The American Wisdom Series 
 http://www.americanwisdomseries.com

Presents 

Jonah

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our American Wisdom Series studies:
#1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "studies". These studies contain knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God. 
May the Holy Spirit be your only guiding light. Sincerely, John Rhine

Revelation 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
[13] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. [14] He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
 published at http://www.theseason.org/ 


You can view it at the season`s web site (address above) as originally published
or here, as now edited by people at
 
The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

 Now here is our revised study of.

The Book of Jonah

All 4 chapters all on one file.

The term "Minor Prophets" means that they are short books. These Minor Prophets reveal our tomorrow's newspapers. The Minor Prophets are very important to study and understand in our day. Every true Christian should know what they are telling us.

The word "Jonah" in the Hebrew means "Dove". In Matthew 16:17 Jesus called Simon Peter "Bar-Jonah", which is to say "the son of Dove". The dove was also there when Jesus Christ was baptized.

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and a wicked city. Unlike what most people say about Jonah being a coward, the Assyrian's were about to battle with Jonah's own people, Israel, and the conversion of Nineveh extended the life of Israel's enemies. By Jonah fleeing, he risked the life of his own soul, to save his people. Yet God's will win in the end.

Jonah 1:1 "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,"

Jonah 1:2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me."

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, on the banks of the Tigris. In ancient Babylon, before Abraham's time, it was called "Nina", after the Babylonian goddess "Nina". It was founded by "Khammurabi", in 1915 B.C., according to "Records of the past, Vol. iv, part ii, page 61." Excavations reveal, "the mound of Nebi Yunus (Nineveh) with Jonah's tomb on top, could not be explored."

"Their wickedness" was the cause of their destruction. Nineveh was noted for idolatry, cruelty and violence of all kinds.

Jonah 1:3 "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD."

God had called Jonah and gave him specific instructions, and a location to go to. 

This is the start of an important lesson for each of us. It doesn't pay to run from the Lord

You can not run from God. 

God has his way of calling you back to him. 

God is always in control.

God's elect will always be brought into
understanding and submission to God's will for them
.

Jonah 1:4 "But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken."

God controls the elements and uses them for His own "will". Jonah was fleeing and God is about to bring him back. See how God would later use them in His plan.

Jonah 1:5 "Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep."

When this great tempest came, the sailors were scared. This was a storm like none other they had seen. Every man on that ship prayed to their gods, which ever one they thought that would help them. This was a time of desperation. When they cast the cargo over the sides, it defeated the entire purpose of the journey. Their fear caused them to think of their lives, and not their profits.

Life or death doesn't matter to Jonah at this point. 

He knows he is fleeing from God, and what happens to him, or the ship doesn't matter anyway.

Jonah felt there was no hope for him because of his disobedience to God.

The mix up here was that Jonah thought he knew more than God; However, God always knows more than Jonah, or any one else. Satan used Jonah's love for his people to cause him to disobey God. Yet God used Satan's deception to glorify His own plan.

Jonah 1:6 "So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, "What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not."

Jonah 1:7 "And they said every one to his fellow, "Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us." So thy cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

The ship master, or captain found Jonah sleeping in stead of praying.

Then the men of the shipcast lots, to see to whom they could blame for this storm; and the lots fell, or pointed to Jonah.

Jonah 1:8 "Then said they unto him, "Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? What is thy country? and of what people art thou?"

Jonah is questioned to give account of himself. 

If most people of today were questioned to give account of themselves; they could not.

Nor do most of them care. 

They don't know who they are with respect to the Bible. 

They don't recognize the fact that God is in control of everything that happens in the world even today, as in Jonah's day.

Jonah has cost these men a lot, and they want an answer as to why?

Jonah 1:9 "And he said unto them, "I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, Which hath made the sea, and the dry land."

Jonah is giving a truthful answer as to the details of his life, but he is withholding the reason why he is there; Because he is fleeing from God's orders, so he wouldn’t have to go into Nineveh.

Jonah 1:10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, "Why hast thou done this?" For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them."

The men knew he was running away, but they wanted to know what he was running from.

Jonah 1:11 "Then said they unto him, "What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous."

Jonah 1:12 "And he said unto them, "Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you."

Jonah was the only one there that knew God was causing this because of him. 

Was Jonah scared? 

No. 

He gave up when he came aboard. When the sea bellowed; Jonah slept. 

To Jonah, his life was a loss,
for he knew he was in defiance of what God had told him to do.

Was Jonah joking when he told them to throw him overboard? 

No, he was willing to die, rather than convert and save Nineveh, Israel's enemy.

We must learn from this

that when God wants your attention,

He has ways of getting it.

Jonah 1:13 "Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and tempestuous against them."

These men knew God was interested in this man, and they didn't want to anger God any more than He was, by murdering His servant Jonah. The harder they tried to row, they just couldn't get free. The storm kept them at sea, and not on the beach. They wanted to rid themselves of Jonah, but they could not.

Jonah 1:14 "Wherefore they cried unto the LORD and said, "We beseech Thee, O LORD, we beseech Thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou , O LORD, hast done as it pleased Thee."

This is quite a statement for a heathen, who worshiped other god's, as they addressed our Heavenly Father. But now they can see how God can have a way in their lives. It's like a fox hole conversion in wartime. 

They see the hand of God, and their inability to save their own life; then it's time to call on God.

These sailors are praying, asking God not blame them for this murder, because they were going to throw Jonah into the sea to please God.

Jonah 1:15 "So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging."

They knew then that Jonah's God
had His hand on Jonah.

Jonah 1:16 "Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD and made vows."

When people see and feel the presence and the hand of God directly in their life;
it changes them. 

They take a new and different outlook
on life, towards God. 

Vows are easy to make and very hard to keep.

Jonah 1:17 "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Many people argue with this verse, that no man could have this done to them and live. In the Hebrew text, the Lord "prepared', which is "manah", or appointed or assigned this particular fish to do exactly what God wanted done. God appointed this fish to do a task that would be unique enough, to be used as a sign of Jesus Christ's time in the tomb.

In fact it would be the only sign Jesus would give to the 
"Kenite", Scribes and Pharisees.

Editor's Note: Am I the only one it has ever occurred to, that, if God visited Ezekiel in a space ship, and He did; Read Live Link to- Ezekiel chapter 1, that the big fish may well have been a submarine! 

Jonah 2:1 "Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,"

This fish was one of a kind, God prepared this fish for this event, and appointed Jonah to be swallowed and held for three days and three nights. In most churches today, it's taught as a child’s story. Many don't believe it all happened like the Bible says. It's presented in such a simple way that they miss the whole lesson God is trying to teach.

This event is a type of the first advent. Christ's death, and burial, with Jesus in the tomb three days and three nights.

While Jonah was in the fishes belly, he was still alive, loving, trusting and praying to his Heavenly Father.

Jonah 2:2 "And said, "I cried by reason of mine affection unto the LORD, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and Thou heardest my voice."

This is a lesson to us today also; when we think things are insurmountable we can cry out to the Lord, and He will hear us. Jonah prayed and God heard him.

Jonah 2:3 "For Thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all Thy bellows and Thy waves passed over me."

When Jonah was cast into the sea, the winds blew hard, and the waves swallowed Jonah quickly into the deep water.

This is also a reminder of Revelation 17; where the waves and floods of lies and deception will engulf the entire earth. However, God has prepared a way for His elect, and those with the seal of God in their minds will be protected by Him. They will also complete their ministry for God, as recorded in Matthew 24, and Mark 13:11, as well as Jonah 2:28-32, and Acts 2:16-17.Peter said; "But this is that which was spoken by Joel the prophet;" (verse 16) " "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons, and your daughters shall prophecy..." (verse 17).

Just as Jonah will complete his appointed duty, so will you and I.

Jonah 2:4 "Then I said, "I am cast out of Thy sight; yet I will look again toward Thy holy temple."

Jonah knew there was a life after the death of his flesh. He also knew that in so much that he disobeyed God, and that he would have to answer for that disobedience.

Through the act of Jonah, being unfaithful to God's order for him to go to Nineveh, and the response of our Heavenly Father and through that disobedience; We can see the type of Father that we serve.

God has an eternal plan, which effects each one of us, as well as earth and it's elements

God controls all of it to conform to His plan.

When you are in that plan, you're in His will, and when you fight that plan, you're outside of the will of God in your life.

God will move heaven and earth to keep you on course, and in His will.

When Jonah fled, and entered the ship at Joppa, he left the will of God, for both himself and Nineveh.

In the whales belly Jonah repented and cried out to God.
 
Jonah is placing himself back into God's will
.

We are entering into a new period in this earth age, that is all part of God's eternal plan, the climate of crime and violence today is as it was in Nineveh, and earlier in Sodom. God has appointed (Prepared) His fishes for the protection of His elect to complete the task we are to do for God in this generation today. We will either do as we are lead to do, through His word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and be in His will; or we will be deceived by Satan, his System and pay the price.

Jonah 2:5 "The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. "

The "soul" is the "inner man" and not the fleshly body. In the Hebrew it is the "nephesh", that soul body that only God can destroy.

In that tumbling, rolling waters Jonah was tossed about, sinking to the bottom, the "Abyss" in the Hebrew. The floating seaweed was wrapping abound him, and like a noose around his head, and snared his head into a strangle hold. Jonah was as a dead man crying out.

Jonah 2:6 "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars, was about me for ever; yet hast Thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God."

God brought Jonah to the breaking point. Jonah was taken to such a point of despair, and broken both physically and mentally; before Jonah finally was ready to yield his will to God. In this state of total depravity (and helplessness) Jonah cried out, "O Lord my God."

Jonah's life passed before him, and he went to "the bottom of the mountains", you can't get any lower. "The earth with it's bars", is another way of saying " he became a fugitive ("Briyach" #1280 in Strong's) from the earth.

What does it take to pull someone out of his or her stubborn self-centered ways, so that they will seek God's perfect will in their life? 

Only God knows

He knows the thoughts and intent of our hearts, he sees everything we do, he knows every word we speak, even before we do it. He knew Jonah and created a special fish just for him. God is our only life line.

Jonah 2:7 "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple."

If you can believe and accept God's word, and that He spoke and nothing became everything. Why is it so difficult to accept fact that God is preparing a fish to complete the task of taking Jonah's soul, his inner body and self, as he became focused only on God: not his people, his pride nor his will, nor any earthly thing or person; Jonah came into focus with God's will completely. Then "I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came into thee (God)." Jonah knew he could talk to God and cry out to Him from anywhere, and He is there. Your prayers will flow from your heart, to His Holy Temple, and to the very Holy of Holies, where our Lord Jesus Christ sits making intercession for His own at all times. God does hear the prayers of His own, and those who seek Him with their whole heart.

Jonah 2:8 "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."

They that regard, and participate in their own empty vanity, are not going to heed to the chastisement of God.

"Mercy" is "unmerited favor" before God. Through Christ's death on the cross we receive unmerited favor from God the Father. It is not that we earned it, but because Christ paid our price for you and me. His burial and resurrection is the price He paid.

Jonah 2:9 "But I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD."

This is the significance of the book of Jonah "Salvation is of the Lord". It was the Lord that would come to this earth, as a babe, born of a virgin; and be in the tomb three days and three nights, so that you and I could have eternal life through Christ our Lord. When Jonah was in the whales belly is the only sign that God would give to the Kenite infested religious order of His day.

Jonah 2:10 "And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land."

There were enough witnesses present to Jonah's being vomited by this great fish that it is established as a fact. They knew it was a fish that came to speak to them and bring salvation to them.

Keep in mind, that the Assyrian people in Jonah's time worshipped the "Dagon' the fish god. They had huge idols, ceremonies, and rituals in their idolatries to the Dagon.

When this huge fish brought Jonah to them, "on dry ground", The people of Nineveh then respected Jonah, and listened to his message of salvation, because he came from a fish. This was the only way that God could reach the people was through their false fish god. God knew they would listen to Jonah.

What does it take today for anyone to listen to God's salvation message, believe it, and repent?

Though Jonah's intent was to flee from God's order to preach to Nineveh, this was part of a greater plan to present a way for the people to accept the message when it arrived. To Jonah it was a turning point from his will, and way of saving his people, to a complete submission, to the "Salvation of the Lord."

What was accomplished here?

First, Jonah's life completely changed. second, a way for the people of Nineveh to see and understand the message of Salvation using their own god, the "Dagon" as a tool to understanding. and third the most important, it provided the only sign Jesus would give the corrupt religious order of that day (Matthew 12:38 & 39).

Jonah 3:1 "And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,"

The way is now set, for Jonah has been returned to dry land; and now God is giving Jonah the same orders that He received in Jonah 1:2.

Jonah 3:2 "Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee."

The first time Jonah heard "The word of the LORD", he disobeyed. 

When the Lord speaks the second time, you better be awake and listening.

Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was about the size of Kansas City metro area. It was a circuit of sixty miles, and about twenty miles across; according to both Diodorous Siculus of the First Century B.C., and Herodotus of the fourth Century B.C.

It was a fishing community, along the Tigris River, and a Commercial Center of trade.

Nineveh also was a city much like Sodom, which was destroyed seven centuries earlier because of it's wickedness. It was decayed much like the large cities of today the way they are going, but had gone beyond.

It's property through it growth left it with a population that it could not support, crime, and violence of all sorts. Nineveh was streaming with foul smell, using every form of idolatry that man could think up to please himself. Nah. 2:8-13 describes the City of Nineveh and it’s people as the lowest form of all humanity.

This is the city God is sending Jonah to. 

The message is the same today and our cities today are much like Nineveh was then.

"Repent and turn to the true God, and God's ways." 

That is the preaching God bid's thee.

Jonah 3:3 "So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey."

There was no hesitation this time; Jonah went. Jonah’s reputation went before him.

Jonah 3:4 "And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be over-thrown."

This is God's decree, if they didn't repent, their town would be destroyed in forty days. Forty in the biblical numeric is "probation." Repent or be over thrown.

