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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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son of Amittai, the fifth of the minor prophets, was born at Gathhepher, in Galilee. He is generally considered as the most ancient of the prophets, and is supposed to have lived B.C. 840. The book of Jonah is chiefly narrative. He relates that he was commanded by God to go to Ninevah, and preach against the inhabitants of that capital of the Assyrian empire; that, through fear of executing this commission, he set sail for Tarshish; and that, in his voyage thither, a tempest arising, he was cast by the mariners into the sea, and swallowed by a large fish; that, while he was in the belly of this fish, he prayed to God, and was, after three days and three nights, delivered out of it alive; that he then received a second command to go and preach against Nineveh, which he obeyed; that, upon his threatening the destruction of the city within forty days, the king and people proclaimed a fast, and repented of their sins; and that, upon this repentance, God suspended the sentence which he had ordered to be pronounced in his name. Upon their repentance, God deferred the execution of his judgment till the increase of their iniquities made them ripe for destruction, about a hundred and fifty years afterward. The last chapter gives an account of the murmuring of Jonah at this instance of divine mercy, and of the gentle and condescending manner in which it pleased God to reprove the prophet for his unjust complaint. The style of Jonah is simple and perspicuous; and his prayer, in the second chapter, is strongly descriptive of the feelings of a pious mind under a severe trial of faith. Our Saviour mentions Jonah in the Gospel, Matthew 12:41 ; Luke 11:32 . See NINEVEH and See GOURD .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Jonah'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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