him.
And God said to Jonah: "Art thou greatly angry for the Kikayon?" And he said: "I am greatly angry, even unto death."
And the LORD said: "Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow, which came up in a night, and perished in a night;
and should not I have pity on Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand, and also much cattle?"— Book of Jonah, chapter 4, verses 9-11
The story of Jonah has numerous theological implications, and this has long been recognized. In early translations of the Hebrew Bible, Jewish translators tended to remove anthropomorphic imagery in order to prevent the reader from misunderstanding the ancient texts. This tendency is evidenced in both the Aramaic translations (e.g. the Targums) and the Greek translations (e.g. the Septuagint). As far as the Book of Jonah is concerned, Targum Jonah offers a good example of this:
In Jonah 1:6, the Masoretic Text (MT) reads, "...perhaps God will pay heed to us...." Targum Jonah translates this passage as: "...perhaps there will be mercy from the Lord upon us...." The captain's proposal is no longer an attempt to change the divine will; it is an attempt to appeal to divine mercy. Furthermore, in Jonah 3:9, the MT reads, "Who knows, God may turn and relent [lit. repent]?" Targum Jonah translates this as, "Whoever knows that there are sins on his conscience let him repent of them and we will be pitied before the Lord." God does not change His mind; He shows pity.
Fragments of the book were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), most of which follows the Masoretic Text closely and with Mur XII reproducing a large portion of the text. As for the non-canonical writings, the majority of references to biblical texts were made as appeals to authority. The Book of Jonah appears to have served less purpose in the Qumran community than other texts, as the writings make no references to it.
The earliest Christian interpretations of Jonah are found in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. Both Matthew and Luke record a tradition of Jesus’ interpretation of the Book of Jonah (notably, Matthew includes two very similar traditions in chapters 12 and 16). As with most Old Testament interpretations found in the New Testament, Jesus’ interpretation is primarily “typological” (see Typology (theology)). Jonah becomes a “type” for Jesus. Jonah spent three days in the belly of the fish; Jesus will spend three days in the grave. Here, Jesus plays on the imagery of Sheol found in Jonah's prayer. While Jonah metaphorically declared, “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,” Jesus will literally be in the belly of Sheol. Finally, Jesus compares his generation to the people of Nineveh. Jesus fulfills his role as a type of Jonah, however his generation fails to fulfill its role as a type of Nineveh. Nineveh repented, but Jesus' generation, which has seen and heard one even greater than Jonah, fails to repent. Through his typological interpretation of the Book of Jonah, Jesus has weighed his generation and found it wanting.
The debate over the credibility of the miracle of Jonah is not simply a modern one. The credibility of a human being surviving in the belly of a great fish has long been questioned. In c. 409 AD, Augustine of Hippo wrote to Deogratias concerning the challenge of some to the miracle recorded in the Book of Jonah. He writes:
The last question proposed is concerning Jonah, and it is put as if it were not from Porphyry, but as being a standing subject of ridicule among the Pagans; for his words are: “In the next place, what are we to believe concerning Jonah, who is said to have been three days in a whale’s belly? The thing is utterly improbable and incredible, that a man swallowed with his clothes on should have existed in the inside of a fish. If, however, the story is figurative, be pleased to explain it. Again, what is meant by the story that a gourd sprang up above the head of Jonah after he was vomited by the fish? What was the cause of this gourd’s growth?” Questions such as these I have seen discussed by Pagans amidst loud laughter, and with great scorn.— (Letter CII, Section 30)
Augustine responds that if one is to question one miracle, then one should question all miracles as well (section 31). Nevertheless, despite his apologetic, Augustine views the story of Jonah as a figure for Christ. For example, he writes: "As, therefore, Jonah passed from the ship to the belly of the whale, so Christ passed from the cross to the sepulchre, or into the abyss of death. And as Jonah suffered this for the sake of those who were endangered by the storm, so Christ suffered for the sake of those who are tossed on the waves of this world." Augustine credits his allegorical interpretation to the interpretation of Christ himself (Matt. 12:39,40), and he allows for other interpretations as long as they are in line with Christ's.
The Ordinary Gloss, or Glossa Ordinaria, was the most important Christian commentary on the Bible in the later Middle Ages. "The Gloss on Jonah relies almost exclusively on Jerome’s commentary on Jonah (c. 396), so its Latin often has a tone of urbane classicism. But the Gloss also chops up, compresses, and rearranges Jerome with a carnivalesque glee and scholastic directness that renders the Latin authentically medieval." "The Ordinary Gloss on Jonah" has been translated into English and printed in a format that emulates the first printing of the Gloss.