Jonah 3:5 "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

They knew Jonah came to them from the dead. He was three days in the fish's belly, and the fish put him on the beach with a message. They listened and then repented, and were saved.

Nineveh's people heard the word and showed true repentance before God. Jesus came out of the tomb and we have the same message of repentance today.

However, we live in a generation where a deception is coming on All the earth, and only those, who know the warnings given in God's word, will see through the miracles and wonders brought in by the Antichrist, can stand against him.

Jonah 3:6 "For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes."

Even the king himself repented.

Jonah 3:7 "And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, "Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing; let them not feed, nor drink water:"

The King was converted, and issued a proclamation to all, from highest to the lowest in the city. The order was that the entire city would honor God in a fast This is a type of Antichrist order, that you cannot eat, sell, or do anything without taking his mark.

Jonah 3:8 "But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God; yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands."

The people of Nineveh did not sway from God's message when they cried out to God for repentance. 

I wonder if America would be willing to do the same to save America

Or has it already sold out to the United Nations and Satan's tactics?

Jonah 3:9 "Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not?"

This is still part of the King's message. It shows that they believed in the God that Jonah has just shown them.

Jonah 3:10 "And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not."

Did God see their belief's, no "God saw their works" and because of their works for God, showing their true repentance, God saved the people, and their city.

Work's today are as important to God as it was in the day's of Nineveh. Our works or righteousness preformed on this earth for our Father, and in His name; is what each and every man woman and child of God will be clothed in when they are in the eternal Kingdom of God.

Theirs or your faith is clothed in your works. Works includes what ever you do in the name of Jesus Christ, sow seeds of the scripture, give tithe, help one in need, or even a cup of water is works. We should do everything in the name of Lord, and for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jonah 4:1 "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry."

Jonah was the one who brought the Word of God to Nineveh, and they heard him and repented. This is why Jonah was not happy with himself. Jonah wanted to be popular to his people. How well do you think all this will go over when, Jonah returns to tell his own people, that he brought salvation to the enemy, and saved them?

Remember, Hosea has told them because of the "House of Israel's sin", God was going to disown them, and scatter them, now Jonah returns with the message, that the enemy is O.K. now. He's ready to do God's work. (which will be to scatter the lost sheep of the house of Israel.)

Jonah 4:2 "And he prayed unto the LORD, and said "I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious GOD, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and replenish Thee of the evil."

You are going to see the same sincerity and loyalties to the Antichrist when he comes that the Ninevites gave to their king. This is why the Antichrist is called the Assyrian by Ezekiel. It's going to happen. This is why we must observe the deeper meaning to this fourth chapter and the historical events. You will see a revival like never before, when Satan comes with his supernatural powers (Rev. 13:11) and wins over everyone except God's elect.

The people of Nineveh were not equipped to handle the supernatural of Jonah being delivered by a whale; and the people of our generation are no different. 

In fact a large part of the Christian world uses miracles and wonders to confirm a message as being from God.

Jonah must have thought himself a pretty good preacher, to think it was he that converted Nineveh. Jonah's words shows he had no idea of God's overall plan of Nineveh, nor for the souls of their people. Poor Jonah is a little thick headed, in his rebellion against God.

Jonah 4:3 " Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live."

Jonah still doesn't get it! without the miracle of the fish, not one person in Nineveh would have listened to anything that Jonah would have said. God prepared the way, and the minds of the people of Nineveh to accept the warning. When Jonah arrived they were looking for Him, and his message.

Jonah thinks it was only his action and words that did it, now he is crying because of this thing he has done. What vanity! Salvation is for all people.

Jonah 4:4 "Then said the LORD, "Doest thou well to be angry?"

It's good for you to get all shook up, Jonah, so you think that you made a mistake?

Jonah 4:5 "So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city."

Jonah didn't do any follow-up work with his preaching. As soon as he was done, he ran out of town, away from the river, and made a hut to protect himself from the sun; and Jonah waited. Jonah sat and waited to see the city fail.

Poor Jonah had no idea in the world what God would work in the minds of the people. When you sow the seeds, it is God that germinates that seed, and causes it to grow.

Jonah 4:6 "And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief."

The "gourd" is from the Egyptian word it's, "kikayon" in Hebrew. It's a plant that grows just overnight. It gives shade in it's coverage; and it brought peace in the mind of Jonah.

Jonah 4:7 "But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered."

Jonah 4:8 "And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live."

The word "vehement east wind", is a "kadim harithim" wind in the Hebrew. This was an extremely hot and dry wind. When it hit poor Jonah, he passed out.

Jonah 4:9 "And God said to Jonah, "Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? and he said, "I do well to be angry, even unto death."

God tells Jonah it's good to be angry for the gourd that he had, and that old worm that took it, and ate it.

Jonah is angry because he does not have the gourd which kept him cool. Yet Jonah didn't do one thing to plant, water or take care of the gourd. God gave the gourd and Jonah didn't have to do one thing but enjoy it, then he cried when he lost it.

Many times that seed of salvation, once it's planted, will wither and die. If you don't add the word to your works, and pick those worms off that gourd, or correct your sinful ways. You will slip out of God's grace and favor, and your gourd will die.

Just as God gives, God can also take away.

God doesn't cause one to backslide; you do it to yourself.

Because they don't do anything to receive their salvation, they will not do anything to maintain it. Their is a condition to God's free salvation, paid for by the blood of Christ, and given only to those who repent and ask. That condition is repentance, when we fall short daily, and working in His service.

Jonah 4:10 "Then said the LORD, thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:"

Jonah 4:11 "And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are one than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?"

God is telling Jonah to wake up and learn the lesson. I gave you a gourd, this plant, in the night and it grew and gave you enjoyment by day from the hot sun. You did nothing to maintain it and it died. I can see why your angry over the gourd.

Then God asked Jonah, should I not spare the Ninevites, when they are so ignorant? They don't know their right hand from their left. These 12,000 people had God's pity, and Jonah is how God reached them.

This same generation that was spared by God, is the population of Nineveh that executed God's judgment on the house of Israel. The ten tribes Kingdom that Jonah came from, was overthrown and scattered by the sword of these Assyrians.

Very few today obey God, and they do it out of ignorance; they simply don't know what His word says. They are too lazy to study His word, and too busy with the cares of the world to care for the things of God.

You must know this to understand end time Bible prophecy. Because Israel does not return to Palestine (Israel of today) but only the Jews. They are both the good and bad figs (Kenites), and when they established a nation, a prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13. He said that generation which saw this happen would not pass away (die) until all the end time prophecy had occurred. They would see it and live through it.

So if God deals with Judah and Israel separately, it's good to know exactly who He is talking about. This requires many Christians to wake up, and see the error in their Bible teaching's; if they are to understand any of the Minor Prophet's, or prophecies concerning our times, they must know that God will address the "House of Judah" with prophecies dealing with Judah only, and totally different prophecies are given only for the "House of Israel". Without this understanding it's no great wonder that Christians are confused about Bible Prophecies.

Editor's Note: Don't miss this important lesson given in Jonah as it concerns what we, today, are taught in our so-called Christian churches. That is the lesson from Christ about the length of time He would spend in the tomb, after His crucifixion.

This book and it's lesson's, have a great deal to do with Christ's prophecy in reference to Christ being in the tomb three days and three nights, recorded in Matthew 12:40. Jonah is not just a book of history, but recording the conversion of Nineveh, which was given to us as a sign of important things to come.

When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign of the "day of Judgment". Jesus called them, "evil and adulterous generation, and no sign shall be given to it, but the sign of Jonah''. Matthew 12:38-39

 
Our churches teach Friday crucifixion and burial and Sunday rising from the dead. Jesus said the only sign given will be the sign given in Jonah Three full days and three full nights in the tomb. Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is only part of three days and two full nights. Sure looks like false teaching to me.

See live link to- 
Pamphlet #7014 "Six Days Before The Passover" (John 12:1)
This pamphlet shows Jesus was crucified Wednesday not Friday and rose on Saturday not Sunday!

       American Wisdom Series Editor's Note: Now that we've completed this 2014 study of the  "BOOK OF JONAH" we have placed a earlier 2002 Jonah study to follow for your comparison. I don't believe you will find much difference in the general opinion of these 2 authors, but to read another person's perspective of events that took place may prove helpful in your understanding of the Jonah.

The Book of Jonah

INTRODUCTION

We now pause among "the visions" of the minor prophets as we come to the Book of Jonah, the 5th book in the chronological order of the minor prophets. The number "5" represents "grace" in Biblical numerics which is certainly fitting for this book, especially considering the fact that we have been reading about the desolation and judgment of the heathen nations (Obad. 15) and the appearance of "saviors" (deliverers) upon Mount Zion. For we shall see in this great book how Jonah, whose name means "Dove", will become a type of "savior" to the heathen as God will use him to go preach to and deliver the city of Nineveh, who after having seen Jonah "raised from the dead", give their perked ears unto his words and behold, they do repent. 

Yes, even though we have read about the judgment and desolation of nations, we must always remember that the Plan of God, His beautiful and perfect plan of salvation for all mankind, includes all nations and is designed to bring them to repentance, which appears for some may be even easier than bringing the stiff-necked rebellious House of Israel to its knees. Nevertheless, one of the great lessons we learn from Jonah is that our Father loves all of His children and His plan shall go according to His Will, according to His Word, exactly as He has purposed! 

Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear need to pay special attention to Jonah and his actions and his attitude, to learn what it is our Father wants His servants and handmaidens to know and understand about His plan in these end times. You see, to love and serve Him (to do His will) in this final generation, just before the Assyrian once again comes against our people, requires a love (agapao) and maturity that supercedes our feelings and emotions (phileo) even for our own families, even for the Lord Jesus Christ. That is correct! In fact, Jesus taught this great lesson to Peter (and to you His disciple, if you are one) in the 21st chapter of John. Is it not interesting that Christ would therefore call Peter "Bar-Jonah", which means "son of the dove"? 

 Matthew 16:17
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 

Note: Read the short study titled "Love" concerning Peter's instruction to "feed" (teach) His Lambs (babes in Christ), His Sheep (House of Israel), and His Sheep (of another fold, i.e. the gentiles)  

Everyone knows that the graphic events that are described in the Book of Jonah have thrilled the hearts and minds of children and adults alike for many generations, but it should be noted that this Book of Jonah is not a myth or fairy tale, nor it is an allegory as most modern critics allege. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ gives His personal witness that Jonah was indeed a real historical personage and that he was for real entombed in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights. 

Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

[39] But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 

[40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 

This documents that not only was Jonah "for real" but also that he was a type of the Savior. "As our Lord was raised from the dead at the end of that period (3 days and 3 nights), so Jonah must have been, as miraculously, raised from the dead." (Companion Bible, pg. 1247.)

Therefore, those who believe that the Book of Jonah is myth or allegory have either never read Christ's words or if they have, they must believe Him to bear false witness. Then too, the question to ask is, "Which was the greater miracle, Jonah in the belly of the fish or Jesus Christ in the heart of the earth?" 

[41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 

By the way, did you know that the name "Jonah" comes from the Hebrew word for "wine"? 

JonahˆB   yonah yo-naw'  Strong's #3123
Probably from the same as #3196; a dove (apparently from the warmth of their mating):—dove, pigeon.

#3196  =  P‡   yayin  yah'-yin
From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication:—banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

Now let us consider some background information to help us understand what we are about to read in Jonah.

First of all, there is no doubt that Jonah loved his people and his nation (Israel) very much and that kind of deep love and patriotism certainly is a very good and wonderful attribute for any man or woman to possess. Furthermore, Jonah was a loyal servant of God and the scriptures show that he did as He was commanded when he was told by God to go prophecy concerning the restoration of Israel, his own people. It was king Jeroboam (the "He" in the next verse), the son of Joash king of Israel, who restored the borders of Israel. 

2 Kings 14:25
He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which He spake by the hand of
His servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher. 

Jonah, the servant of Yahveh, was even from Galilee, a place called Gath-hepher (winepress of the well, or winepress on the hill). His earthly father's name was "Amittai" which means "the truth or trustworthiness of Yah" which is what we will find to be true of Jonah's heavenly Father, even though Jonah himself will go AWOL. 

[26] 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 helper for Israel. 

[27] And the LORD said not that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. 

Now Jonah knew that God had purposed in His plan to use the Assyrian as His rod of judgment against Israel, even as we know today from His Word that the Assyrian, a type for Satan (Isa. 14:25), will once again be used as a rod of correction against our people in this final generation. 

Jonah also knew that the Assyrians were currently experiencing great difficulties and that the surrounding nations were beginning to strengthen themselves and perhaps,
just perhaps,
if he were to avoid going to Nineveh as God commanded him, or more likely he reason in his human mind that rather than flat-out disobeying God, as His servants are not wont to do, he just delayed going there long enough, that the Assyrians would be wiped out by their enemies and his people would be spared their great tribulation, their time of trouble!
So strong were Jonah's feelings and convictions that he was willing to risk and sacrifice his own life for the sake of His own people

Who can say that this is NOT a great and worthy cause and a noble way to die? Jonah would be a true martyr... 
at least in his own eyes.
 

There is just one problem with that. 

He failed to follow God's Plan according to "His Will" and thereby failed to show the "love of God" to ALL men, to ALL of God's children. You see, Jesus Christ wasn't just willing to die and pay the price for His own people. That He did do. But as it is written in John 3:16 "For God so loved the WORLD [yes, the heathen nations too], that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Again, God's Plan does not forsake the gentiles nor the heathen nations for He loves all of His children, and His servants in these last days are to follow His commands exactly as they are written and to bring forth His love to all. 

One more item of importance to note before we begin with verse one. The Assyrians worshipped a god known as Dagon, which means "fish". Therefore, when the Ninevites saw the great "fish" that God had prepared "vomit" out Jonah upon the dry land (Jonah 2:10), they believed at first that it was "Dagon" who sent them a prophet. That is why they paid so much heed to Jonah. Isn't it amazing the ways in which our Father is able to open the eyes and ears of people? His servants should take note.

