Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Jonah Chapter 4

Jonah Chapter 4

Out of His Gourd

  • No.
  • Jonah is ticked. This is just what he feared would happen. He ‘fesses up to running away because he knows that God is merciful and would spare even foreigners if they repent.
  • Jonah says, really, God, just kill me now, which is over-the-top emo even for a prophet but a not so subtle callback to the lament in the third chapter of the book of Job.
  • Decidedly not dead, Jonah runs away again and hangs out in makeshift hut. God, however, takes the opportunity to toy with him again.
  • God has a leafy plant grow over the hut to give Jonah cooling shade but later sends a worm to kill the plant and a strong wind to blow down the hut. For the temperamental prophet, it’s just another reason complain about the heat.
  • (Hosea 14 has a happier vision of repentance and finding solace in the shadow of a divine plant. Just sayin’.)
  • The book closes with a divine Springer moment: if Jonah is so upset about destroying a plant, what’s so bad about God sparing the residents of Nineveh?

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