The relationship between Jonah and his fellow Jews is ambivalent, and complicated by the Gloss's tendency to read Jonah as an allegorical prefiguration of Jesus Christ. While some glosses in isolation seem crudely supersessionist (“The foreskin believes while the circumcision remains unfaithful”), the prevailing allegorical tendency is to attribute Jonah's recalcitrance to his abiding love for his own people and his insistence that God's promises to Israel not be overridden by a lenient policy toward the Ninevites. For the glossator, Jonah's pro-Israel motivations correspond to Christ's demurral in the Garden of Gethsemane (“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me” [Matt. 26:39]) and the Gospel of Matthew's and Paul's insistence that “salvation is from the Jews” (Jn. 4:22). While in the Gloss the plot of Jonah prefigures how God will extend salvation to the nations, it also makes abundantly clear—as some medieval commentaries on the Gospel of John do not—that Jonah and Jesus are Jews, and that they make decisions of salvation-historical consequence as Jews.
NCSY director of education Dovid Bashevkin sees Jonah as a thoughtful prophet who comes to religion out of a search for theological truth and is constantly disappointed by those who come to religion to provide mere comfort in the face of adversity inherent to the human condition. "If religion is only a blanket to provide warmth from the cold, harsh realities of life," Bashevkin imagines Jonah asking, "[D]id concerns of theological truth and creed even matter?" The lesson taught by the episode of the tree at the end of the book is that comfort is a deep human need that religion provides, but this need not obscure the role of God.
The Hebrew text of Jonah reads dag gadol (Hebrew: דג גדול), which literally means "great fish." The Septuagint translates this into Greek as ketos megas, (Greek: κητος μεγας), "huge fish"; in Greek mythology the term was closely associated with sea monsters. Saint Jerome later translated the Greek phrase as piscis granda in his Latin Vulgate, and as cetus in Matthew. At some point, cetus became synonymous with whale (cf. cetyl alcohol, which is alcohol derived from whales). In his 1534 translation, William Tyndale translated the phrase in Jonah 2:1 as "greate fyshe," and he translated the word ketos (Greek) or cetus (Latin) in Matthew as "whale". Tyndale's translation was later followed by the translators of the King James Version of 1611 and has enjoyed general acceptance in English translations.
In line 2:1 the book refers to the fish as dag gadol, "great fish", in the masculine. However, in 2:2, it changes the gender to daga, meaning female fish. The verses therefore read: "And the lord provided a great fish (dag gadol, masculine) for Jonah, and it swallowed him, and Jonah sat in the belly of the fish (still male) for three days and nights; then, from the belly of the (daga, female) fish, Jonah began to pray." The peculiarity of this change of gender led the later rabbis to reason that this means Jonah was comfortable in the roomy male fish, so he didn't pray, but that God then transferred him to a smaller, female fish, in which the prophet was uncomfortable, so that he prayed.
The Book of Jonah closes abruptly with an epistolary warning based on the emblematic trope of a fast-growing vine present in Persian narratives, and popularized in fables such as The Gourd and the Palm-tree during the Renaissance, for example by Andrea Alciato.
St. Jerome differed with St. Augustine in his Latin translation of the plant known in Hebrew as קיקיון (qīqayōn), using hedera (from the Greek, meaning "ivy") over the more common Latin cucurbita, "gourd", from which the English word gourd (Old French coorde, couhourde) is derived. The Renaissance humanist artist Albrecht Dürer memorialized Jerome's decision to use an analogical type of Christ's "I am the Vine, you are the branches" in his woodcut Saint Jerome in His Study.