Now we will begin studying the first exciting chapter of the Book of Jonah. Again, in this 5th book of the minor prophets the servant of God is not going to be shown a vision (remember, he knows the vision, i.e. the plan) but rather he will be given a "predestinated" job to do according to the Word of God! 

Let's preview the first two verses: 

Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 

When your Father, He who is True and Trustworthy (Amittai), speaks to His servants through His Word, He intends for them to be "doers" of that word and perform the work which He has commissioned them to do. (Just think what an honor it is to receive a "commission" from Almighty God and to be in His service.) Furthermore, if you are one of His elect, one of those who was chosen before the foundation of this world (Eph. 1:4) and "predestinated" to conform to His will, His plan, i.e. to do the job He has in store for you, then He will override "your will" if necessary and do what it takes
to see to it that you carry out His instructions.

(like bring a storm upon your little ship) 

Paul speaks of those who were chosen in the first earth age, in the "world that then was (2 Pet. 3:6)" before it perished in Gen. 1:2, i.e. before the foundation of this world age, and predestined "according to the good pleasure of His will".

Ephes. 1:4
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 

[5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 

Here are Jonah's instructions from the Word of the Lord:

Jonah 1:2 
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 

Hmmm! "What to do, what to do!"
Jonah will now begin to spin his intellect with his emotions and consider the impact of God's command on His people and how he might be able to help his people and be a champion.
"What to do, what to do!"

 Next we see the decision this great  servant of God makes. 

It is extremely important that God's elect in this final generation clearly understand the message of the Book of Jonah. If you recall, we noted at the beginning of our study that this Book of Jonah is placed in the 5th (grace) position among the "visions" of the minor prophets, whose visions were given to be understood by the "sons and daughters" of this final generation. 

Of course the reason those visions were to be "unsealed" and "understood" in the last days was because they concern the events that take place in the final generation, that generation of the fig tree which we now have "seen" began on May 15th, in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Forty Eight. 

Many teach that the Book of Jonah is either an allegory or just a history book whereby Jonah was a type of the Savior, which undoubtedly he was. But is the Book of Jonah therefore a "fish out of water", so to speak, set among the visions of the minor prophet's whose words were spoken for these last days, for this final generation? After all, Jonah was not even shown a "vision", was he? The answer is, "No, it is not out of place." It is exactly where it is supposed to be and if we do not understand it, then it is we who are out of place. What therefore is the message of the Book of Jonah for God's elect in this final generation

Let us start by understanding that Jonah was the only prophet of God to be sent to a "heathen" nation. Furthermore and conspicuously so, Israel is NOT even mentioned anywhere in the entire book. It should thus become obvious to those with eyes to see and ears to hear that the Book of Jonah concerns the Hope and the Salvation of the "heathen", including even those tares, the kenites, who were the ones who asked Jesus Christ for a sign, as in a miracle. This is important, so let's read it again:

Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

[39] But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas

Jesus Christ did not limit this "prophecy" to just that wicked, evil and adulterous generation of His day, to whom He would give the "Sign of Jonah" Himself as documented in Mat. 12:40-42. He said in verse 39 that "An" evil and adulterous generation, not just "this" evil and adulterous generation, seeketh after a sign. Yes, He was thinking of that final evil and adulterous generation which would be present in that great city at the time of the end! You see, it is they who shall be given the "Sign of Jonah" TOO!

That is right! The Plan of God in this final generation INCLUDES the "Sign of Jonah" when His servants, those whom He sends to give witness unto the heathen in that "great city", shall die and be dead for 3 1/2 days and be resurrected! And you know what? There shall even be repentance among those heathen, as there was in the days of Jonah.

Our Father's plan of salvation is far more perfect and powerful than we oft times consider as we look around at the wickedness in the "world". 

Yes, the sign of Jonah, the Dove, symbolic of the Spirit of God (Jn. 1:32), shall be given to the heathen in this final generation. Why? Because of the very last words Jonah would utter in the belly of the great fish: "Salvation is of the LORD."

Let us document the sign of Jonah to be "seen" in these last days. It is written in the 11th chapter of Revelation that God will commission His two witnesses to prophecy in the holy city, that great city which has been trodden down by the gentiles. 

Here is what happens to them when they finish their testimony:

Rev. 11:7
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 

[8] And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified

Again, that great city is Jerusalem, known also spiritually as Babylon the Great in these end times, the great whore who sits upon the waters, who are the people and kindreds and tongues and nations as documented in Rev. 17:15: "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." 

Rev. 17:18
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. 

The two witnesses shall be killed, where also our Lord gave the sign of Jonah, and they shall lie in the midst of Dagon for all to see. 

Rev. 11:9 
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 

[10] And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 

Then, after 3 1/2 days the "Dove", the Spirit of Life", shall descend upon and enter into them, and they shall stand upon their feet!

[11] And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them

Just as our Father showed us how He got the attention of the Ninevites and caused their repentance by raising up Jonah after 3 days, so shall He also get the attention of those in these last days after the same manner, after the Sign of Jonah the prophet, by raising up His two witnesses after 3 1/2 days. 

This should also give answer to those who claim that the two witnesses are something other than two olive "trees" (men of El-ah-Yah) who die, are dead for 3 1/2 days, and are resurrected as a sign to the evil and adulterous generation. It is the Sign of Jonah!

[12] And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 

[13] And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven

Those seven thousand men are the fallen angels, those sons of God who left their first estate (Jude 6) in Gen. 6 and came to earth without being "born of water" (a basic requirement to even enter the kingdom of God, as per John 3:3), and took the daughters of Adam to wife. That "marriage" between the "sons of God" and the "daughters of Adam" produced giants (gibor) and caused our Father to bring about the flood of Noah upon the earth to destroy them. It is those 7,000 fallen angels who shall be cast out of heaven with Satan in Rev. 12:7-9 and shall be destroyed when Christ returns. 

However, the "remnant", the "loipoy" in Greek which means "residue", who were with those who were consumed shall become affrighted at these events including the "Sign of Jonah" and they shall give glory to the God of heaven after the manner of Nineveh. 

Yes, the sign of Jonah shall be given to this evil and adulterous generation, so let us learn all we can absorb from this great book which stands in the Old Testament even as a witness and forerunner to the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Here again are the instructions Jonah received from the LORD: 

Jonah 1:1
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 

[2] Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 

Arise means to "perform", to "accomplish", as in "go do the work which I give you". Nineveh means "residence of Ninus, i.e. Nimrod" who founded Babylon and built Nineveh (Gen. 10:11). 

"Nimrod was the founder of Babylon, which partook of his character as being the great antagonist of God's Truth and His people. We cannot fail to see, in Nimrod, Satan's first attempt to raise up a human universal ruler of men. There have been many subsequent attempts, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Napoleon, and others. He will finally succeed in the person of antichrist." (Appendix 28, The Companion Bible.)

Nineveh was the capital of the world-ruling empire and therefore the seat of idolatry in that day. It is a type of that "great city" in these end times which is also the capital of the Assyrian, one of Satan's, antichrist's, names (Isa. 14) . Again, that great city is Jerusalem which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt

The "wickedness" of the Ninevites which "came up before Him" was very great indeed and Jonah was hoping that God would destroy them. Although it is not the reason that Jonah disobeyed God's commands, one could certainly speculate that had Jonah listened to his Father and gone to Nineveh to preach and give witness, that because of their great wickedness they would have probably killed him. No, Jonah wished for the Assyrians to be destroyed so that they would not be able to come against and harm his people. 

We need to be wise and learn from Jonah's errant attitude.

Perhaps some of God's elect wish that the kenite (tares) controlled New World Order would not "rise up" and come against and swallow captive the United States of America. It is a sad and disheartening thing to witness the locusts consume the vineyard and bring captivity and oppression upon our own people. Perhaps some of God's servants would even "bite the tail of the dragon" in an attempt to prevent that which is God's plan from taking place. All one can say is that if they would like to be drowned in the stormy sea, or get their "gourd thumped" by Mighty-Worm, then go for it! Set sail for Tarshish in the opposite direction of God's Plan and see how far you get. Jonah tried it, but he didn't get too far! Thanks for the lesson, Jonah! We love you man!

Jonah 1:3 
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. 

Joppa was the seaport of Jerusalem where the cedars from Lebanon that were hewn for the building of Solomon's temple were transported to from Tyre.  Jonah "paid the price" to enter the vessel and take the voyage far across the Mediterranean to Tarshish in Spain, but it is nothing compared to the price he would pay for going against God's plan. Now he would have to take a stinky old Charter Fish to Nineveh.

Our Father does not like when His children, and especially His servants, willfully disobey Him. Does it please you when your children do just the opposite of what you tell them to do? I think not and I am sure you do a little "storming" yourself when that happens, don't you? So no matter how noble the cause seems in your own mind, do not allow your personal feelings, whether they be love for your own family or nation or anger towards the children of disobedience, to get in the way of "doing" your Father's Word. 

[4] But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 

God's elect know from the examples Christ has shown us what to do when there is a great wind (ruach) and a mighty tempest upon the sea (Luke 8:22-25). But, Jonah did not turn to God!

[5] Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 

It seems Jonah didn't care if he lived or died, doesn't it? The mariners were at least working and praying and trying to save themselves while we see Jonah "sleeping" when he should be working, i.e. doing the work God gave Him to do! 

 [6] So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 

What in the world are you doing sleeping? That should be a very embarrassing question to a servant of God!  

[7] And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 

Do not think that our Father did not carefully watch every move Jonah made and that His hand was not upon His servant. You see, He promises He "will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Heb. 13:5)" and so Father is about to bring Jonah portside and show His deep abiding love for his son! Hebrews 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." 

Then too, the fact that the lot fell upon Jonah shows us that God was in total control of the situation

And I guarantee that if you are one of His chosen vessels, called according to His plan, i.e. to do His will (Eph. 1:4), that He cares and knows what is happening in your life too! 

Hey, we have a great deal yet to learn from this marvelous Book of Jonah. And there is nothing "fishy" about it either. Contrary to what the scoffers and the gainsayers say, it is the Word of God. They may not believe it now, but when they witness the "Sign of Jonah" they will then! That's the plan!

When we last left the prophet Jonah, he was aboard a ship bound for Tarshish because he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD. The sea is now growing more and more tempestuous and the mariners, after casting lots whereby Jonah came up with the short end of the stick, now begin to ask probing questions of the man of God seeking desperately to find an explanation for the fury of the wind and the raging of the sea.

Jonah 1:8 
Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 

Jonah, who obviously was a foreigner to these sailors, did not give an answer or explanation to all of these questions. Here is what he disclosed to them:

[9] And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 

There is a real problem with this statement of Jonah's. He says that he "fears", which means to "reverence", the LORD, the God of heaven, the creator of all the earth. But as the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words", and Jonah's disobedience to God's commands belie His love (agapao, not phileo) of God. How so? We will let the Lord give the explanation in His own words: 

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments. 

John 14:23
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 

Nevertheless, do not think even for a moment that Jonah ever quit believing in God or ever lost his faith. He did not, as we will soon see! He just had real trouble when it comes to "tough love" for he did not like the negative part (as he sees it) of God's Plan whereby He chastises His people using the Assyrian as His rod of correction. Jonah actually shows himself to be a very considerate and loving person who does not like to see bad things happen to people (except perhaps to Israel's enemies) as will be evidenced by his actions here onboard ship. He simply did not want to participate in God's plan to convert Nineveh and feel responsible as though he aided the enemy in their attack upon his people. In other words, Jonah did not want to see the "cup" of God's wrath poured out upon his people and so he just couldn't quite bring himself to the "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." 

Jonah 1:10 
Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them

Jonah confessed to the mariners and told them that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, though he did not tell them the reason why! Therefore the men knew that Jonah knew what needed to be done to calm the sea and abate the tempest! So they asked him what they should do. 

Note: What Jonah should have done was turn to his heavenly Father and confess to Him and repent. Then would the LORD have calmed the storm. You see, there is no doubt whatsoever in Jonah's mind about the power of God and His ability to calm the storm which He Himself made. Yet in all of this conversation with the men onboard the ship there is no mention of Jonah praying or turning to his Father. But do not worry, he soon will cry out to Him! 

Jonah 1:11
Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. 

In a sense, the question to Jonah the servant of God is, "What shall we do to be saved (from certain death)?"  On the spiritual level, the answer is that there would be only one way for a person to be saved and that would be for the Son of man to be willing to die that they might live, and for them to believe in Him. To that extent we see Jonah as a type of Christ, for the "salvation" of these men would come through Jonah's willingness to die for them. And he WAS willing to do that:

[12] And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 

This is amazing when you think about it. Jonah knew full well that it was his disobedience that was the cause of the great storm. And although I'm sure he knew full well that he would be in big trouble with his Father, he probably did not anticipate when he went down to Joppa and boarded a ship bound for Tarshish that his actions would jeopardize the lives of innocent people. Nevertheless, no matter how you look at it, Jonah was willing to die to save the lives of the men onboard. Of course by dying he would not be able to go to Nineveh (so he thought) and therefore not only would his people be spared from the Assyrian but he would save the lives of these men as well, which would make him twice a martyr you might say. 

[13] Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 

Even though these men worshipped false gods, they were not quick nor eager to take a man's life, even to save their own necks, and they tried hard to avoid having to do what Jonah suggested and "feed him to the sharks", as they say! 

The lesson we learn from this futile attempt is twofold. 1.) Man cannot "save" himself by his own efforts, and 2.) man CANNOT change nor alter the will of God. These mariners tried to save Jonah and strove against the "ruach", but it was indeed in vain as it always is when you "row against" the will of God.

So since Plan "B" wasn't working out the men decided to go back to Plan "A" which was to do as Jonah had bid them and cast him into the "sea". But before they toss Jonah overboard notice what they do:

[14] Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. 

