Books of Bible
The Book of the Prophet Jonah
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The man.
1. Jonah is mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25.
a. He lived during the reign of Jeroboam II.
b. Jesus referred to him as a real person, and his experience
with the sea-monster as an actual event in Matthew 12:39-
c. Jesus places Jonah in company with the queen of the
South and Solomon.
d. Jonah's experience in the sea-monster prophesies the
death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
2. Though not specifically stated, Jonah must have written this
book since no one else could have known the innermost
details of his life that are recorded.
B. The background.
1. Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria.
a. It was founded by Asshur soon after the great flood of
b. The Assyrians had a reputation for violence and
c. They were sincerely hated by all other nations because of
their savagery in war.
2. The people of Nineveh were idolaters and given to putrid
3. The book of Jonah shows that God had an interest in
Gentiles even during the Mosaic period.
a. God knew of the sins of the Assyrians.
b. Their wickedness was his sorrow and their salvation his
c. The book of Jonah is a very un-Jewish book.
d. God is "a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger and
abundant in lovingkindness."
II. The Book.
A. Chapter one.
1. Jonah told to go to Nineveh and condemn it (vv. 1-2).
2. Jonah rebels and attempts to run away (v. 3).
3. God sent a terrible storm (vv. 4-6).
4. The casting of lots to find the culprit (v. 7).
5. Jonah's confession (vv. 8-10).
6. Jonah suggests they throw him overboard (vv. 11-15).
a. The sailors were reluctant to cast Jonah into the sea.
b. They prayed to Jehovah for the life of Jonah.
c. As a last resort, they threw Jonah overboard.
7. The sailors praised and worshiped Jehovah (v. 16).
8. God prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah (v. 17).
B. Chapter two.
1. In the belly of the great fish, Jonah prayed (v. 1).
2. He describes his frightening experience in poetic language
3. Jonah repents and promises to keep his vow (v. 9).
4. The fish vomits Jonah out on dry land (v. 10).
C. Chapter three.
1. Jonah again commissioned to go to Nineveh (vv. 1-2).
2. Jonah preached in Nineveh (vv. 3-4).
3. The people and their king repent (vv. 5-9).
4. Jehovah forgave Nineveh (v.10).
D. Chapter four.
1. The anger of God's prophet (v. 1).
2. Jehovah refuses Jonah's prayer for death (vv. 2-4).
3. Jonah watches for Nineveh's destruction (v. 5).
4. The gourd of God (vv. 6-10).
5. God's mercy explained (v. 11).