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Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

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Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Subjects for Jonah

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1. This is the one book of the Old Testament that sets forth the Resurrection. Those who assert that the Resurrection is not found in the Old Testament surely are not versed in the magnificent message of Jonah. When a wicked and adulterous generation was seeking after a sign, Jesus referred them to the Book of Jonah for the message: “As Jonah…so Jesus” is the fine comparison made by our Lord.

2. Salvation is not by works. Salvation is by faith, which leads to repentance. The Book of Jonah is read by the Orthodox Jews on the Great Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). One great self-evident truth from the ritual of this day is that the way to God was not by “works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5), but by the blood of a substitutionary sacrifice provided by God. The most significant statement in the Book of Jonah is in 2:9 — “Salvation is of the LORD.”

3. God’s purpose of grace cannot be frustrated. If Jonah had refused to go to Nineveh the second time, would God have destroyed the city? God would not have been limited by Jonah’s refusal. He would have raised up another instrument, or, more likely, He would have had another fish ready to give Jonah the green light toward Nineveh. The book shows God’s determination to get His message of salvation to a people who will hear and accept it.

4. God will not cast us aside for faithlessness. When Jonah failed the first time, God did not give him up. The most encouraging words that a faltering and failing child of God can hear are, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time” (Jonah 3:1).

5. God is good and gracious. The most penetrating picture of God in the entire Bible is in Jonah 4:2. It is wrong to say that the Old Testament reveals a God of wrath and the New Testament reveals a God of love. He is no vengeful deity in the Book of Jonah.

6. God is the God of the Gentiles. It has been suggested that Romans 3:29 be written over this book: “Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.” The Book of Jonah is the answer to those critics who claim that the Old Testament presents a local and limited deity, a tribal deity. The Book of Jonah is a great book on missions and has a world vision.


1. Striking resemblance between Jonah and Paul. Both were missionaries to the Gentiles; both were shipwrecked; both were witnesses to the sailors on board the ship, and both were used to deliver these sailors from death. There are other striking comparisons which a careful study will reveal. Paul made three missionary journeys, and with his trip to Rome, there were four. The four chapters of the Book of Jonah may be divided into four missionary journeys of Jonah: (1) into the fish, (2) out onto dry land, (3) to Nineveh, and (4) to the heart of God.

2. Timetable approach. When you consult a timetable in a railroad station or airport, there are three important factors you note: (1) destination, (2) departure time, and (3) arrival time. It is possible to construct the four brief chapters of Jonah into the form of a timetable.

Timetable of the Book of Jonah
Israel (Samaria or Gath-hepher) Nineveh Fish 1
Fish Nineveh Dry Land 2
Dry Land Nineveh Nineveh 3
Nineveh Gourd Vine Heart of God 4

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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