Here we see the men crying unto Jonah's God and beseeching Him not to hold them accountable for murder because they are about to do what they see is obviously His desire, and that is to cast Jonah into the sea. 

[15] So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 

Can you imagine this scene? It was a miracle! Remember, Jonah told them that he worshipped the true God of heaven and earth, the Creator Himself, and that if they threw him overboard that the sea and the wind would cease from their rage. So the men finally "take up" Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and IMMEDIATELY as Jonah's body splashes into the water and is covered over by the waves, the raging sea calms and the tempest ceases its fury. That would certainly get one's attention, don't you think?

Did you notice something else conspicuously absent from this account? Jonah did not show a fear of death and say "Oh Father, isn't there any other way than for me to die?" And just as Jonah did not fear death, neither did the Messiah. Yet there are those who claim that Jesus Christ was fearful of being crucified when He said, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42)." Christ was referring to the "cup of wrath" to be poured out upon the final generation. The plan to pour out that cup has not changed and it shall indeed be poured out in these last days. 

[16] Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 

Jonah's words came to pass exactly as he spoke them and Jonah became a witness unto these men of the power of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, He who controls the sea (people) and the wind (spirit), and they began to praise the God of Jonah and to make vows. 

[17] Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 

The Hebrew word translated "prepared" in this verse is "manah" which means to "appoint" or even to "ordain". You see, God had already prepared a great fish who was standing by (ok, it was swimming by) to swallow up Jonah when he was cast overboard. What do we learn from this? Well, for one thing we see that through all of this that our Father DID NOT FORSAKE JONAH even for a moment, even though He allowed Jonah to suffer death and be buried in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, which would become a type of Christ's three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The point is, neither did God turn His back and forsake His Son Jesus Christ at the moment of His death as so many preachers teach. It would seem they know not that Jesus Christ taught the detailed events written in the 22nd Psalm as they unfolded before the very eyes of the thief who was hanging on his cross beside the Great Teacher. Have you ever read Ps. 22:1? You will find in Mat. 27:46 and Mark 15:34 where Christ quoted that verse word for word while hanging on the cross. 

Well, the men aboard the ship of Tarshish have now all been "saved" except for their commercial passenger Jonah who definitely will not get a refund on his prepaid fare (vs. 3). No, the prophet of God has been cast overboard and has been swallowed up by a great big fish prepared by God. Is this the end of Jonah? Is it now too late for him? Has he perished forever? 

Have you ever considered what would happen if we all sat around in a big circle and threw our problems into the center of the ring? The fact is that after seeing what others are going through most of us would end up taking back our own problems. Actually, that is the basis of what Paul explains in Hebrew 12:3 when he instructs us to look to the affliction of Jesus Christ lest we become weary or faint in our minds. In other words, when things are not going so well would you rather be in the situation you are in or suffer unto death as did our Lord upon the cross?

What is the worse predicament you have ever been in? Or what is the lowest state of helplessness or even depression that you have ever experienced? Perhaps you are even feeling pretty "down in the dumps" at this very moment and feel like you are all alone and that you have been cast out of His good graces. If that is the case, or if it ever becomes the case, then today's study of Jonah's prayer from the "belly of hell" (vs. 2) should give you strength and hope and encouragement to know that He has not only promised that He will "never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5), but no matter how "bad" things get He always hears your prayers and supplication. Always! So from the womb even to the tomb there is NEVER a time you cannot turn to Him and be delivered.

We begin today's study at the point where Jonah, the prophet of God whose name means "Dove", has just been cast forth into the sea and has now been swallowed up by a great big "Fish" who was prepared and ordained by God for that very purpose and to provide Jonah with transportation back to work to finish the job he was told to do in the first place. Isn't it interesting that both the Dove and the Fish, along with the Cross, would eventually become the symbols of Christianity .

Jonah 2:1
Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
Jonah would be in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights even "as" (Mat. 12:40) the Son of man would be three days and three nights "in the heart of the earth", which is equivalent to "in the midst of the seas" (vs. 3).
So don't believe any of those Friday afternoon to Sunday morning sunrise traditions.
 (Read appendix 144 in the Companion Bible and begin to mature in the Word of God by growing in grace and in knowledge). Jonah would then be resurrected, as a sign, a miracle indeed, that which the Savior Himself would accomplish, and then Jonah would go offer salvation to the wicked city of Nineveh, even as Christ would offer salvation unto all nations and kindreds and tongues.

And during those few minutes just prior to Jonah's death, perhaps as he was holding his breath while he was being swallowed alive, while at the same time the seaweed was encompassed about his head (vs. 5), he would turn to His Father and "cry out" to the LORD, never having lost his faith nor sight of the fact that He was there to deliver him.

Therefore, in as much as Jonah was a type of the Savior who died to bring salvation to the "world", this prayer of Jonah's just before his death is very similar to the words Jesus Christ would say just prior to His death, which are the words of the 22nd Psalm.

Jonah 2:2
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
Here are Christ's words on the cross:
Psalm 22:24
For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid his face from him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard.
Even in the most dire hour of distress, even in the face of death, our heavenly Father hears the voice of His beloved children. And so from this Book of Jonah alone we can know that the words "fear none of those things which you shall suffer (endure)" and "be thou faithful unto death", given by Jesus Christ to the sons and daughters of the Church of Smyrna (Rev. 2:10) in this final generation, who will also come face to face with Dagon in that great spiritual battle of the end times, are faithful and true, which if you will recall is precisely what Jonah's father's name "Amittai" means. The apostle John also writes in Rev. 22:6 "And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done."
Jonah 2:3
For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
The sea in this final generation is symbolic of the people from which the beast rises up out of and the roaring waves of Luke 21:25 do trouble the waters in this final generation.
Psalm 22:12
Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Jesus Christ was also compassed about by strong enemies (bulls).
Jonah 2:4
Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Jonah knew that the hand of the Lord was upon him and that it was His will that Jonah be cast forth into the sea, spoken even from the mouth of the mariners who strove against the "ruach" in their futile attempt to try and save themselves and Jonah. But you see, the One whose will it was for Jonah to be a type of savior, would Himself come down from above (Jn. 3:13) and suffer an even more violent and brutal fate than did His servant Jonah.
Jonah 2:5
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
In other words Jonah was about to drown in the waters of the sea as he was entangled in the floating seaweeds wrapped about his head.
[6] I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever...
Jonah sank down to the depths of the sea, i.e. the "roots of the mountains" which is the opposite direction of the "tops of the mountains", where the the "bars" of the earth would hold him forever. In other words, he was history, a dead man, a goner as they say! Jesus Christ knew He was also brought down into the dust of death.
Psalm 22:15
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
But the "bars of the earth" did not hold Jonah, the type of Christ, even as they could not hold the Son of God.
Jonah 2:6... continued] yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
YET, the LORD God in His mercy and His grace, according to His will, "brought up his life from corruption", meaning from the pit or grave.That's right! Jonah was resurrected from the grave, the tomb, i.e. from corruption, even as Christ was resurrected from the tomb.
[7] When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
When times are tough and we suffer trials and tribulation we are quick to turn to God. But when Jeshurun waxes fat (Deut. 32:15), i.e. when times are good as in when we are "fat and happy" and healthy and prosperous, that is when we forsake Him, and take lightly what the LORD our Rock has done for us.
Deut. 32:15
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
In that sense, and this is extremely important to understand, the greater test of your faith and obedience to God is when times are good, not bad! Therefore it is more easily understood that the Great Tribulation of Antichrist, who brings peace and prosperity to all the world, brings about a greater apostasy than would occur during the trials and tribulations of adversity and of bloodshed and war. For when "the chips are down", our people cry out, but it seems that when they are "rolling in the chips" they ignore Him. I mean, who needs Him then?
Jonah 2:8
They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
This is a very important verse for our generation so let it serve as a warning. Do not throw away your mercy in this final generation by following the traditions of men and doing that which seems right in your own eyes! Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

You stick to God's Word and His Plan exactly as it is written. Love Him with all your heart and mind and soul (Deut. 11:13, Mark 12:30), which is to "sacrifice unto Him with the voice of thanksgiving", and "pay that which you have vowed", which is to strive to "keep His commands"! Jesus said in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." So when He tells you in His Word to do a thing, even like "learn the parable of the fig tree" which He commanded us to do in Mat. 24:32, Mark 13:28, then do it. Be a doer of the Word and stay off of the commercial ships of Tarshish headed in the wrong direction.

Jonah 2:9
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Jesus Christ paid the price by His death on the cross and there is none other name and none other way by which a person can be saved, for as it is written, "none can keep alive his own soul (Ps. 22:29)".  It is fitting that we now read the final words of Psalm 22.
Psalm 22:25
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
Yes, Salvation is of the LORD! His promise, His vow to those that fear (love) Him, is to give them eternal life, salvation!
[26] The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
Jesus Christ will pay His vows and grant you eternal life and "your heart shall live forever"!
[27] All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
He is returning as the King of kings and Lord of lords to rule ALL nations with a rod of iron.
[28] For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

[29] All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

Salvation is of the LORD!
Psalm 22:30
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
That "seed" is the sons and daughters of the final generation, the generation of the fig tree which was planted on May 15, 1948. They shall serve Him and "keep His Word", and "pay their vows" and declare His righteousness, which HIS WORD. And so it is that they teach His Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse to this froward generation.
[31] They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
The last words Jesus spoke on the cross were "It is finished" (John 19:30) which is what "He hath done this" means in Hebrew. Jesus Christ finished the work on the cross and died so that ALL who will believe in Him can have life everlasting. The last words of Jonah before he died was "Salvation is of the Lord"!

Yes, Jonah was a type of savior and what a beautiful and touching prayer he spoke from the belly of the great fish. His words should be a comfort to all who feel "down in the pits" and reassurance of His promise to all who love Him.

Next we read about how the miraculous resurrection of Jonah from the belly of the fish will gain the attention of the Ninevites and Jonah will pay his vows and do His Father's will.

What an ordeal Jonah the prophet has endured as a result of his trying to avoid God's first command to go to Nineveh and preach salvation unto a heathen nation, especially to the nation God would use as the "rod of His correction" to come against Jonah's own brethren and his beloved nation of Israel. And yet what an humble and heartrending prayer Jonah cried out to his heavenly Father when he was cast into the sea and the waters and seaweed compassed him about as he sank below the billows and "His waves passed over him".

However, God in His infinite mercy would raise up Jonah's life from corruption (vs. 2:6) after being in the "midst of the sea" for three days and three nights, and bring him forth upon the dry land as a type of the Savior. 

Jonah 2:10
And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. 

The LORD commanded the great fish that "He had prepared to swallow up Jonah" (vs. 1:17) to now "let go" of this prophet and bring him forth upon the dry land, even the spiritually dry land, that his return from "the midst of the sea", from "the heart of the earth", would become a witness and a sign that he was truly sent from God.

This is the "Sign of the prophet Jonah" and as a result the Ninevites, though they believe it was Dagon their "fish god" who brought forth Jonah, will listen to the prophet and the entire city will "repent at the preaching of Jonas". Yet we read that the scribes and Pharisees at the time of Jesus Christ, who would also be given the Sign of the prophet Jonah, would not repent at the preaching and teaching of Messiah, One who was greater than Jonah, even the Son of the living God.

Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

[39] But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas

[40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

Remember this verse as your church celebrates the Lord's time spent in the tomb (Passover), or as they call it "easter",  from Friday evening to Sunday at sunrise.

You count the days and nights. If you come up with a total of 3 and 3, keep attending that church. If you don't come up with 3 and 3, why do you still help them in the idol worship of the "sex goddess Ashtoreth" the queen of heaven?

[41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here

The word of the LORD now comes unto Jonah once again, the second time, with the same message he was given before he became "chum" and attracted the big fish.

Jonah 3:1
And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 

[2] Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee

Had Jonah listened to His Father in the first place he would not have had to be told the second time. However, there is an important lesson for us in all this in that we are able to see that our Father does not waste His time begging and pleading with His children to do as He bids them. If they are His servants and they do not listen to Him the first time, most likely they will the second time because our Father goes by that old saying, "Walk softly and carry a Big Fish", or something like that! 

Also, many nutritionists claim that eating "fish" is good for the brain and helps make one smarter, i.e. "fish" is considered "brain food".  However, it seems that it is even more effective when the fish eats you! Let's see if Jonah listens to the word of the LORD this time. 

[3] So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 

You've gotta love it! And although we poke a little fun, we know the miracle of the event that occurred and the fact that Jonah loves His Father very much and vice versa. Also, the greatest lesson we learn from the Book of Jonah is contained in the last few words of Jonah's prayer, "Salvation is of [i.e. belongeth to] the LORD", for His great love and His great plan includes the hope of salvation for all His children including the heathen. So on to Nineveh we go...

[4] And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 

Noted historians such as Herodotus record that the diameter of Nineveh was about 20 miles across which would make it about 60 miles in circumference. So Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey and began proclaiming to the Ninevites that they will be overthrown in 40 days. However, verse 9 reveals to us that Jonah apparently did not tell them that God would spare them if they repented. In fact, it is not written that he told them to repent at all but just that they would be overthrown. They repented on their own in the "hope" of being spared destruction. 

It should also be noted that aside from the fact that the Ninevites knew that Jonah had been "vomited up" on the dry land by their "fish god", giving him "divine" credentials as one who should be hearkened unto, they also knew that they as a nation were in a serious period of decline as the surrounding nations were asserting their independence. Therefore they had every reason to believe that Jonah was telling them the truth from God concerning their overthrow for they were in trouble anyway and now God has put them on probation for 40* days. 

