The book of Jonah is listed in the Old Testament among the Minor Prophets. Unlike the other books of the Minor Prophets, the book of Jonah is more of a reference and narrative surrounding Jonah’s life rather than a listing of prophecies. This book, although only 4 chapters long, is comparable to that of a biography (Vine, 1996). The story of Jonah’s life is interesting and comparable to the lives of many Christians, pastors, and even sinners in the world. There is a message within Jonah’s life to be learned by everyone.
It is important to mention that Jonah’s name is from the Hebrew word Jonas meaning dove (Walter, Baker’s CD). According to the 1828 (online) Webster’s Dictionary, the word dove refers to “a species of Columba with a color of deep bluish ash” and continues describing in depth the particular animal. Another definition of the word dove from this same dictionary means a word of endearment or an emblem of innocence. This meaning more correctly lines up with Jonah’s life in that his purpose, call from God, was to deliver a word to the people as God instructed. A further review will be given surrounding these facts.
Jonah’s Beginning/Background Information
From the opening of the book of Jonah chapter 1 verse 1 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible, it is stated that Jonah is the son of Amittai. In further researching Jonah’s lineage, this identifies Jonah with the same person that is mentioned in the Holy Bible in the books of II Kings 14:25. During this time period, which was about 785 BC, a prophecy came about during the reign of Jeroboam that “according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, which was of Gathhepher…”. This further helps to explain the lineage of Jonah. Jonah’s father was from the city of Gathhepher (Gittahhepher), which is a region in Galilee and of the tribe of Zebulun which was found in the book of Joshua 19:13 (Baker’s...