Book of Jonah

chapter one

(verse 1-17).

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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?

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made 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 night.


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

In verse two we read about God commissioning Johan. This is the first of two times God commands Jonah to speak out against Nineveh. With the Lord's second commissioning found in verse 2 of chapter 3.

This is not a Jewish nation. God isn't trying to bring gentiles under the Jewish law, rather He's judging the nations for undermining some general standard which people are aware of everywhere.

3- Johan does give a reason for why he flees but that's coming later. Violent nation. If the words spoken against them prospered they'd direct their outrage against the prophet. But if the words failed Jonah would be considered a false prophets or a con artist. Sometimes this is just an exercise in our own inventiveness.

-4 God commanding the seas and a tempest. God sets the boundaries of the seas. Jesus commanding the tempest to stop.

-5 every man cries to his God but they're not really committed. Later on in the chapter they're asking Jonah to pray to his God for rescue and even later than that the ship offer sacrifices to the God of the Hebrews after the storms settle.

-6 ”Jonah 1:6
"So the shipmaster came to him, and said to him, What mean you, O sleeper? arise, call on your God, if so be that God will think on us, that we perish not.”

-7/8 “Jonah 1:8
"Then said they to him, Tell us, we pray you, for whose cause this evil is on us; What is your occupation? and from where come you? what is your country? and of what people are you?"

Although the lot does fall on Jonah, the crew don't really take this seriously. It's a lot and they appreciate that's a random thing.

Ship of the damned. A movie cliché. These travellers are sharing stories of woe and the things they're fleeing from back on dry land.

So on this stormy journey these men are huddled inside the boat asking each other.

-9/10 “Jonah 1:9
"And he said to them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which has made the sea and the dry land."

Jonah almost seems to incriminate himself by how he answers. Saying my God made the seas. (V10) they've told people these things.

-11/12/13 “Jonah 1:11
"Then said they to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea worked, and was tempestuous. Jonah 1:12
"And he said to them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm to you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is on you."
Jonah 1:13
"Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea worked, and was tempestuous against them."

This is a game drawing lots that's prompted this particular response. The crew believed in bad luck voyages and that people could in effect curse a cruise. We even hold these fears when we christen boats with a bottle of champagne or wine. Preparing them for their maiden voyage.

They row. They don't throw Jonah into the sea.

-14 Jonah 1:14
"Why they cried to the LORD, and said, We beseech you, O LORD, we beseech you, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood: for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you."

The sea must be reaching sure a fever pitch they're being driven into choosing between this man's life and their own lives. Maybe they're starting to take his claims more seriously than they did before.

-15 cartoon they dip Jonah's feet into the water and the seas go calm.

-16 Mercenary. Their worship was sold to the god who'd take care of them best. Within a night these men were so frantic they'd been cycling through any god or goddess they could dream of. And in the end they offer worship to the god of the Hebrews.

-17 It can't be a whale because whales are mammals and that's how we classify whales. Or answering questions which aren't really an issue for the writer. 5th century mosaic of Jonah being swallowed by a fish being swallowed by two other fish. A bird in a bird in a bird.

Jonah has been grabbed by this great sea fish.

― Ty