* Did you know that numbers in scripture have special meaning and spiritual significance? They help us to partake of that "hidden manna", giving us a deeper level of understanding. For instance: each time the number 40 is used throughout the Bible it denotes probation or testing. It rained 40 days and 40 nights at the time of the flood. Israel wandered in the wilderness 40 years. Moses was on the mountain 40 days. Christ was tempted of Satan 40 days in the wilderness. And now we see Nineveh given 40 days of probation to decide whether to repent or perish. Here are a few other numbers and their meanings:

5 = Grace
6 = Man
7 = Spiritual perfection
8 = New Beginnings
10 = Law or Ordinal Perfection as in the 10 Commandments
12 = Governmental Perfection as in 12 Tribes, 12 Apostles, etc.

(See appendix 10 in "The Companion Bible" for more details concerning the significance of numbers in scripture.)

Now let's see how effective Jonah's preaching was:

Jonah 3:5  
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 

The whole bunch of them from the rich and famous to the poor and unknown repented at the preaching of Jonah. Good job Jonah, though of course we know, as do you, that it was the power of God that gave him credentials! 

[6] For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 

The king of Nineveh also repented and set the example for the whole country by proclaiming a period of national prayer and fasting and repentance and decreeing that all turn from their evil ways and from the violence (corruption) that is in their hands and cry mightily unto God. 

[7] And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 

The Word of God is filled with example after example of the witness that as "goes the king" so "goes the whole nation"! 

[8] But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 

Again, this they did in prayer and supplication to God in hope that He would turn from overthrowing them following their 40 days of probation. 

[9] Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 

Who knows if God will change His mind? Well, Jonah sure believed He would change His mind and spare the Ninevites if they repented of their evil ways. That is why he took off in the opposite direction the first time the word of the LORD came unto him and told him to go preach unto them. 

And sure enough, when the Ninevites "brought forth fruit meet for repentance" (Mat. 3:8) and God SAW their works, He decided not to overthrow them. 

[10] And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. 

Even after all Jonah has gone through to this point, God's decision to spare Nineveh is not going to "sit well" with him for his worst nightmare has now come true and he knows that all his hope in 2 Kings 14:25-27 will be dashed to pieces when God uses Assyria as His rod of correction against his beloved Israel. Furthermore, Jonah probably feels awful, like he has betrayed his people and his brethren, because it was through him, through his preaching, that Nineveh came to repentance. Still we say, "Good job Jonah!" 

Next in this great Book of Jonah, we will see if the prophet contracts another case of "bad attitude" and see whether or not God will have to thump his gourd.

Jonah has done a marvelous job preaching to the heathen city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. In fact, he did such a great job (which God predestined, prepared, and credentialed him to do) that the entire city from the greatest unto least repented and turned from their evil ways. So now that God has decided to spare them from destruction Jonah knows they will soon be used as a "rod of correction" to come against his people and his nation, Israel. Yet even though he knows that this is God's plan, Jonah does NOT want to see that happen, according to Jonah's will, and now that reality has suddenly "hit home" he becomes displeased and quite angry!    

Jonah 4:1
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 

Perhaps this would be a good time to pray*, Jonah! 

[2] And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 

*Note: Prayer is simply when you talk to God, regardless of where you are, what position you are in, or what the content or spirit of your prayer is

Jonah documents in his own words that he knew full well, even from the Pentateuch, that God would spare a repentant people.

You know that too, don't you?

That's what it is all about, isn't it

Our Father is gracious and merciful (loving) and forgiving and wants ALL of His children to come to repentance. It is not His desire nor does he take any pleasure in seeing any people perish (2 Pet. 3:9) for they are all His children. 

Here is what Jonah knew:

Exodus 34:6
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God,
merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth

And you see, Jonah not only knew that God would forgive the repentant, but he also knew the last part of verse 7 which states that God will by no means let the iniquity of His children go unpunished. So he knew that God would bring the Assyrian against his people and he didn't want any part of that. He told us that is why he fled to Tarshish. He didn't want to feel responsible for helping to strengthen the "enemy" of his people

[7] Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 

David also, along with all the other prophets, knew the readiness of God to forgive any and all who CALL upon Him

Psalm 86:5
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto
all them that call upon thee

Again, it has always been and still is to this day our Father's will and His desire that ALL of His children repent and turn to Him

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that
all should come to repentance

However, as incredulous as it may seem, here is Jonah becoming angry and depressed over that which he already knew to be true of our Father. He just didn't want those "bad" things to happen to his people and surely he had held out hope that perhaps God would change His mind concerning punishing Israel. But alas, just as Jonah feared (actually knew but hoped against) it now doesn't look good for the home team. 

... O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country?

"I told you so, God! I just knew it!" 

What we have here is an attitude problem, not a knowledge problem! Again, Jonah knew God would "probably" be merciful to Nineveh if they repented and spare them from destruction and that soon thereafter they would destroy the nation of Israel and scatter his people. 

Jonah 4:3 
Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 

It would seem Jonah does not face reality very well, doesn't it? 

[4] Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? 

Do you have a good and valid (justifiable) reason to be angry, Jonah?  You see, in his own mind, Jonah did feel justified. He loved the Lord but he also loved his people and his country very much and he didn't want to see a heathen nation come against them and destroy them, especially with him having helped them along! Therefore, there is a very valuable lesson we need to learn from this for our present day.

But notice first what Jonah did next:

[5] So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 

Jonah "made himself a booth" (and a little mental barricade) and "sat" (doing nothing) under it "in the shadow" (on the sidelines so to speak, or out of the "limelight" as they say), to watch what happens! What a "cop-out"! Good grief Charlie Brown! I don't know about you, but this is NOT the description of a "watchman" in this final generation as outlined in the book of the "watchman", EZEK-I-EL (whom God strengthens)! In fact, nowhere in God's Word are His servants told to sit on their "duffs" and do nothing and wait and see what happens! His servants know what is going to happen: "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things (Mark 13:23)."

They also know there is work to be done

You may think that Jonah's attitude is somewhat extreme, especially in light of all that he has been through. But perhaps we would be a little surprised to know how many of God's servants, those who know His plan in this final generation of the fig tree, who do little more than sit around and watch what is happening (we speak not of those who are handicapped or bound by circumstances beyond their control, etc., but of those able bodied servants with talent - See also the Parable of the Talents in Mat. 25.)

Live Link to- Matthew pamphlet #2563 "The Parable of the Talents

Well, our Father has a problem with Jonah's attitude and He knows just what to do about it. So we are going to see Him deal with His servant Jonah and bring to pass a "prepared" plan of His that is without Jonah's "input", without his "help", and without even his "foreknowledge" of that plan. In fact, Jonah will have no part in this plan other than being the object and the beneficiary (along with all of us) of the lesson to be taught. The first part of God's Plan is that He will "raise up" a gourd overnight that will give Jonah "divine" comfort and protection for which Jonah will be "exceeding glad".

Jonah 4:6  
And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 

Let us view this in the prophetic sense for our day, for there is a fitting analogy concerning Israel contained herein . You see, it is not us but rather our Father who has "prepared" the blessings of this nation and protection for the children of Israel in the "wilderness". However, you must know and understand both from historical type, and from prophecy, and from the same Pentateuch Jonah quoted from (Ex. 34:6-7), that God will not spare the guilty and idolatrous and therefore the Assyrian shall come again in these last days against our people as the rod of His correction. Call it the negative part of His plan if you like but remember Hebrews 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." He loves all of His children.

[7] But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 

To say God "prepared" something means it is by His "design" and so it is according to His plan that a "red" (symbolic of communism) worm will smite the gourd and cause it to wither. And as if that is not bad enough, there will yet be a time of great trouble to come upon His children when the "hot wind from the east" (desert storm) shall blow and things get very "hot" indeed! In other words, the Assyrian, one of Satan's names (Isa. 14), and his locust army SHALL come against our people. 

Think you can handle it Christian Soldier? 

Jonah 4:8
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 

Jonah was quick to be a martyr but it seems he just "couldn't take the spiritual heat", could he? When things didn't go his way or things got a little too hot for him he got depressed and was ready to give up!  

[9] And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 

It sure seems that Jonah just didn't get it, did he? He continued to believe he was actually justified in being angry and depressed, but we are to "See" that he really had NO justification to be either (of course he was human)!  

[10] Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 

Jonah sure liked the good times and the protection and comfort of the gourd which he had absolutely nothing to do with. In other words, he himself did nothing in "the field" to prepare it. He didn't plant it, he didn't cultivate it, he didn't fertilize (nourish) it. Neither did God consult him and ask him for advice in His grand plan for the salvation of all His children. And whether Jonah or anyone else likes it or not, His overall plan includes those who do not know the Word of God or even know what in the world is going on! 

[11] And should not I spare 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? 

How about you?
Are you mature enough to understand that God's Plan is designed to bring about salvation to all mankind and not just to the children of Israel and that adversity is also part of that plan?
The fact is that the Assyrian is coming, ready or not, like it or not!
Neither you nor I should ever try to second guess the will and plan of our Father and determine that perhaps there is a better way (like our way) than that which He has foretold us of IN WRITING.
  
Furthermore, if you are one His servants and you know His plan in this final generation, you should ask yourself the question "what are you doing about it?" Some of you have a purpose and destiny so if you find yourself with a conviction according to His will, and ONLY according to His will, then do not be caught sitting around on your "duff" or wallowing in self pity when you KNOW there is work to be done. 
Finally, one cannot help notice that this great Book of Jonah ends in a rather abrupt and unusual manner* in that we are left without written closure as to Jonah's response to his Father's last question in verse 11 and whether or not Jonah finally saw the "light" as result of his Father's correction. This is also by design and it forces our minds to draw our own conclusion. However, as stated in a previous study, we know that God has a way of seeing to it that His children get the point He is trying to make. We do know that Jonah learned his lesson about obeying His Father's commands and we should have no doubt that he learned his lessons here as well. Remember even the great prophet Elijah also became deeply depressed and wanted to end it all, but our Father gave him what he needed and back to work he went too! 

*Note: In the last days Hollywood would discover and begin using this effective "cliff-hanging" technique! 

Yes, we all love Jonah very much and are forever thrilled by reading of his experience as he was cast overboard and swallowed by the great fish our Father had prepared for His purpose in bringing about the "Sign of the prophet Jonah". And we certainly do not wish to take anything away from Jonah's service as a man of God, for you see, even in his attempt to "go the other way" when given a command by God, and even in his attitudes of "displeasure" and "anger" and "wait and see", our Father has used him mightily to help his brethren, his brothers and sisters in this final generation. That's right, Jonah has helped us to always remember to "stay in our Father's Word" and "do as He commands us" for because His love is so much greater than ours it will be His will, not ours, that SHALL be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Matthew 6:13
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. 
Amen

Editor's Note:: We are going to stop here in our "Book of Jonah" to review some commentary from all 4 chapters in an earlier study we published.  I don't believe you will find much difference in the general opinion of these two authors, but to read another person's perspective of events that took place may prove helpful in your understanding of the Genesis and what happened in the beginning.

The Book of Jonah

INTRODUCTION

We now pause among "the visions" of the minor prophets as we come to the Book of Jonah, the 5th book in the chronological order of the minor prophets. The number "5" represents "grace" in Biblical numerics which is certainly fitting for this book, especially considering the fact that we have been reading about the desolation and judgment of the heathen nations (Obad. 15) and the appearance of "saviors" (deliverers) upon Mount Zion. For we shall see in this great book how Jonah, whose name means "Dove", will become a type of "savior" to the heathen as God will use him to go preach to and deliver the city of Nineveh, who after having seen Jonah "raised from the dead", give their perked ears unto his words and behold, they do repent. 

Yes, even though we have read about the judgment and desolation of nations, we must always remember that the Plan of God, His beautiful and perfect plan of salvation for all mankind, includes all nations and is designed to bring them to repentance, which appears for some may be even easier than bringing the stiff-necked rebellious House of Israel to its knees. Nevertheless, one of the great lessons we learn from Jonah is that our Father loves all of His children and His plan shall go according to His Will, according to His Word, exactly as He has purposed! 

Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear need to pay special attention to Jonah and his actions and his attitude, to learn what it is our Father wants His servants and handmaidens to know and understand about His plan in these end times. You see, to love and serve Him (to do His will) in this final generation, just before the Assyrian once again comes against our people, requires a love (agapao) and maturity that supercedes our feelings and emotions (phileo) even for our own families, even for the Lord Jesus Christ. That is correct! In fact, Jesus taught this great lesson to Peter (and to you His disciple, if you are one) in the 21st chapter of John. Is it not interesting that Christ would therefore call Peter "Bar-Jonah", which means "son of the dove"? 

 Matthew 16:17
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 

Note: Read the short study titled "Love" concerning Peter's instruction to "feed" (teach) His Lambs (babes in Christ), His Sheep (House of Israel), and His Sheep (of another fold, i.e. the gentiles)  

Everyone knows that the graphic events that are described in the Book of Jonah have thrilled the hearts and minds of children and adults alike for many generations, but it should be noted that this Book of Jonah is not a myth or fairy tale, nor it is an allegory as most modern critics allege. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ gives His personal witness that Jonah was indeed a real historical personage and that he was for real entombed in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights. 

Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

[39] But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 

[40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 

This documents that not only was Jonah "for real" but also that he was a type of the Savior. "As our Lord was raised from the dead at the end of that period (3 days and 3 nights), so Jonah must have been, as miraculously, raised from the dead." (Companion Bible, pg. 1247.)

Therefore, those who believe that the Book of Jonah is myth or allegory have either never read Christ's words or if they have, they must believe Him to bear false witness. Then too, the question to ask is, "Which was the greater miracle, Jonah in the belly of the fish or Jesus Christ in the heart of the earth?" 

[41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 

By the way, did you know that the name "Jonah" comes from the Hebrew word for "wine"? 

JonahˆB   yonah yo-naw'  Strong's #3123
Probably from the same as #3196; a dove (apparently from the warmth of their mating):—dove, pigeon.

#3196  =  P‡   yayin  yah'-yin
From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication:—banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

Now let us consider some background information to help us understand what we are about to read in Jonah.