Book of Jonah
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According to the tradition of the Physiologus and medieval bestiaries, the aspidochelone is a fabled sea creature, variously described as a large whale or vast sea turtle, and a giant sea monster with huge spines on the ridge of its back. No matter what form it is, it is always described as being huge where it is often mistaken for an island and appears to be rocky with crevices and valleys with trees and greenery and having sand dunes all over it. The name aspidochelone appears to be a compound word combining Greek aspis (which means either "asp" or "shield"), and chelone, the turtle. It rises to the surface from the depths of the sea, and entices unwitting sailors with its island appearance to make landfall on its huge shell and then the whale is able to pull them under the ocean, ship and all the people, drowning them. It also emits a sweet smell that lures fish into its trap where it then devours them. In the moralistic allegory of the Physiologus and bestiary tradition, the aspidochelone represents Satan, who deceives those whom he seeks to devour.Accounts of seafarers' encounters with gigantic fish appear in various other works, including the Book of Jonah, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and the Baron Munchausen stories.Fish in culture
Culture consists of the social behaviour and norms in human societies transmitted through social learning. Fish play many roles in human culture, from their economic importance in the fishing industry and fish farming, to recreational fishing, folklore, mythology, religion, art, literature, and film.G. Ch. Aalders
Gerhard Charles Aalders (25 March 1880 – 30 January 1961), usually styled as G. Ch. Aalders, was a Dutch Old Testament scholar. He was born in London to an English mother and a Dutch father. He served as a minister of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands from 1903 to 1920, and as Professor of Old Testament at the Free University of Amsterdam from 1920 to 1950.Aalders is best known for his books A Short Introduction to the Pentateuch (which I. Howard Marshall says kept him going during his student days) and The Problem of the Book of Jonah. He also wrote a number of commentaries in the Korte Verklaring series: Genesis, Daniel, Esther, Jeremiah, and Lamentations. He was an editor of the series "Commentaar op het Oude Testament" and wrote the commentary "Het Hooglied".Historian George Harink suggests that, along with Seakle Greijdanus, F. W. Grosheide, and Jan Ridderbos, Aalders "took the lead in Neo-Calvinist exegetical production." According to historian of science Abraham Flipse, Aalders introduced American-style Young Earth creationism into the Netherlands in the 1930s.Jonah
Jonah or Jonas is the name given in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh/Old Testament) to a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BCE. He is the eponymous central figure of the Book of Jonah, in which he is called upon by God to travel to Nineveh and warn its residents to repent of their sins or face divine wrath. Instead, Jonah boards a ship to Tarshish. Caught in a storm, he orders the ship's crew to cast him overboard, whereupon he is swallowed by a giant fish. Three days later, after Jonah agrees to go to Nineveh, the fish vomits him out onto the shore. Jonah successfully convinces the entire city of Nineveh to repent, but waits outside the city in expectation of its destruction. God shields Jonah from the sun with a plant, but later sends a worm to cause it to wither. When Jonah complains of the bitter heat, God rebukes him.
In Judaism, the story of Jonah represents the teaching of teshuva, which is the ability to repent and be forgiven by God. In the New Testament, Jesus calls himself "greater than Jonah" and promises the Pharisees "the sign of Jonah", which is his resurrection. Early Christian interpreters viewed Jonah as a type for Jesus. Later, during the Reformation, Jonah came to be seen instead as an archetype for the "envious Jew". Jonah is regarded as a prophet in Islam and the biblical narrative of Jonah is repeated, with a few notable differences, in the Quran. Mainstream Bible scholars generally regard the Book of Jonah as fictional and often at least partially satirical, but the character of Jonah may have been based on the historical prophet of the same name mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25.
Although the word "whale" is often used in English versions of the Jonah story, the Hebrew text actually uses the phrase dag gadol, which means "giant fish". In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the species of the fish that swallowed Jonah was the subject of speculation for naturalists, who interpreted the story as an account of a historical incident. Some modern scholars of folklore have noted similarities between Jonah and other legendary figures, such as Gilgamesh and the Greek hero Jason.Jonah (disambiguation)
Jonah is a prophet described in the scriptures of Abrahamic religions as having been swallowed by a large fish.
Jonah may also refer to:
Book of Jonah in the Hebrew Bible
Jonah (given name)Jonah (poetry collection)
Jonah (ISBN 0436378051) is a book of poems by Peter Porter accompanying reproductions of artwork by Arthur Boyd. It was published by Secker & Warburg on 22 October 1973. 2000 copies were printed, and the retail price was ₤4.75.
Porter had met Boyd at a poetry festival at the Royal Court Theatre in 1965.The book commences with three pages reproducing an old copy of the Book of Jonah.Jonah 1
Jonah 1 is the first chapter of the Book of Jonah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Jonah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.Jonah 2
Jonah 2 is the second chapter of the Book of Jonah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Jonah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.Jonah 3
Jonah 3 is the third chapter of the Book of Jonah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Jonah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.Jonah 4
Jonah 4 is the fourth (and the last) chapter of the Book of Jonah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Jonah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.Jonah in rabbinic literature
Allusions in rabbinic literature to the Biblical character Jonah, the unwilling prophet on whom the Book of Jonah centres, contain various expansions, elaborations and inferences beyond what is presented in the text of the Bible itself.Kikayon
Kikayon (קִיקָיוֹן) is the Hebrew name of a plant mentioned in the Biblical Book of Jonah.Midrash Jonah
Midrash Jonah is the midrash to the Book of Jonah, read on the Day of Atonement as hafṭarah during the Minḥah prayer, and containing a haggadic version of this prophetical book. In the editions the work consists of two parts; the second part, in which the story of Jonah is allegorically referred to the soul, beginning with the words "Wa-yomer Adonai la-dag," is reprinted in Adolf Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrash (i. 102 et seq.). This part is merely a literal translation from the Zohar (comp. ib. p. xx.); it is not found in the version printed by C. M. Horowitz (after a Codex De Rossi) in the Sammlung Kleiner Midraschim (Berlin, 1881). The first part, the midrash proper, is found also in the Yalḳuṭ to Jonah (part ii., §§ 550-551), with the exception of a few missing passages and with several variations; but here the Pirḳe Rabbi Eli'ezer is given as the source (for some passages, Yerushalmi and Babli).Olepa schleini
Olepa schleini is a moth of the family Erebidae. It is only known from the coastal regions of Israel, but is probably an alien species, as its food plant is not native to Israel. The species was discovered in 2005 and is named for the entomologist and sculptor Yosef Schlein.
