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Jonah - Interpretation • Literal Historical o Jonah...

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Jonah Unique Nature of the Book Book has no record of activity of the prophet in Israel An account of what happened to a prophet & not a record of his messages o Only one oracle in book consisting of 5 words in the Hebrew No claim to have been written by a prophet The message of the book is intended to be conveyed in what happened to Jonah When was the book written? Eighth century, when Assyria was encroaching upon Syria & Palestine, see II Kings 14.25 Postexilic- book developed as response to Jewish exclusivism ca. 450-400 bce Content 1.1-17 – Jonah the stubborn prophet; directed to Nineveh but goes opposite way 2.1-10 – Jonah in the depths; psalm of lament and prayer for help 3.1-10 – Jonah gets a second chance; Nineveh repents 4.1-11 – Jonah’s anger over YHWH’s mercy; point of book unfolds here
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Unformatted text preview: Interpretation • Literal/ Historical o Jonah actually lived [II Kings 14.25] o Surface indications lead naturally to historical interpretation o Presentation not in form of dream or vision • Non-literal- Parable o Short story symbolizing moral or spiritual truth o No meaning attached to every part What to know about Jonah • What two possibilities are suggested for the writing of the book? Eighth century bce or the postexilic period • Summarize the plot of the book. Jonah told to go to Nineveh & preach; he refuses; swallowed by fish & he repents; goes to Nineveh & preaches; people repent & God forgives them; Jonah gets angry & is confronted by God • What is the significance of Nineveh in the book? Jonah is directed to go & preach against the city two different times...
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