First of all, there is no doubt that Jonah loved his people and his nation (Israel) very much and that kind of deep love and patriotism certainly is a very good and wonderful attribute for any man or woman to possess. Furthermore, Jonah was a loyal servant of God and the scriptures show that he did as He was commanded when he was told by God to go prophecy concerning the restoration of Israel, his own people. It was king Jeroboam (the "He" in the next verse), the son of Joash king of Israel, who restored the borders of Israel. 

2 Kings 14:25
He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which He spake by the hand of
His servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher. 

Jonah, the servant of Yahveh, was even from Galilee, a place called Gath-hepher (winepress of the well, or winepress on the hill). His earthly father's name was "Amittai" which means "the truth or trustworthiness of Yah" which is what we will find to be true of Jonah's heavenly Father, even though Jonah himself will go AWOL. 

[26] 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 helper for Israel. 

[27] And the LORD said not that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. 

Now Jonah knew that God had purposed in His plan to use the Assyrian as His rod of judgment against Israel, even as we know today from His Word that the Assyrian, a type for Satan (Isa. 14:25), will once again be used as a rod of correction against our people in this final generation. 

Jonah also knew that the Assyrians were currently experiencing great difficulties and that the surrounding nations were beginning to strengthen themselves and perhaps,
just perhaps,
if he were to avoid going to Nineveh as God commanded him, or more likely he reason in his human mind that rather than flat-out disobeying God, as His servants are not wont to do, he just delayed going there long enough, that the Assyrians would be wiped out by their enemies and his people would be spared their great tribulation, their time of trouble!
So strong were Jonah's feelings and convictions that he was willing to risk and sacrifice his own life for the sake of His own people

Who can say that this is NOT a great and worthy cause and a noble way to die? Jonah would be a true martyr... 
at least in his own eyes.
 

There is just one problem with that. 

He failed to follow God's Plan according to "His Will" and thereby failed to show the "love of God" to ALL men, to ALL of God's children. You see, Jesus Christ wasn't just willing to die and pay the price for His own people. That He did do. But as it is written in John 3:16 "For God so loved the WORLD [yes, the heathen nations too], that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Again, God's Plan does not forsake the gentiles nor the heathen nations for He loves all of His children, and His servants in these last days are to follow His commands exactly as they are written and to bring forth His love to all. 

One more item of importance to note before we begin with verse one. The Assyrians worshipped a god known as Dagon, which means "fish". Therefore, when the Ninevites saw the great "fish" that God had prepared "vomit" out Jonah upon the dry land (Jonah 2:10), they believed at first that it was "Dagon" who sent them a prophet. That is why they paid so much heed to Jonah. Isn't it amazing the ways in which our Father is able to open the eyes and ears of people? His servants should take note.

Now we will begin studying the first exciting chapter of the Book of Jonah. Again, in this 5th book of the minor prophets the servant of God is not going to be shown a vision (remember, he knows the vision, i.e. the plan) but rather he will be given a "predestinated" job to do according to the Word of God! 

Let's preview the first two verses: 

Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 

When your Father, He who is True and Trustworthy (Amittai), speaks to His servants through His Word, He intends for them to be "doers" of that word and perform the work which He has commissioned them to do. (Just think what an honor it is to receive a "commission" from Almighty God and to be in His service.) Furthermore, if you are one of His elect, one of those who was chosen before the foundation of this world (Eph. 1:4) and "predestinated" to conform to His will, His plan, i.e. to do the job He has in store for you, then He will override "your will" if necessary and do what it takes
to see to it that you carry out His instructions.

(like bring a storm upon your little ship) 

Paul speaks of those who were chosen in the first earth age, in the "world that then was (2 Pet. 3:6)" before it perished in Gen. 1:2, i.e. before the foundation of this world age, and predestined "according to the good pleasure of His will".

Ephes. 1:4
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 

[5] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 

Here are Jonah's instructions from the Word of the Lord:

Jonah 1:2 
Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 

Hmmm! "What to do, what to do!"
Jonah will now begin to spin his intellect with his emotions and consider the impact of God's command on His people and how he might be able to help his people and be a champion.
"What to do, what to do!"

 Next we see the decision this great  servant of God makes. 

It is extremely important that God's elect in this final generation clearly understand the message of the Book of Jonah. If you recall, we noted at the beginning of our study that this Book of Jonah is placed in the 5th (grace) position among the "visions" of the minor prophets, whose visions were given to be understood by the "sons and daughters" of this final generation. 

Of course the reason those visions were to be "unsealed" and "understood" in the last days was because they concern the events that take place in the final generation, that generation of the fig tree which we now have "seen" began on May 15th, in the year of our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Forty Eight. 

Many teach that the Book of Jonah is either an allegory or just a history book whereby Jonah was a type of the Savior, which undoubtedly he was. But is the Book of Jonah therefore a "fish out of water", so to speak, set among the visions of the minor prophet's whose words were spoken for these last days, for this final generation? After all, Jonah was not even shown a "vision", was he? The answer is, "No, it is not out of place." It is exactly where it is supposed to be and if we do not understand it, then it is we who are out of place. What therefore is the message of the Book of Jonah for God's elect in this final generation

Let us start by understanding that Jonah was the only prophet of God to be sent to a "heathen" nation. Furthermore and conspicuously so, Israel is NOT even mentioned anywhere in the entire book. It should thus become obvious to those with eyes to see and ears to hear that the Book of Jonah concerns the Hope and the Salvation of the "heathen", including even those tares, the kenites, who were the ones who asked Jesus Christ for a sign, as in a miracle. This is important, so let's read it again:

Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

[39] But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas

Jesus Christ did not limit this "prophecy" to just that wicked, evil and adulterous generation of His day, to whom He would give the "Sign of Jonah" Himself as documented in Mat. 12:40-42. He said in verse 39 that "An" evil and adulterous generation, not just "this" evil and adulterous generation, seeketh after a sign. Yes, He was thinking of that final evil and adulterous generation which would be present in that great city at the time of the end! You see, it is they who shall be given the "Sign of Jonah" TOO!

That is right! The Plan of God in this final generation INCLUDES the "Sign of Jonah" when His servants, those whom He sends to give witness unto the heathen in that "great city", shall die and be dead for 3 1/2 days and be resurrected! And you know what? There shall even be repentance among those heathen, as there was in the days of Jonah.

Our Father's plan of salvation is far more perfect and powerful than we oft times consider as we look around at the wickedness in the "world". 

Yes, the sign of Jonah, the Dove, symbolic of the Spirit of God (Jn. 1:32), shall be given to the heathen in this final generation. Why? Because of the very last words Jonah would utter in the belly of the great fish: "Salvation is of the LORD."

Let us document the sign of Jonah to be "seen" in these last days. It is written in the 11th chapter of Revelation that God will commission His two witnesses to prophecy in the holy city, that great city which has been trodden down by the gentiles. 

Here is what happens to them when they finish their testimony:

Rev. 11:7
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 

[8] And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified

Again, that great city is Jerusalem, known also spiritually as Babylon the Great in these end times, the great whore who sits upon the waters, who are the people and kindreds and tongues and nations as documented in Rev. 17:15: "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." 

Rev. 17:18
And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. 

The two witnesses shall be killed, where also our Lord gave the sign of Jonah, and they shall lie in the midst of Dagon for all to see. 

Rev. 11:9 
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 

[10] And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 

Then, after 3 1/2 days the "Dove", the Spirit of Life", shall descend upon and enter into them, and they shall stand upon their feet!

[11] And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them

Just as our Father showed us how He got the attention of the Ninevites and caused their repentance by raising up Jonah after 3 days, so shall He also get the attention of those in these last days after the same manner, after the Sign of Jonah the prophet, by raising up His two witnesses after 3 1/2 days. 

This should also give answer to those who claim that the two witnesses are something other than two olive "trees" (men of El-ah-Yah) who die, are dead for 3 1/2 days, and are resurrected as a sign to the evil and adulterous generation. It is the Sign of Jonah!

[12] And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 

[13] And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven

Those seven thousand men are the fallen angels, those sons of God who left their first estate (Jude 6) in Gen. 6 and came to earth without being "born of water" (a basic requirement to even enter the kingdom of God, as per John 3:3), and took the daughters of Adam to wife. That "marriage" between the "sons of God" and the "daughters of Adam" produced giants (gibor) and caused our Father to bring about the flood of Noah upon the earth to destroy them. It is those 7,000 fallen angels who shall be cast out of heaven with Satan in Rev. 12:7-9 and shall be destroyed when Christ returns. 

However, the "remnant", the "loipoy" in Greek which means "residue", who were with those who were consumed shall become affrighted at these events including the "Sign of Jonah" and they shall give glory to the God of heaven after the manner of Nineveh. 

Yes, the sign of Jonah shall be given to this evil and adulterous generation, so let us learn all we can absorb from this great book which stands in the Old Testament even as a witness and forerunner to the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Here again are the instructions Jonah received from the LORD: 

Jonah 1:1
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 

[2] Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 

Arise means to "perform", to "accomplish", as in "go do the work which I give you". Nineveh means "residence of Ninus, i.e. Nimrod" who founded Babylon and built Nineveh (Gen. 10:11). 

"Nimrod was the founder of Babylon, which partook of his character as being the great antagonist of God's Truth and His people. We cannot fail to see, in Nimrod, Satan's first attempt to raise up a human universal ruler of men. There have been many subsequent attempts, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Napoleon, and others. He will finally succeed in the person of antichrist." (Appendix 28, The Companion Bible.)

Nineveh was the capital of the world-ruling empire and therefore the seat of idolatry in that day. It is a type of that "great city" in these end times which is also the capital of the Assyrian, one of Satan's, antichrist's, names (Isa. 14) . Again, that great city is Jerusalem which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt

The "wickedness" of the Ninevites which "came up before Him" was very great indeed and Jonah was hoping that God would destroy them. Although it is not the reason that Jonah disobeyed God's commands, one could certainly speculate that had Jonah listened to his Father and gone to Nineveh to preach and give witness, that because of their great wickedness they would have probably killed him. No, Jonah wished for the Assyrians to be destroyed so that they would not be able to come against and harm his people. 

We need to be wise and learn from Jonah's errant attitude.

Perhaps some of God's elect wish that the kenite (tares) controlled New World Order would not "rise up" and come against and swallow captive the United States of America. It is a sad and disheartening thing to witness the locusts consume the vineyard and bring captivity and oppression upon our own people. Perhaps some of God's servants would even "bite the tail of the dragon" in an attempt to prevent that which is God's plan from taking place. All one can say is that if they would like to be drowned in the stormy sea, or get their "gourd thumped" by Mighty-Worm, then go for it! Set sail for Tarshish in the opposite direction of God's Plan and see how far you get. Jonah tried it, but he didn't get too far! Thanks for the lesson, Jonah! We love you man!

Jonah 1:3 
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. 

Joppa was the seaport of Jerusalem where the cedars from Lebanon that were hewn for the building of Solomon's temple were transported to from Tyre.  Jonah "paid the price" to enter the vessel and take the voyage far across the Mediterranean to Tarshish in Spain, but it is nothing compared to the price he would pay for going against God's plan. Now he would have to take a stinky old Charter Fish to Nineveh.

Our Father does not like when His children, and especially His servants, willfully disobey Him. Does it please you when your children do just the opposite of what you tell them to do? I think not and I am sure you do a little "storming" yourself when that happens, don't you? So no matter how noble the cause seems in your own mind, do not allow your personal feelings, whether they be love for your own family or nation or anger towards the children of disobedience, to get in the way of "doing" your Father's Word. 

[4] But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 

God's elect know from the examples Christ has shown us what to do when there is a great wind (ruach) and a mighty tempest upon the sea (Luke 8:22-25). But, Jonah did not turn to God!

[5] Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 

It seems Jonah didn't care if he lived or died, doesn't it? The mariners were at least working and praying and trying to save themselves while we see Jonah "sleeping" when he should be working, i.e. doing the work God gave Him to do! 

 [6] So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 

What in the world are you doing sleeping? That should be a very embarrassing question to a servant of God!  

[7] And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 

Do not think that our Father did not carefully watch every move Jonah made and that His hand was not upon His servant. You see, He promises He "will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Heb. 13:5)" and so Father is about to bring Jonah portside and show His deep abiding love for his son! Hebrews 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." 

Then too, the fact that the lot fell upon Jonah shows us that God was in total control of the situation

And I guarantee that if you are one of His chosen vessels, called according to His plan, i.e. to do His will (Eph. 1:4), that He cares and knows what is happening in your life too! 

Hey, we have a great deal yet to learn from this marvelous Book of Jonah. And there is nothing "fishy" about it either. Contrary to what the scoffers and the gainsayers say, it is the Word of God. They may not believe it now, but when they witness the "Sign of Jonah" they will then! That's the plan!

When we last left the prophet Jonah, he was aboard a ship bound for Tarshish because he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD. The sea is now growing more and more tempestuous and the mariners, after casting lots whereby Jonah came up with the short end of the stick, now begin to ask probing questions of the man of God seeking desperately to find an explanation for the fury of the wind and the raging of the sea.

Jonah 1:8 
Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 

Jonah, who obviously was a foreigner to these sailors, did not give an answer or explanation to all of these questions. Here is what he disclosed to them:

[9] And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 

There is a real problem with this statement of Jonah's. He says that he "fears", which means to "reverence", the LORD, the God of heaven, the creator of all the earth. But as the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words", and Jonah's disobedience to God's commands belie His love (agapao, not phileo) of God. How so? We will let the Lord give the explanation in His own words: 

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments. 

John 14:23
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 

Nevertheless, do not think even for a moment that Jonah ever quit believing in God or ever lost his faith. He did not, as we will soon see! He just had real trouble when it comes to "tough love" for he did not like the negative part (as he sees it) of God's Plan whereby He chastises His people using the Assyrian as His rod of correction. Jonah actually shows himself to be a very considerate and loving person who does not like to see bad things happen to people (except perhaps to Israel's enemies) as will be evidenced by his actions here onboard ship. He simply did not want to participate in God's plan to convert Nineveh and feel responsible as though he aided the enemy in their attack upon his people. In other words, Jonah did not want to see the "cup" of God's wrath poured out upon his people and so he just couldn't quite bring himself to the "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." 

