Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Prophets: The books of Israel’s prophets who announced the downfall of Israel’s kingdom and the hope of its restoration after the exile.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Narrative: A story sequence in which characters are placed in a setting and involved in a developing plotline.
Epic Narrative: A narrative that is intentionally placed in an ambiguous historical setting in order to make larger claims about the nature of reality and human purpose.
Parable: A short, fictional narrative with symbolic characters designed to challenge the listener in a memorable and/or shocking way.
A subversive story about a rebellious prophet who despises his God for loving his enemies.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Jonah, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Jonah, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.
If you have ever attended church, Sunday school, or bedtime story sessions as a child, you have likely heard about the story in the Book of Jonah at some point. But, the prophet Jonah's account of remarkable experiences with storms at sea, being eaten by a fish, and plants that miraculously grow and die in a day have lessons that go much deeper than what is on the surface.
Through Jonah's perspective, we have the opportunity to perform a spiritual checkup of ourselves. Do we truly forgive and love our enemies? Do we run away from the Lord about certain issues, afraid of being exposed? The answer is different for every individual, and yet God personally knows the answers to these questions. By examining ourselves in Jonah's story, we can learn to trust God in His final decisions and give all our concerns to Him, while knowing that He desires to save every individual on Earth and reunite with them forever.
No one is too far for Him to reach.
The Runaway Prophet
When God tells Jonah to deliver a prophecy at terrible Nineveh, Jonah runs away from God instead. He soon learns this is not a good idea.
Out at Sea
A wild storm threatens Jonah's runaway ship voyage. Pagan sailors search for God's help, and Jonah is revealed as the cause of their turmoil. The sailors reluctantly throw him overboard.
A large fish swallows Jonah while out at sea. It spits him out when Jonah repents, and God tells him to go to Nineveh again.
Jonah tells God's warning at Nineveh, and the whole city repents--from the king to the cows! But, Jonah becomes angry when God spares the city.
Jonah waits for God's judgment on Nineveh outside the city, but God teaches him about His mercy instead. The conclusion is left to the reader.