Narrative :: Jonah: Introduction Notes on ch:  3  4  

Study Notes on Jonah (including Hebrew narrative) by Tim Bulkeley

The conventional chapter divisions work well.

Chapter 1 describes of Jonah's receipt of a message, flight and casting into the sea. I have used the English rather than the Hebrew division (Hebrew has 1:17 as part of Chapter 2) because it is familiar, since 1:17 marks a transition between the two the choice is somewhat arbitrary. 

Chapter 2 recounts the prayer in the belly of the fish - working better with the Hebrew division giving the chapter a neat inclusion: "Adonai provided a large fish" (1:17) to "Adonai spoke to the fish and it spewed..." (2:10).

Chapter 3 tells of Jonah in Nineveh, opening with a second instruction from God  and closing with God "changing his mind".

Chapter 4 focuses on Jonah's consequent dealings with Adonai. Even the conclusion (4:10-11) does not seem distinct from the section of which it is part.

There are strong parallels between chapters 1 and 3:
Jonah commissioned
he deals with foreigners
who are in a life threatening situation
they act to avert the tragedy
God provides salvation

While chapters 2 and 4 tell of Jonah's relationship with God.

What is the relationship between chs. one & three, how do they differ?
What about two & four?


© Tim Bulkeley, 2003