Jonah 1:10 
Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them

Jonah confessed to the mariners and told them that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, though he did not tell them the reason why! Therefore the men knew that Jonah knew what needed to be done to calm the sea and abate the tempest! So they asked him what they should do. 

Note: What Jonah should have done was turn to his heavenly Father and confess to Him and repent. Then would the LORD have calmed the storm. You see, there is no doubt whatsoever in Jonah's mind about the power of God and His ability to calm the storm which He Himself made. Yet in all of this conversation with the men onboard the ship there is no mention of Jonah praying or turning to his Father. But do not worry, he soon will cry out to Him! 

Jonah 1:11
Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. 

In a sense, the question to Jonah the servant of God is, "What shall we do to be saved (from certain death)?"  On the spiritual level, the answer is that there would be only one way for a person to be saved and that would be for the Son of man to be willing to die that they might live, and for them to believe in Him. To that extent we see Jonah as a type of Christ, for the "salvation" of these men would come through Jonah's willingness to die for them. And he WAS willing to do that:

[12] And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 

This is amazing when you think about it. Jonah knew full well that it was his disobedience that was the cause of the great storm. And although I'm sure he knew full well that he would be in big trouble with his Father, he probably did not anticipate when he went down to Joppa and boarded a ship bound for Tarshish that his actions would jeopardize the lives of innocent people. Nevertheless, no matter how you look at it, Jonah was willing to die to save the lives of the men onboard. Of course by dying he would not be able to go to Nineveh (so he thought) and therefore not only would his people be spared from the Assyrian but he would save the lives of these men as well, which would make him twice a martyr you might say. 

[13] Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 

Even though these men worshipped false gods, they were not quick nor eager to take a man's life, even to save their own necks, and they tried hard to avoid having to do what Jonah suggested and "feed him to the sharks", as they say! 

The lesson we learn from this futile attempt is twofold. 1.) Man cannot "save" himself by his own efforts, and 2.) man CANNOT change nor alter the will of God. These mariners tried to save Jonah and strove against the "ruach", but it was indeed in vain as it always is when you "row against" the will of God.

So since Plan "B" wasn't working out the men decided to go back to Plan "A" which was to do as Jonah had bid them and cast him into the "sea". But before they toss Jonah overboard notice what they do:

[14] Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. 

Here we see the men crying unto Jonah's God and beseeching Him not to hold them accountable for murder because they are about to do what they see is obviously His desire, and that is to cast Jonah into the sea. 

[15] So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 

Can you imagine this scene? It was a miracle! Remember, Jonah told them that he worshipped the true God of heaven and earth, the Creator Himself, and that if they threw him overboard that the sea and the wind would cease from their rage. So the men finally "take up" Jonah and cast him forth into the sea, and IMMEDIATELY as Jonah's body splashes into the water and is covered over by the waves, the raging sea calms and the tempest ceases its fury. That would certainly get one's attention, don't you think?

Did you notice something else conspicuously absent from this account? Jonah did not show a fear of death and say "Oh Father, isn't there any other way than for me to die?" And just as Jonah did not fear death, neither did the Messiah. Yet there are those who claim that Jesus Christ was fearful of being crucified when He said, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done (Luke 22:42)." Christ was referring to the "cup of wrath" to be poured out upon the final generation. The plan to pour out that cup has not changed and it shall indeed be poured out in these last days. 

[16] Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. 

Jonah's words came to pass exactly as he spoke them and Jonah became a witness unto these men of the power of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, He who controls the sea (people) and the wind (spirit), and they began to praise the God of Jonah and to make vows. 

[17] Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 

The Hebrew word translated "prepared" in this verse is "manah" which means to "appoint" or even to "ordain". You see, God had already prepared a great fish who was standing by (ok, it was swimming by) to swallow up Jonah when he was cast overboard. What do we learn from this? Well, for one thing we see that through all of this that our Father DID NOT FORSAKE JONAH even for a moment, even though He allowed Jonah to suffer death and be buried in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, which would become a type of Christ's three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The point is, neither did God turn His back and forsake His Son Jesus Christ at the moment of His death as so many preachers teach. It would seem they know not that Jesus Christ taught the detailed events written in the 22nd Psalm as they unfolded before the very eyes of the thief who was hanging on his cross beside the Great Teacher. Have you ever read Ps. 22:1? You will find in Mat. 27:46 and Mark 15:34 where Christ quoted that verse word for word while hanging on the cross. 

Well, the men aboard the ship of Tarshish have now all been "saved" except for their commercial passenger Jonah who definitely will not get a refund on his prepaid fare (vs. 3). No, the prophet of God has been cast overboard and has been swallowed up by a great big fish prepared by God. Is this the end of Jonah? Is it now too late for him? Has he perished forever? 

Have you ever considered what would happen if we all sat around in a big circle and threw our problems into the center of the ring? The fact is that after seeing what others are going through most of us would end up taking back our own problems. Actually, that is the basis of what Paul explains in Hebrew 12:3 when he instructs us to look to the affliction of Jesus Christ lest we become weary or faint in our minds. In other words, when things are not going so well would you rather be in the situation you are in or suffer unto death as did our Lord upon the cross?

What is the worse predicament you have ever been in? Or what is the lowest state of helplessness or even depression that you have ever experienced? Perhaps you are even feeling pretty "down in the dumps" at this very moment and feel like you are all alone and that you have been cast out of His good graces. If that is the case, or if it ever becomes the case, then today's study of Jonah's prayer from the "belly of hell" (vs. 2) should give you strength and hope and encouragement to know that He has not only promised that He will "never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5), but no matter how "bad" things get He always hears your prayers and supplication. Always! So from the womb even to the tomb there is NEVER a time you cannot turn to Him and be delivered.

We begin today's study at the point where Jonah, the prophet of God whose name means "Dove", has just been cast forth into the sea and has now been swallowed up by a great big "Fish" who was prepared and ordained by God for that very purpose and to provide Jonah with transportation back to work to finish the job he was told to do in the first place. Isn't it interesting that both the Dove and the Fish, along with the Cross, would eventually become the symbols of Christianity .

Jonah 2:1
Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
Jonah would be in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights even "as" (Mat. 12:40) the Son of man would be three days and three nights "in the heart of the earth", which is equivalent to "in the midst of the seas" (vs. 3).
So don't believe any of those Friday afternoon to Sunday morning sunrise traditions.
 (Read appendix 144 in the Companion Bible and begin to mature in the Word of God by growing in grace and in knowledge). Jonah would then be resurrected, as a sign, a miracle indeed, that which the Savior Himself would accomplish, and then Jonah would go offer salvation to the wicked city of Nineveh, even as Christ would offer salvation unto all nations and kindreds and tongues.

And during those few minutes just prior to Jonah's death, perhaps as he was holding his breath while he was being swallowed alive, while at the same time the seaweed was encompassed about his head (vs. 5), he would turn to His Father and "cry out" to the LORD, never having lost his faith nor sight of the fact that He was there to deliver him.

Therefore, in as much as Jonah was a type of the Savior who died to bring salvation to the "world", this prayer of Jonah's just before his death is very similar to the words Jesus Christ would say just prior to His death, which are the words of the 22nd Psalm.

Jonah 2:2
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
Here are Christ's words on the cross:
Psalm 22:24
For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid his face from him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard.
Even in the most dire hour of distress, even in the face of death, our heavenly Father hears the voice of His beloved children. And so from this Book of Jonah alone we can know that the words "fear none of those things which you shall suffer (endure)" and "be thou faithful unto death", given by Jesus Christ to the sons and daughters of the Church of Smyrna (Rev. 2:10) in this final generation, who will also come face to face with Dagon in that great spiritual battle of the end times, are faithful and true, which if you will recall is precisely what Jonah's father's name "Amittai" means. The apostle John also writes in Rev. 22:6 "And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done."
Jonah 2:3
For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
The sea in this final generation is symbolic of the people from which the beast rises up out of and the roaring waves of Luke 21:25 do trouble the waters in this final generation.
Psalm 22:12
Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Jesus Christ was also compassed about by strong enemies (bulls).
Jonah 2:4
Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Jonah knew that the hand of the Lord was upon him and that it was His will that Jonah be cast forth into the sea, spoken even from the mouth of the mariners who strove against the "ruach" in their futile attempt to try and save themselves and Jonah. But you see, the One whose will it was for Jonah to be a type of savior, would Himself come down from above (Jn. 3:13) and suffer an even more violent and brutal fate than did His servant Jonah.
Jonah 2:5
The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
In other words Jonah was about to drown in the waters of the sea as he was entangled in the floating seaweeds wrapped about his head.
[6] I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever...
Jonah sank down to the depths of the sea, i.e. the "roots of the mountains" which is the opposite direction of the "tops of the mountains", where the the "bars" of the earth would hold him forever. In other words, he was history, a dead man, a goner as they say! Jesus Christ knew He was also brought down into the dust of death.
Psalm 22:15
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
But the "bars of the earth" did not hold Jonah, the type of Christ, even as they could not hold the Son of God.
Jonah 2:6... continued] yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
YET, the LORD God in His mercy and His grace, according to His will, "brought up his life from corruption", meaning from the pit or grave.That's right! Jonah was resurrected from the grave, the tomb, i.e. from corruption, even as Christ was resurrected from the tomb.
[7] When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
When times are tough and we suffer trials and tribulation we are quick to turn to God. But when Jeshurun waxes fat (Deut. 32:15), i.e. when times are good as in when we are "fat and happy" and healthy and prosperous, that is when we forsake Him, and take lightly what the LORD our Rock has done for us.
Deut. 32:15
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
In that sense, and this is extremely important to understand, the greater test of your faith and obedience to God is when times are good, not bad! Therefore it is more easily understood that the Great Tribulation of Antichrist, who brings peace and prosperity to all the world, brings about a greater apostasy than would occur during the trials and tribulations of adversity and of bloodshed and war. For when "the chips are down", our people cry out, but it seems that when they are "rolling in the chips" they ignore Him. I mean, who needs Him then?
Jonah 2:8
They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
This is a very important verse for our generation so let it serve as a warning. Do not throw away your mercy in this final generation by following the traditions of men and doing that which seems right in your own eyes! Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

You stick to God's Word and His Plan exactly as it is written. Love Him with all your heart and mind and soul (Deut. 11:13, Mark 12:30), which is to "sacrifice unto Him with the voice of thanksgiving", and "pay that which you have vowed", which is to strive to "keep His commands"! Jesus said in John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." So when He tells you in His Word to do a thing, even like "learn the parable of the fig tree" which He commanded us to do in Mat. 24:32, Mark 13:28, then do it. Be a doer of the Word and stay off of the commercial ships of Tarshish headed in the wrong direction.

Jonah 2:9
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Jesus Christ paid the price by His death on the cross and there is none other name and none other way by which a person can be saved, for as it is written, "none can keep alive his own soul (Ps. 22:29)".  It is fitting that we now read the final words of Psalm 22.
Psalm 22:25
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
Yes, Salvation is of the LORD! His promise, His vow to those that fear (love) Him, is to give them eternal life, salvation!
[26] The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
Jesus Christ will pay His vows and grant you eternal life and "your heart shall live forever"!
[27] All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
He is returning as the King of kings and Lord of lords to rule ALL nations with a rod of iron.
[28] For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

[29] All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

Salvation is of the LORD!
Psalm 22:30
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
That "seed" is the sons and daughters of the final generation, the generation of the fig tree which was planted on May 15, 1948. They shall serve Him and "keep His Word", and "pay their vows" and declare His righteousness, which HIS WORD. And so it is that they teach His Word chapter by chapter and verse by verse to this froward generation.
[31] They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
The last words Jesus spoke on the cross were "It is finished" (John 19:30) which is what "He hath done this" means in Hebrew. Jesus Christ finished the work on the cross and died so that ALL who will believe in Him can have life everlasting. The last words of Jonah before he died was "Salvation is of the Lord"!

Yes, Jonah was a type of savior and what a beautiful and touching prayer he spoke from the belly of the great fish. His words should be a comfort to all who feel "down in the pits" and reassurance of His promise to all who love Him.

Next we read about how the miraculous resurrection of Jonah from the belly of the fish will gain the attention of the Ninevites and Jonah will pay his vows and do His Father's will.

What an ordeal Jonah the prophet has endured as a result of his trying to avoid God's first command to go to Nineveh and preach salvation unto a heathen nation, especially to the nation God would use as the "rod of His correction" to come against Jonah's own brethren and his beloved nation of Israel. And yet what an humble and heartrending prayer Jonah cried out to his heavenly Father when he was cast into the sea and the waters and seaweed compassed him about as he sank below the billows and "His waves passed over him".

However, God in His infinite mercy would raise up Jonah's life from corruption (vs. 2:6) after being in the "midst of the sea" for three days and three nights, and bring him forth upon the dry land as a type of the Savior. 

Jonah 2:10
And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. 

The LORD commanded the great fish that "He had prepared to swallow up Jonah" (vs. 1:17) to now "let go" of this prophet and bring him forth upon the dry land, even the spiritually dry land, that his return from "the midst of the sea", from "the heart of the earth", would become a witness and a sign that he was truly sent from God.

This is the "Sign of the prophet Jonah" and as a result the Ninevites, though they believe it was Dagon their "fish god" who brought forth Jonah, will listen to the prophet and the entire city will "repent at the preaching of Jonas". Yet we read that the scribes and Pharisees at the time of Jesus Christ, who would also be given the Sign of the prophet Jonah, would not repent at the preaching and teaching of Messiah, One who was greater than Jonah, even the Son of the living God.

