Jonah’s flight (chaper one)

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Chapter 1




`rmo*ale yT;Þmia]-!b, hn"ïAy-la, hw"ëhy>-rb;D> ‘yhiy>w:) WTT Jonah 1:1
NAS Jonah 1:1 (Revised) Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, w (waw - consec.; "Now/And") rb'D' + hwhy (dabar - d.a. noun/m/s-constr. "the word of" + Yahweh - noun/absolute; "LORD") hyh (hayah - v/Qal IPF/m/3s; "came to pass/came") la, (el - prep.; "to/unto") hn"Ay (Yonah - noun/proper; "Jonah") !Be + yT;mia] (ben - noun/common/m/s-constr.; "the son of" + -emitay - noun/proper; "Amittai") l + rma (lamed - prep.; "to" + amar - v/Qal inf./constr.; "say" or "saying"; indicates purpose)


  1. The phrase “the word of the Lord came …” is common to the introduction in 6 of the 12 Minor Prophets opening their books. Cp.Hos.1:1; Joe.1:1; Mic.1:1; Zep.1:1; Hag.1:1; Zec.1:1

  2. In fact, it is uniquely used as such only in the Minor Prophets.

  3. This style of opening ties Jonah into the category of the “twelve”.

  4. 2Kgs.14:25 chronologically ties Jonah into the time and reign of Jeroboam II circa 793-753 BC (the only other time Jonah is mentioned in the OT).

  5. This designates Jonah as a prophet found contemporary with Hosea (Hos.1:1 ~760-715 BC) and Amos (Amo.1:1 ~760-755 BC) operating in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

  6. Isaiah and Micah were also ministering in the Southern Kingdom of Judah during this period. Isa.1:1; Mic.1:1 cf. Hos.1:1

  7. A grammatical distinction that sets Jonah apart from the other Minor Prophets is his opening with the use of the conjunctive “waw” consecutive “Now/And”.

  8. Some commentaries consider this a grammatical mark classifying books of the OT as historical narratives. Cp.Exo.1:1; Lev.1:1; Num.1:1; Jos.1:1; Jdg.1:1; Rut.1:1; 1Sam.1:1; 2Sam.1:1; 1Kgs.1:1; 2Kgs.1:1; 2; 2Chr.1:1; Ezr.1:1; Est.1:1

  9. Others see it as tying a book or series of books together denoting a distinct subdivision or unit. Ex. The Pentateuch joined to the first book Genesis; 2Chr. tied to 1Chr.

  10. Here it would be used in this manner tying Jonah into the subdivision of the Minor Prophets, though distinct in genre.

  11. Apart from classification inferences, it has a sense of resolve by the author to pen the events of the book.

  12. As noted in the introduction, Jonah is a book that openly reveals the author’s notable failings before God.

  13. It pictures an otherwise adjusted +V prophet under the inspiration of the H.S. to “Now” sit down and write an autobiography of his ordeal complete with his disobedience to God and maladjustments after the fact.

  14. To record one’s failings of ministry for all eternity in the annals of Scripture demands a determination of will that can only stem from intellectual honesty.

  15. Jonah as an author illustrates the open honesty +V believers have before God not trying to sugar-coat or rationalize their failings of life.

  16. Further, he represents the fact that even +V believers fail in the CWL, succumbing to the STA in battle, yet are indeed +V. Cp.Rom.7:18-24

  17. The evidence of Jonah’s +V is illustrated in his willingness to ultimately fulfill God’s ministry for his person. Jon.3:1-4

  18. Jonah through this aspect of his ministry illustrates that sometimes, +V believers have to face the “hard knocks” of DD in life in order to humble themselves before God sufficient for obedience. See Doctrine of Divine Discipline

  19. It points to the fact that God reads the souls of believers and will intervene as necessary to bring out or keep +V on the surface.

  20. While not the preferred way to go through the Christian life, it is a lesson on grace towards others refraining from jumping to unrighteous conclusions.

  21. Jonah begins his recording with the initial revelation dispatched from God, “Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying”.

  22. The opening “waw” consecutive is prefixed to the Qal verb “haya” denoting that the revelation given was completed and had “come to pass”.

  23. The vehicle of transmission is not stated.

  24. The most natural reading with the terse introduction leading into the words spoken (vs.2) suggests direct Divine revelation (auditory rather than vision, dream or theophany), a standard operating procedure for legitimate prophets.

  25. Vs.1 states two essential facts:

    1. The word of YHWY was given.

    2. Jonah the son of Amittai was the recipient of the communiqué.

  26. The words of the Lord are specified in vs.2.

  27. The singular use of “word/dabar” in vs.1 views the content spoken by God as tantamount to Scripture/BD. 2Tim.3:16

  28. Principle: BD equals God speaking to mankind in revelation of His plan.

  29. More specifically in our verse, God’s word is His directive will given to Jonah as His words in vs.2 begin and are stapled with imperatives.

  30. The title given to God “LORD/Yahweh” emphasizes the 2nd member of the God-head, God the Son.

  31. It is God the Son that is “the Word”. Joh.1:1 cp.vs.14

  32. As the 2nd Member of the God-head, Yahweh is viewed as executing all aspects of the Father’s plan. Cp.Joh.1:3

  33. Here the Lord and Master is executing His directive will for Jonah to ensure the evangelization of potential +V in Nineveh.

  34. The H.S. further participates in harmony with Yahweh in the process of Divine revelation. 2Sam.23:2 cp.2Pet.1:20-21

  35. Both the names of Jonah and his father Amittai were unusual Jewish names.

  36. 2Kgs.14:25 informs us they were from the town of Gath-hepher identified today with the village of El-Messhed ~3 miles from Nazareth of Galilee.

  37. 2Kgs.14:25 further informs us that Jonah was considered a “servant” of God and designated as a bona fide prophet.

  38. As God’s servant, this places him in the company of some great believers. David: 2Kgs.8:19; Elijah: 2Kgs.9:36; Moses: Psa.105:26; Abraham: Psa.105:42

  39. This is not to go unnoticed as Jonah reveals that he fails miserably.

  40. As a prophet, his credentials are established through his prophetic fulfillment of Jeroboam expanding Israel’s borders. Cp.Deu.18:21-22

  41. The name “Jonah” means “dove” symbolizing “mourning love” maybe suggesting the love he had for his own people causing him to mourn their reversionism.

  42. His father’s name “Amittai” means “truthful” ironically reflected in his son’s candor recording all that was unfavorable to himself.

  43. His father is only mentioned 2x in the Bible and details regarding his life are non-existent.

  44. The final Qal infinitive construct of vs.1 “saying – amar” indicates the purpose and importance of the words God will speak in vs.2.

  45. God’s words are to be disseminated to the Ninevites by Jonah for their salvation (and his).

  46. Review the Doctrine of Prophets and Prophecy.

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