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Bible Commentaries

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible


- Jonah

by Charles Box

Jonah Runs Away From God


Among the books of the "Minor prophets" Jonah is likely the best known. This book allows us to observe the many human emotions of a man that wants to do right but struggles with his own selfish desires. At first Jonah is pictured as a man resisting the will of God. He did not like what God told him to do. It did not make sense to him that God was concerned about a wicked, Gentile city. He ran away from his duty to God and his rebellion brought tragedy to his life.

The work that God intended for Jonah was simple. God told him, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me." The sins on Nineveh had brought them almost to the point of destruction. Their only hope for avoiding God's wrath was true repentance.

Jonah resisted doing as he was told by God. He ran from God only to be swallowed by a "great fish." Jonah tried to run away from his responsibilities to God and to man and look at how things turned out for him. He spent three days and three nights in the belly of this fish. This was used as a "type" of what would later happen to Jesus. ( Mat_12:40 ) After being released by being vomited out on dry land Jonah did as he was told in the beginning. He preached, the people repented and God extended His mercy.