Matthew 12:38
Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

[39] But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas

[40] For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

Remember this verse as your church celebrates the Lord's time spent in the tomb (Passover), or as they call it "easter",  from Friday evening to Sunday at sunrise.

You count the days and nights. If you come up with a total of 3 and 3, keep attending that church. If you don't come up with 3 and 3, why do you still help them in the idol worship of the "sex goddess Ashtoreth" the queen of heaven?

[41] The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here

The word of the LORD now comes unto Jonah once again, the second time, with the same message he was given before he became "chum" and attracted the big fish.

Jonah 3:1
And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 

[2] Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee

Had Jonah listened to His Father in the first place he would not have had to be told the second time. However, there is an important lesson for us in all this in that we are able to see that our Father does not waste His time begging and pleading with His children to do as He bids them. If they are His servants and they do not listen to Him the first time, most likely they will the second time because our Father goes by that old saying, "Walk softly and carry a Big Fish", or something like that! 

Also, many nutritionists claim that eating "fish" is good for the brain and helps make one smarter, i.e. "fish" is considered "brain food".  However, it seems that it is even more effective when the fish eats you! Let's see if Jonah listens to the word of the LORD this time. 

[3] So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 

You've gotta love it! And although we poke a little fun, we know the miracle of the event that occurred and the fact that Jonah loves His Father very much and vice versa. Also, the greatest lesson we learn from the Book of Jonah is contained in the last few words of Jonah's prayer, "Salvation is of [i.e. belongeth to] the LORD", for His great love and His great plan includes the hope of salvation for all His children including the heathen. So on to Nineveh we go...

[4] And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 

Noted historians such as Herodotus record that the diameter of Nineveh was about 20 miles across which would make it about 60 miles in circumference. So Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey and began proclaiming to the Ninevites that they will be overthrown in 40 days. However, verse 9 reveals to us that Jonah apparently did not tell them that God would spare them if they repented. In fact, it is not written that he told them to repent at all but just that they would be overthrown. They repented on their own in the "hope" of being spared destruction. 

It should also be noted that aside from the fact that the Ninevites knew that Jonah had been "vomited up" on the dry land by their "fish god", giving him "divine" credentials as one who should be hearkened unto, they also knew that they as a nation were in a serious period of decline as the surrounding nations were asserting their independence. Therefore they had every reason to believe that Jonah was telling them the truth from God concerning their overthrow for they were in trouble anyway and now God has put them on probation for 40* days. 

* Did you know that numbers in scripture have special meaning and spiritual significance? They help us to partake of that "hidden manna", giving us a deeper level of understanding. For instance: each time the number 40 is used throughout the Bible it denotes probation or testing. It rained 40 days and 40 nights at the time of the flood. Israel wandered in the wilderness 40 years. Moses was on the mountain 40 days. Christ was tempted of Satan 40 days in the wilderness. And now we see Nineveh given 40 days of probation to decide whether to repent or perish. Here are a few other numbers and their meanings:

5 = Grace
6 = Man
7 = Spiritual perfection
8 = New Beginnings
10 = Law or Ordinal Perfection as in the 10 Commandments
12 = Governmental Perfection as in 12 Tribes, 12 Apostles, etc.

(See appendix 10 in "The Companion Bible" for more details concerning the significance of numbers in scripture.)

Now let's see how effective Jonah's preaching was:

Jonah 3:5  
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 

The whole bunch of them from the rich and famous to the poor and unknown repented at the preaching of Jonah. Good job Jonah, though of course we know, as do you, that it was the power of God that gave him credentials! 

[6] For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 

The king of Nineveh also repented and set the example for the whole country by proclaiming a period of national prayer and fasting and repentance and decreeing that all turn from their evil ways and from the violence (corruption) that is in their hands and cry mightily unto God. 

[7] And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 

The Word of God is filled with example after example of the witness that as "goes the king" so "goes the whole nation"! 

[8] But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 

Again, this they did in prayer and supplication to God in hope that He would turn from overthrowing them following their 40 days of probation. 

[9] Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 

Who knows if God will change His mind? Well, Jonah sure believed He would change His mind and spare the Ninevites if they repented of their evil ways. That is why he took off in the opposite direction the first time the word of the LORD came unto him and told him to go preach unto them. 

And sure enough, when the Ninevites "brought forth fruit meet for repentance" (Mat. 3:8) and God SAW their works, He decided not to overthrow them. 

[10] And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. 

Even after all Jonah has gone through to this point, God's decision to spare Nineveh is not going to "sit well" with him for his worst nightmare has now come true and he knows that all his hope in 2 Kings 14:25-27 will be dashed to pieces when God uses Assyria as His rod of correction against his beloved Israel. Furthermore, Jonah probably feels awful, like he has betrayed his people and his brethren, because it was through him, through his preaching, that Nineveh came to repentance. Still we say, "Good job Jonah!" 

Next in this great Book of Jonah, we will see if the prophet contracts another case of "bad attitude" and see whether or not God will have to thump his gourd.

Jonah has done a marvelous job preaching to the heathen city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. In fact, he did such a great job (which God predestined, prepared, and credentialed him to do) that the entire city from the greatest unto least repented and turned from their evil ways. So now that God has decided to spare them from destruction Jonah knows they will soon be used as a "rod of correction" to come against his people and his nation, Israel. Yet even though he knows that this is God's plan, Jonah does NOT want to see that happen, according to Jonah's will, and now that reality has suddenly "hit home" he becomes displeased and quite angry!    

Jonah 4:1
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 

Perhaps this would be a good time to pray*, Jonah! 

[2] And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 

*Note: Prayer is simply when you talk to God, regardless of where you are, what position you are in, or what the content or spirit of your prayer is

Jonah documents in his own words that he knew full well, even from the Pentateuch, that God would spare a repentant people.

You know that too, don't you?

That's what it is all about, isn't it

Our Father is gracious and merciful (loving) and forgiving and wants ALL of His children to come to repentance. It is not His desire nor does he take any pleasure in seeing any people perish (2 Pet. 3:9) for they are all His children. 

Here is what Jonah knew:

Exodus 34:6
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God,
merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth

And you see, Jonah not only knew that God would forgive the repentant, but he also knew the last part of verse 7 which states that God will by no means let the iniquity of His children go unpunished. So he knew that God would bring the Assyrian against his people and he didn't want any part of that. He told us that is why he fled to Tarshish. He didn't want to feel responsible for helping to strengthen the "enemy" of his people

[7] Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 

David also, along with all the other prophets, knew the readiness of God to forgive any and all who CALL upon Him

Psalm 86:5
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto
all them that call upon thee

Again, it has always been and still is to this day our Father's will and His desire that ALL of His children repent and turn to Him

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that
all should come to repentance

However, as incredulous as it may seem, here is Jonah becoming angry and depressed over that which he already knew to be true of our Father. He just didn't want those "bad" things to happen to his people and surely he had held out hope that perhaps God would change His mind concerning punishing Israel. But alas, just as Jonah feared (actually knew but hoped against) it now doesn't look good for the home team. 

... O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country?

"I told you so, God! I just knew it!" 

What we have here is an attitude problem, not a knowledge problem! Again, Jonah knew God would "probably" be merciful to Nineveh if they repented and spare them from destruction and that soon thereafter they would destroy the nation of Israel and scatter his people. 

Jonah 4:3 
Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 

It would seem Jonah does not face reality very well, doesn't it? 

[4] Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? 

Do you have a good and valid (justifiable) reason to be angry, Jonah?  You see, in his own mind, Jonah did feel justified. He loved the Lord but he also loved his people and his country very much and he didn't want to see a heathen nation come against them and destroy them, especially with him having helped them along! Therefore, there is a very valuable lesson we need to learn from this for our present day.

But notice first what Jonah did next:

[5] So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city. 

Jonah "made himself a booth" (and a little mental barricade) and "sat" (doing nothing) under it "in the shadow" (on the sidelines so to speak, or out of the "limelight" as they say), to watch what happens! What a "cop-out"! Good grief Charlie Brown! I don't know about you, but this is NOT the description of a "watchman" in this final generation as outlined in the book of the "watchman", EZEK-I-EL (whom God strengthens)! In fact, nowhere in God's Word are His servants told to sit on their "duffs" and do nothing and wait and see what happens! His servants know what is going to happen: "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things (Mark 13:23)."

They also know there is work to be done

You may think that Jonah's attitude is somewhat extreme, especially in light of all that he has been through. But perhaps we would be a little surprised to know how many of God's servants, those who know His plan in this final generation of the fig tree, who do little more than sit around and watch what is happening (we speak not of those who are handicapped or bound by circumstances beyond their control, etc., but of those able bodied servants with talent - See also the Parable of the Talents in Mat. 25.)

Live Link to- Matthew pamphlet #2563 "The Parable of the Talents

Well, our Father has a problem with Jonah's attitude and He knows just what to do about it. So we are going to see Him deal with His servant Jonah and bring to pass a "prepared" plan of His that is without Jonah's "input", without his "help", and without even his "foreknowledge" of that plan. In fact, Jonah will have no part in this plan other than being the object and the beneficiary (along with all of us) of the lesson to be taught. The first part of God's Plan is that He will "raise up" a gourd overnight that will give Jonah "divine" comfort and protection for which Jonah will be "exceeding glad".

Jonah 4:6  
And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. 

Let us view this in the prophetic sense for our day, for there is a fitting analogy concerning Israel contained herein . You see, it is not us but rather our Father who has "prepared" the blessings of this nation and protection for the children of Israel in the "wilderness". However, you must know and understand both from historical type, and from prophecy, and from the same Pentateuch Jonah quoted from (Ex. 34:6-7), that God will not spare the guilty and idolatrous and therefore the Assyrian shall come again in these last days against our people as the rod of His correction. Call it the negative part of His plan if you like but remember Hebrews 12:6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." He loves all of His children.

[7] But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. 

To say God "prepared" something means it is by His "design" and so it is according to His plan that a "red" (symbolic of communism) worm will smite the gourd and cause it to wither. And as if that is not bad enough, there will yet be a time of great trouble to come upon His children when the "hot wind from the east" (desert storm) shall blow and things get very "hot" indeed! In other words, the Assyrian, one of Satan's names (Isa. 14), and his locust army SHALL come against our people. 

Think you can handle it Christian Soldier? 

Jonah 4:8
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 

Jonah was quick to be a martyr but it seems he just "couldn't take the spiritual heat", could he? When things didn't go his way or things got a little too hot for him he got depressed and was ready to give up!  

[9] And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 

It sure seems that Jonah just didn't get it, did he? He continued to believe he was actually justified in being angry and depressed, but we are to "See" that he really had NO justification to be either (of course he was human)!  

[10] Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 

Jonah sure liked the good times and the protection and comfort of the gourd which he had absolutely nothing to do with. In other words, he himself did nothing in "the field" to prepare it. He didn't plant it, he didn't cultivate it, he didn't fertilize (nourish) it. Neither did God consult him and ask him for advice in His grand plan for the salvation of all His children. And whether Jonah or anyone else likes it or not, His overall plan includes those who do not know the Word of God or even know what in the world is going on! 

[11] And should not I spare 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? 

How about you?
Are you mature enough to understand that God's Plan is designed to bring about salvation to all mankind and not just to the children of Israel and that adversity is also part of that plan?
The fact is that the Assyrian is coming, ready or not, like it or not!
Neither you nor I should ever try to second guess the will and plan of our Father and determine that perhaps there is a better way (like our way) than that which He has foretold us of IN WRITING.
  
Furthermore, if you are one His servants and you know His plan in this final generation, you should ask yourself the question "what are you doing about it?" Some of you have a purpose and destiny so if you find yourself with a conviction according to His will, and ONLY according to His will, then do not be caught sitting around on your "duff" or wallowing in self pity when you KNOW there is work to be done. 
Finally, one cannot help notice that this great Book of Jonah ends in a rather abrupt and unusual manner* in that we are left without written closure as to Jonah's response to his Father's last question in verse 11 and whether or not Jonah finally saw the "light" as result of his Father's correction. This is also by design and it forces our minds to draw our own conclusion. However, as stated in a previous study, we know that God has a way of seeing to it that His children get the point He is trying to make. We do know that Jonah learned his lesson about obeying His Father's commands and we should have no doubt that he learned his lessons here as well. Remember even the great prophet Elijah also became deeply depressed and wanted to end it all, but our Father gave him what he needed and back to work he went too! 

*Note: In the last days Hollywood would discover and begin using this effective "cliff-hanging" technique! 

Yes, we all love Jonah very much and are forever thrilled by reading of his experience as he was cast overboard and swallowed by the great fish our Father had prepared for His purpose in bringing about the "Sign of the prophet Jonah". And we certainly do not wish to take anything away from Jonah's service as a man of God, for you see, even in his attempt to "go the other way" when given a command by God, and even in his attitudes of "displeasure" and "anger" and "wait and see", our Father has used him mightily to help his brethren, his brothers and sisters in this final generation. That's right, Jonah has helped us to always remember to "stay in our Father's Word" and "do as He commands us" for because His love is so much greater than ours it will be His will, not ours, that SHALL be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

Matthew 6:13
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. 
Amen


John's Note: I don't believe that anywhere in my above commentary on the book of Jonah did I mention one of my speculations about the great fish God prepared to swallow up Jonah.

When I read Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10,  I find that God visited Ezekiel in a space ship. That being the case, I wonder, "Was the great fish God prepared to swallow up Jonah possibably a submarine?"

Jonah 1:17 "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Live Link to- Ezekiel chapter 1 and chapter 10

          
                                
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.  We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.


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Here at the American Wisdom Series our goal is to make you think about and question the wisdom of the current:
doctrine of many of our Christian churches, (The Man on a White Horse)
political direction of our country, (The Man on a Red Horse)
economic direction our country has taken, (The Man on a Black Horse)
 and teaching of our schools and media, (The Man on a Pale Horse)

The Four Hidden Dynasties of the New World Order Revelation 6:1-8
"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"
Did you know all four are being ridden by Satan?