Jesus Christ is - The Wonderful One
To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.

A whale of a story!

Jonah the son of Amittai...

“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
Jonah 1:2


This short page is actually a small portion of one of my college requirements but I thought I’d share it with you so you could:


1) see how I perceived some of the book of Jonah,

2) see how to do a synthetic study of a book of the Bible,

3) enjoy some insights into Jonah that you may not have thought of before.

Believe it or not, doing a synthetic study of a book of the Bible is an excellent way of learning things you might otherwise overlook.  I'd read Jonah probably 25 or more times before I did this, but I still found some fun insights by doing this.  And before I started, I thought the idea was stupid.... stupid on me!

I hope you’ll enjoy this.  Charlie.


The Book of Jonah


Step One – Note: In this section, you read the text and make observations on what is being said.  Write whatever comes to your mind and make personal applications, cross-references to other biblical verses, and anything else that comes to mind.  This is a lot like a brain-storming session in an office.  In order to follow my observations, you need to have a Bible handy as I only list the verse numbers and/or a portion of the verse.




(Note:  “C” means “cross reference,”  “A” means “ personal application,”)


1:1 – Jonah is also mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25.  It says he prophesied to Jeroboam the son of Joash.  It also says he was from Gath Hepher.


1:2 – I guess Jonah never read Psalm 139:7 -9 –


Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,


1:5 – “every man cried out to his god…”  the wind and waves continued to grow.”  Their gods were pretty ineffectual.


1:7 (C) – Proverbs 16:33 –


The lot is cast into the lap,
      But its every decision is from the LORD


1:9  – “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD…”  I guess he needed to fear Him a little more next time!


1:13 – Rather than throwing him into the sea, they still tried to row back to shore.  A noble trait among the gentiles.


1:16 – These men sacrificed and took vows to the LORD!  Good job men.

(A)  I need to remember to thank the Lord for the many things he does for me and not just be happy they came and forget from whom they came from.


Key thought of Chapter One – God has mercy on and intentions for the gentile peoples.


2:2-9 – Jonah used his time of affliction wisely and prayed.  Good job Jonah.


2:9 – Acts 4:12 – The New Testament confirms Jesus’ deity when compared to this verse -


Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.


2:10 – This is probably the least offensive use of the word “vomit” in history!  Also, I’ve been to this spot in Israel – they have a beautiful whale sculpture there.


Key thought for Chapter 2 – God’s purposes will come about despite our stubbornness.


3:3 – I guess Jonah learned his lesson.  Whale guts could prompt a pagan to action.  How much more this chosen prophet!


3:8 – Covering the beasts with sackcloth is an impressive touch.  This verse’s significance is confirmed in verse 4:11.


Key thought for Chapter Three – God will be attentive to the repentance of any people.


4:4 – He became angry.

(A) As this is recorded, it reminds me that my sin, folly, and anger is also recorded.  What if the world had access to my deeds as we do to Jonah’s?  Wouldn’t I be embarrassed? 


4:8-9 – Jonah’s temper tantrum reminds me of Ahab in 1 Kings 21.


4:8 – On my second reading through, I noticed that God “prepared” a fish, a plant, a worm, and an east wind.  Each of these is a different agent of God’s intention – one from the sea, one animal, one vegetable, and one form of natural phenomena.


4:11 – A clear indication of God’s care for the gentile people of the world.


Key thought for Chapter Four – Because of Jonah’s inability to understand the object lesson of the plant, God simply told him the purpose of his mission – God’s mercy.


Step Two – Read the book again (done).  Add in any additional observations on the Step One Illustration.  List there the key thoughts or major themes of the book (done).


Step Three – Read the book again (done).  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see it with a fresh mind (done).  Look for the main theme or big idea the writer is communicating.  Is there any particular place where this key thought is mentioned?


Yes, in verses, 4:2 and 4:10, 11


-  So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.


-  But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night.  And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”


Write the key thought out in your own words.


God’s love and mercy extends to anyone who repents and turns to Him.


Step Four – Read the book again (done).  Develop a broad outline of the book.  Title the various divisions in your outline and write a title for the book.