The larvae only feed on Ricinus communis, which is curious because this plants produces the natural insecticide ricin.
According to the author, the species is in fact a biblical moth species mentioned in the Book of Jonah, in which there is a description of a worm that, nightly, infested a kikayon (Ricinus) plant, and caused it to wither. The larvae of the recently described Olepa schleini are the only insects which regularly infest Ricinus communis in Israel and adjacent countries. The aggregation of larvae on particular trees, with the unusual feeding that includes the stems, causes massive damage and withering of this plant.Patience (poem)
Patience (Middle English: Pacience) is a Middle English alliterative poem written in the late 14th century. Its unknown author, designated the "Pearl Poet" or "Gawain-Poet", also appears, on the basis of dialect and stylistic evidence, to be the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Cleanness (all ca. 1360-1395) and may have composed St. Erkenwald. This is thought to be true because the techniques and vocabulary of regional dialect of the unknown author is that of Northwest Midlands, located between Shropshire and Lancashire.
The manuscript, Cotton Nero A.x is in the British Library. The first published edition was in Early English Alliterative Poems in the West Midland Dialect of the fourteenth century, printed by the Early English Text Society.
Of Patience, considered the slightest of the four poems, its only manifest source is the Vulgate Bible. It also resembles Latin poems by Tertullian and Bishop Marbod. There are certain mannerisms found in Patience that Pearl does not have. For instance, both homilies clearly follow the same pattern: 1. statement of theme, 2. announcement of the text from the New Testament, 3. discussion of another passage from the New Testament in elucidation of that text, 4. and elaborate paraphrase of exemplum or exempla, from the Old Testament.Prophet Jonah (Michelangelo)
The Prophet Jonah is one of the seven Old Testament prophets painted by the Italian High Renaissance master Michelangelo (c. 1542–1545) on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The Sistine Chapel is in Vatican Palace, in the Vatican City.
This particular fresco is painted above the High Altar, as the person of Jonah is of prophetic significance in Christianity. Behind the figure of Jonah, Michelangelo has painted a large fish, a reference to the fact that in the Book of Jonah, Jonah is swallowed by one.The Artist at Work
"The Artist at Work" (Jonas, ou l'artiste au travail) is a short story by the French writer Albert Camus from Exile and the Kingdom (L'Exil et le royaume). It has been described as "a satirical commentary on Camus’ personal experience among
the Paris intellectual elite of the 1940s and 1950s." The story addresses the question of one's relationship to the community, or more fundamentally the whole issue of existence. The epigraph, a verse from the Book of Jonah, and the name of the main character, "Jonas," set up a link to the prophet Jonah's interaction with people of the Bible.The Book of Jonas
The Book of Jonas is a 2012 debut literary novel by American writer Stephen Dau. The book was published in English on March 15, 2012 by Blue Rider Press, and in French as Le Livre de Jonas by Éditions Gallimard. The book takes its name from the Book of Jonah of the Hebrew Bible and features themes of war and its effect on others.Twelve Minor Prophets
The Minor Prophets or Twelve Prophets (Aramaic: תרי עשר, Trei Asar, "Twelve"), occasionally Book of the Twelve, is the last book of the Nevi'im, the second main division of the Jewish Tanakh. The collection is broken up to form twelve individual books in the Christian Old Testament, one for each of the prophets. The terms "minor prophets" and "twelve prophets" can also refer to the twelve traditional authors of these works.
The term "Minor" relates to the length of each book (ranging from a single chapter to fourteen); even the longest is short compared to the three major prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. It is not known when these short works were collected and transferred to a single scroll, but the first extra-biblical evidence we have for the Twelve as a collection is c. 190 BCE in the writings of Jesus ben Sirach, and evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls suggests that the modern order was established by 150 BCE. It is believed that initially the first six were collected, and later the second six were added; the two groups seem to complement each other, with Hosea through Micah raising the question of iniquity, and Nahum through Malachi proposing resolutions.