Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Jonah Chapter 1

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Jonah Chapter 1


  • The book starts with a typical minor prophet mission: God instructs Jonah go to Nineveh and speak out against its wickedness.
  • Instead, he hitches a boat to the city in the other direction. God summons a deadly storm, so the sailors and passengers draw lots to determine which one of them God is trying to punish. Historically, this is the first written record of the emergency response system still used by cruise ships today.
  • The lot falls on Jonah, who ‘fesses up that he’s the reason for God’s anger and suggests to the sailors that they throw him overboard.
  • To their credit, they try to row out of the storm rather than drowning Jonah.
  • Doesn’t work, though, and they eventually throw him off the boat and the storm subsides.
  • This freaks out the foreign sailors and they sacrifice to Yahweh.
  • At God’s command, a giant fish swallows Jonah, who stays in its gullet for three days and three nights. Moral: God is everywhere, he is in total control and he has a sick sense of humor.

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