God’s Love for the People of the World


I.  Jonah’s Call and Rebellion, 1:1 – 1:16

            A.  Jonah Called to Cry Out Against Ninevah, 1:1 – 1:2

            B.  Jonah Flees to Tarshish and is Pursued by the LORD, 1:3 – 1:17

                        1.  The gentiles at first refuse to cast Jonah out, 1:13

                        2.  Before casting Jonah out, the gentiles plead forgiveness, 1:14

                        3.  After casting Jonah out, God ceases the storm, 1:15

                        4.  The gentiles sacrifice and make vows to God, 1:16

II.  Jonah’s Repentance, 2:1 – 2:10

            A.  Jonah Prays to the LORD with Confidence of Salvation, 2:1 – 2:9

            B.  God Delivers Jonah to the Dry Land, 2:10

III.  Jonah’s Second Call, 3:1 – 3:4

IV.  The Repentance and Salvation of Nineveh, 3:5 – 3:10

A.     Nineveh’s Repentance, 3:5 – 3:9

            B.  God Relents and Has Mercy on Nineveh, 3:10

V.  Correction of Jonah’s Perceptions, 4:1 – 4:11

            A.  Jonah Throws a Tantrum Over Nineveh’s Salvation, 4:1 – 4:5

            B.  God Gives Jonah an Object Lesson, 4:6 – 4:11


Step Five – Summarize the historical background on the book. 


Jonah was the son of Amittai.  He was from Gath Hepher in Israel and his prophetic office occurred during the reign of Jeroboam the son of Joash.  This was about 793-753 B.C.  Nineveh was a great city (a three day walk to get through it) and the capitol of Assyria which is in current day Iraq.  This was the people who conquered and took into exile the Northern tribes of Israel.


Step Six – Choose from the possible applications listed in your Observations the one on which God would have you work.


I need to remember to thank the Lord for the many things he does for me and not just be happy they came and forget from whom they came from.


In addition to setting it as a goal to practice this, I also decided it would be good to remind others of the same thing.  I just sent an email to Governor Sonny Perdue of Georgia reminding him that last year he had a public prayer meeting to ask God for rain.  His request has been answered and I asked him to hold another prayer meeting specifically to thank God for His mercy in providing the rain.  I’ll endeavor to tell others to remember to thank God when their prayers are answered also.


Step Seven – Study the format of the book to determine the style the writer uses.


This is in the form of a third-person narrative.  It is also written in a chronological order.


Step Eight – Chart the book.  





Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Jonah’s Call and Rebellion

1:1 – 1:16

Jonah’s Repentance

2:1 – 2:10

Jonah’s Second Call

3:1 – 3:4

Repentance and Salvation of Nineveh

3:5 – 3:10

Correction of Jonah’s Perceptions

4:1 – 4:11

Cry Out Against Nineveh 1:1 – 1:2

Flight to Tarshish

1:3 – 1:17


Gentiles want to save Jonah

Gentiles plead forgiveness for casting out Jonah

Storm ceases

Gentile sacrifices and vows to God

Prayer to the LORD 2:1 – 2:9






Nineveh’s Repentance

3:5 – 3:9

God’s Forgiveness 3:10

Jonah’s Tantrum

4:1 – 4:5

God’s Object Lesson 4:6 – 4:10

Impending Judgment-à>>>>>>>>



Step Nine – Determine the place of the book in the Bible as a whole.  Each book has its own unique contribution to the whole of the Bible.  What would be missing if this book were omitted?


This book, along with Ruth, several passages of Isaiah, and a few other examples interspersed throughout the Old Testament writings tell us that God’s love and purposes are not only for the Jewish people, but all the people of the world who call on the name of the Lord.  Jonah is the 29th book of the Bible, but chronologically, it comes before many of the earlier books in the Christian Canon.  It is the 5th book of the Minor Prophets and the 10th book of all 17 prophetic books.  If Jonah wasn’t included in the Bible, we would have a much narrower view of God’s intent for gentiles.  Ruth brings only one gentile into the picture and she became part of the Jewish people through marriage.  Isaiah refers to the gentiles quite a few times, but these are interspersed throughout the book and could easily be dismissed by an unsympathetic audience.  However, it is hard to imagine anyone seeing a purpose for Jonah in any other light than that God is merciful to the gentile as well as the Jew.  What would be missing if Jonah weren’t in the Bible?  A fantastic fish story!


If you've enjoyed this page, please click the box and let others know.  You can only vote once a day, but please click on it each time you stop by the site.  Thank you, Charlie... 


But I will sacrifice to You 
With the voice of thanksgiving; 
I will pay what I have vowed. 
Salvation is of the LORD.”

Jonah 2:9 

"And His name shall be called Wonderful"
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