The book of Jonah.
Counted among the prophets.
None on site.
CCEL: Jonah (Hebrew only).
Swete LXX (Greek only).
Gateway (English only).
HTML Bible: Jonah (Hebrew and English).
HTML Bible: Jonah
(Latin Vulgate only).
Zhubert (Greek and English).
Kata Pi BHS: Jonah (Hebrew and English).
Kata Pi LXX: Jonah (Greek and English).
Kata Pi LXX: Ode (prayer of Jonah).
Sacred Texts: Jonah (polyglot).
Sacred Texts: Ode (prayer of Jonah).
Jonah at the OT Gateway.
Jonah in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Jonah at Kata Pi (Oesterly and Robinson).
Jonah from the Plymouth Brethren.
Introduction to Jonah (David Malick).
Outline of Jonah (David Malick).
The book of Jonah ranks among the
latter prophets in the Jewish scriptures.
The book was originally written in Hebrew, but the ancient Greek
translation known as the Septuagint
(abbreviated LXX) is also a very important witness to the text.
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on the book of Jonah:
J. Alberto Soggin writes: "The content of the book enjoys more notoriety
than it deserves because of the miraculous elements which make up a large part
of it. Yahweh calls the prophet Jonah to go and preach judgement on Nineveh,
the capital of Assyria. However, the prophet is unwilling to assume a certainly
burdensome and perhaps even dangerous task, and escapes in the opposite direction,
taking a ship directly westwards, to Tarshish. During a severe storm the crew
connect his presence on board ship with the danger to the voyage and finally,
to placate the deity of the sea, throw Jonah into the waves. Devoured by a great
fish, within which he remains for three days, he is then cast up by the monster
on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. This time Jonah prefers to obey and
goes to Nineveh, where he preaches judgment, so that the inhabitants are converted.
In these circumstances God decides to suspend judgment, and this irritates the
prophet, who fears that he has cut a bad figure. He sits under a gourd which
has miraculously sprung up as a shade from the sun, but God unexpectedly makes
the tree shrivel. Still more annoyed, Jonah remonstrates with God, but is given
the reply: 'You pity the plant . . . which came into being in a night, and perished
in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city?' With this thought
the book ends." (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 355)
Jay G. Williams writes: "The book of Jonah is unique among the books of
the prophets, for it is not a collection of oracles at al. Rather it is a well-wrought,
comic novella which, through its broad humor, makes a very decisive prophetic
point. It was written with tongue-in-cheek and must be read accordingly if its
message is to be properly assessed." (Understanding the Old Testament,
Douglas Stuart writes: "The actual composition of the book is not datable
except within the broadest boundaries (ca. 750-250 B.C.) simply because
there are no certain indications in it of date. The considerations most seriously
cited as relevent to the issue of dating are four: (1) the supposed Aramaisms
in the language, such as 'on whose account?' in 1:7 and 1:12; (2) the possible
dependence of certain motifs or theological considerations on the book of Jeremiah;
(3) the close verbal connections with Joel 2; (4) the supposedly erroneous identification
of Nineveh as the actual royal capital of Assyria in Jonah's time." (Hosea-Jonah,
Terence E. Fretheim writes: "The exact reference to Jonah in 1:1 roots
the book in history (2 Kings 14:25), but literary features (e.g., irony, satire,
hyperbole, repetition, humor, and the ending) indicate a nonhistoriographic
purpose. The book is best seen as an interpretive development of these roots
in the form of a short story pervasively didactic and carefully structured.
Jonah himself becomes a type representing certain pious Israelites who hold
a problematic theological perspective; Nineveh (cf. Nah. 3:1) is probably cipher
for the Persians (cf. Jth. 1:1). The book is a unity, as most recent scholars
recognize, though the author uses many earlier motifs and traditions (cf. Gen.
18; 1 Kings 19; Jer. 18, 36; Joel 2). The book is prophetic in that it speaks
a word of judgment and grace to a specific audience, evoking amendment of thought
and life." (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 728)
Jean C. McGowan writes: "Commentators who have interpreted the book as
an historical narrative identify Jonah with the 8th-cent. Prophet mentioned
in 2 Kgs 14:25 and consider him to be the author of the book. However, the majority
of scholars today deny Jonah's authorship and date the bok between 400 and 200
BC. Their arguments can be summarized as follows. The satirical tone in which
the author writes about the Prophet in the third person suggests that he was
not writing about himself. The lack of significant details, such as the name
of the land where the fish left Jonah and the name of the king of Nineveh, suggest
that the author was not writing about contemporary events. The language of the
book is not that of the 8th-cent. A number of words used are not found elsewhere
in the OT but only in later Hebr literature. The use of a number of Aramaisms
indicate a date later than the 8th cent. (cf. A. Gelin, R-T 1, 745; Loretz,
BZ, 5, 19-25). The mentality of the author is more like the mentality
of the mid-5th cent. Other OT books, such as Ezr, Neh, and Ru, bear witness
to the fact that in post-exilic Israel there was a strong current of interest
in the question of Israel's relations to the nations, which would form a natural
background for the theme of Jon. For these reasons, this book of unknown authorship
is dated between 400-200." (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, vol.
1, p. 633)