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Jonah

See also Nineveh

An Old Testament prophet who was called by the Lord to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh (Jonah 1:1–2).

The book of Jonah

A book in the Old Testament that tells of an experience in Jonah’s life. Jonah probably did not write the book himself. The major idea of the book of Jonah is that Jehovah reigns everywhere and does not confine his love to a single nation or people.

In chapter 1, the Lord called Jonah to preach to Nineveh. Instead of doing as the Lord had commanded, Jonah fled by boat and was swallowed by a large fish. In chapter 2, Jonah prayed to the Lord, and the fish vomited Jonah out onto dry ground. Chapter 3 records that Jonah went to Nineveh and prophesied of its downfall. However, the people repented. In chapter 4, the Lord rebuked Jonah for being angry that the Lord saved the people.

Jesus taught that Jonah’s being swallowed by the fish served as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ own death and resurrection (Matt. 12:39–40; 16:4; Luke 11:29–30).