Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z   

        = dove (Genesis 8:8,9, seeking rest in vain, fleeing from Noah and the ark; so Jonah). Parentage, date. Son of Amittai of Gath Hepher in Zebulun (2 Kings 14:25-27, compare 2 Kings 13:4-7). Jeroboam II "restored the coast from the entering of see HAMATH unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel which He spoke by the hand of His servant Jonah" etc. "For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter; for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any (i.e., none married or single, else confined or at large, as a) helper for Israel." Israel was at its lowest extremity, i.e early in Joash's reign, when Jehovah (probably by Jonah) promised deliverance from Syria, which was actually given first under Joash, in answer to see JEHOAHAZ ' prayer, then completely under Jeroboam II. Thus, Jonah was among the earliest of the prophets who wrote, and close upon Elisha who died in Joash's reign, having just before death foretold Syria's defeat thrice (2 Kings 13:14-21). Hosea and Amos prophesied in the latter part of the 41 years' reign of Jeroboam II. The events recorded in the book of Jonah were probably late in his life. The book begins with "And," implying that it continues his prophetic work begun before; it was written probably about Hosea's and Amos' time. Hosea (Hosea 6:2) saw the prophetical meaning of Jonah's entombment: "after two days will He revive us, in the third day He will raise us up;" primarily Israel, in a short period (Luke 13:32,33) to be revived from its national deadness, antitypically Messiah, raised on the third day (John 2:19; typifies the general resurrection, of which Christ's resurrection is the firstfruits (Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:22,23; Daniel 12:2). The mention of Nineveh's being "an exceeding great city" implies it was written before the Assyrian inroads had made them know too well its greatness.P ERSONAL R EALITY . The pagan fable of Hercules springing into a sea monster's jaws and being three days in its belly, when saving Hesione (Diodor. Sic. 4:42), is rather a corruption of the story of Jonah than vice versa, if there be any connection. Jerome says, near Joppa lay rocks represented as those to which Andromeda was bound when exposed to the sea monster. The Phoenicians probably carried the story of Jonah to Greece. Our Lord's testimony proves the personal existence, miraculous fate, and prophetical office of Jonah. "The sign of the prophet Jonah, for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights (both eases count the day from, and that to, which the reckoning is) in the heart of the earth"(Matthew 12:39-41). Jonah's being in the fish's belly Christ makes a "sign," i.e. a real miracle typifying the like event in His own history, and assumes the prophet's execution of his commission to Nineveh; "the men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold a greater than Jonah is here." The miracle is justified by the crisis then in the development of the kingdom of God, when Israel by impenitence was about to fall before Assyria, and God's principle of righteous government needed to be exhibited in sparing Nineveh through the preaching of Jonah, spared himself after living entombment. The great Antitype too needed such a vivid type. C ANONICITY , D ESIGN . It seemed strange to Kimchi that this book is in the canon, as its only prophecy concerns Nineveh, a pagan city, and does not mention Israel, of whom all the other prophets prophesy. The strangeness is an argument for the inspiration of the sacred canon; but the solution is, Israel is tacitly reproved. A pagan city repents at a strange prophet's first preaching, whereas Israel, God's elect, repented not, though admonished by their own prophets at all seasons. An anticipatory dawn of the "light to lighten the Gentiles," Jonah was a parable in himself: a prophet of God, yet a runaway from God; drowned, yet alive; a preacher of repentance, yet one that repines at repentance resulting from his preaching. God's pity and patience form a wonderful contrast to man's self will and hard hearted pettiness. His name, meaning "dove," symbolizes mourning love, his feeling toward his people, either given prophetically or assumed by him as a watchword of his feeling. His truthfullness (son of Amirtai, i.e. truth) appears in his so faithfully recording his own perversity and punishment. His patriotic zeal against his people's adversaries, like that of James and John, was in a wrong spirit (Luke 9:51-56). He feltrepugnance to deliver the Lord's warning to Nineveh ("cry against it," Jonah 1:2), whose destruction he desired, not their repentance. Jonah was sent when he had been long a prophet, and had been privileged to announce from God the restoration of Israel's coasts. God's goodness had not led them to repent (2 Kings 13:6; 14:24). Amos (5:27) had foretold that Israel for apostasy should be carried "captive beyond Damascus," i.e. beyond that enemy from which Jeroboam II had just delivered them, according to the prophecy of Jonah, and that they should be "afflicted from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of the wilderness" (the southern bound of Moab, then forming Israel's boundary), i.e. the very bounds restored by Jeroboam II, for "the river of the araba h" or "wilderness" flowed into the S. end of "the sea of the plain" or Dead Sea (2 Kings 14:25; <300614> Amos 6:14). Hosea too (Hosea 9:3) had foretold their eating unclean things in Assyria. Instinctively Jonah shrank from delivering a message which might Jonah), took its name probably from its being the site of a Christian church named after him, Jerome preserves the older tradition of the tomb being in his native village of Gath Hepher.
Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'jonah' Fausset's Bible Dictionary". - Fausset's; 1878.

Copyright Information
© Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Fausset's Bible Dictionary Home
Bible History Online Home


Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
Online Bible (KJV)
Naves Topical Bible
Smith's Bible Dictionary
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Schaff's Bible Dictionary
Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Matthew Henry Bible Commentary
Hitchcock's Bible Dictionary