Arise, go to In spite of the fact that Nineveh is called a ``great city" three times in the Old Testament (Gen. 10:11, 12; Jonah 1:2; 3:3) and once in the Apocrypha (Judith 1:1), skeptical Bible critics long believed the statement to be greatly exaggerated. When the walled city was first excavated, it was found to be less than nine miles in circumference. That sparked cynical claims that the author, Jonah, did not know what he was talking about. But the real author, the Holy Spirit, was being overlooked. Later excavations have revealed that Nineveh had many suburbs, three of which are mentioned along with Nineveh in Gen. 10:11, 12. One first-century writer (Diodorus of Sicily) justifiably says that Nineveh was a quadrangle measuring about sixty miles in circuit--a ``great city" indeed.Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.
But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from being in the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish . So he paid the appointed fare and went down into the ship to go with them to Tarshish from being in the presence of the Lord .
But the Lord sent out a great wind upon the sea, and there was a violent tempest on the sea so that the ship was about to be broken.
Then the mariners were afraid, and each man cried to his god; and they cast the goods that were in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.
So the captain came and said to him, What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call upon your God! Perhaps your God will give a thought to us so that we shall not perish.
And they each said to one another, Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us. So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
Then they said to him, Tell us, we pray you, on whose account has this evil come upon us? What is your occupation? Where did you come from? And what is your country and nationality?
And he said to them, I am a Hebrew, and I fear and worship the Lord, the God of heaven, Who made the sea and the dry land.
Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, What is this that you have done? For the men knew that he fled from being in the presence of the Lord , because he had told them.
Then they said to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may subside and be calm for us? For the sea became more and more tempestuous.
And said to them, Take me up and cast me into the sea; so shall the sea become calm for you, for I know that it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.
Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship to the land, but they could not, for the sea became more and more violent against them.
Therefore they cried to the Lord, We beseech You, O Lord, we beseech You, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.
So they took up Jonah and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.
Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
Now the Lord had prepared and appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Summary: The story of Jonah is not just a Big Fish Tale. It's a true story with an incredible message relevant to our time. It's a message about a God who cares for all lives, even those of our enemies and those who hate us.
Summary: To escape the presence of God is not rational thinking, certainly for a prophet of God. But how many of us are rational when we reject God’s commands and escape his attention? And that leads us to consider how much Jonah is like us.
Summary: Surely our Lord meditated upon Jonah’s fish story. He knew that he was heading into a mighty storm. Unlike Jonah, he was not fleeing from God’s presence. He was heading directly to the storm, and he himself would leap
Summary: This is a message about grace and purpose and how that God desires for you to get where he wants you to go more than you want to get where he wants you to go. Your mistakes doesn’t limit God’s ability to use you.
Summary: God calls specific people to specific places for specific purposes. When God called Jonah, his response was quite different that that of the prophet Isaiah. Whereas Isaiah said, "Here am I. Send me!" Jonah said, "Here am I...send someone else."