THE BOOK OF JONAH WITH COMMENTARY

                             This commentary on  Jonah is unique. It came from understanding  The Book of Job.
                                                   No where else will you find these explanations of Jonah.
                                                   This page is part of  biblesecrets.org  a site explaining The Book of Job
                                                  which explains how Job is an allegory for Christ while he was on the cross.  

          Each chapter of commentary is followed by the same chapter without any commentary
       to show the Intelligent Design or Divine Design in the flow of the lines.
 For an explanation of the format or patterns in the lines, go to patterns.

Reformatting and commentary is done by Keith Hepworth
 

THE BOOK OF JONAH INTRODUCTION

I looked for hidden meanings in the Book of Jonah for many weeks. I was sure they had to be there. I knew parts were typological of Jesus because he said so himself: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matt 12:39-40). However, I was sure Jesus was hinting of even more. I could see where his description of going down and down into the sea entangled in weeds (Jonah 2:4) could be analogous to how he felt during the crucifixion, especially in light of the Books of Job and Psalms (See Job 69:1:15 and Psa. 42:6-9), but I couldn't make any sense out of chapter four. What could the gourd represent? I read it over and over to no avail. I thought it must have something to do with the resurrection or Jesus appearing to the apostles because it followed his three days in the tomb. But nothing seemed to work.

Finally (after nearly giving up), the answer came to me in a dream, which wasn't the first time that I had received spiritual help.  In the dream I saw the parts of  the book of Jonah on a tray, which then got spilled. It didn't take long to discover that it made sense to  reverse chapters 1 and 2 with 3 and 4. I concluded that if you want to read about Jonah, read it in the order that it is; but if you want to read about Jesus, then read chapters three and four first. That way all four chapters fell into a logical sequence in terms of Jesus. The gourd plant turned out to be Jesus' supporters, including the apostles. For a very short time they brought him great comfort, but all too quickly withered and left  him  exposed to face the wicked forces alone. In the following commentary the scriptures are in bold print; my explanations are in plain print. Each chapter will repeat without the commentary to show the miraculous patterns.

THE BOOK OF JONAH

CHAPTERS

  3    4      1    2

Jonah 3
Jesus is sent into the world (Nineveh) to declare that it is to be overthrown. He is to teach repentance to its citizens that they might be saved from death. He announces that the wicked world would be overthrown after forty days (his forty days of fasting and praying).

1  The word of the LORD, that came unto Jonah, saying,
2  Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

Nineveh is symbolic, representing the world just as Babylon and Egypt do; and even though it is wicked, the LORD still considers it to be great.

3  So Jonah arose and went according to the word of the LORD.

Jesus is obedient and he "went" as he was commanded--"My foot hath held on to his steps; his way have I kept, and not declined; Neither have I gone backward from the commandments of his lips; I have esteemed his words more than my necessary food" (Job 38:11-12).

    Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, even three days' journey.

Nineveh represents the world, and three days journey is approx. the time that we "journey" (sojourn) in the world or about 90 days.

4  Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey,

One days journey would be about 30 years, which was the approx. age of Jesus when he began his ministry to overthrow the world.

    When he cried, and said, In forty days,
    Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Jesus' baptism by John occurred approx. one days journey (age 33), which was followed by forty days of fasting and prayer. So, in forty days from His baptism, his ministry would begin, and the world (Satan) would be overthrown by Him (Satan, and death, would be defeated).

5  The people of Nineveh believed God,
    So they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth,
    From the greatest of them, even unto the least of them.

    So the people held a fast of celebration, "And all the sons of God shouted out for joy" (Job 38:7).

6  The word came unto the king of Nineveh; he arose from his throne,
    He laid his robe from him, covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

The true King of the world, Jesus, laid aside his robes of glory, and condescended to come down from his throne on high to die at the hands of the wicked.

7  He caused it to be proclaimed and published through out all Nineveh:
   By decree of the king and his nobles, let neither man nor beast,
   Herd or flock, taste anything; let them not feed or drink;
8  Let them be covered with sackcloth, and cry unto God.
   Yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way,
   From the violence that is in his hands.

Let them repent; "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matt 5:48).

9  And who can tell if we will repent,
   And turn unto God,
   But he will turn away
from us,
   His fierce anger,
that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works that they had turned from their evil way,
   So God turned away the evil that he had said he would bring upon them.

Because of repentance, God would forgave them of their sins. 

Chapter 3 repeated without commentary to show the patterns.

1  The word of the LORD, that came unto Jonah, saying,
2  Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
3  So Jonah arose and went unto the city of Nineveh according to the word of the LORD.
   Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, even three days' journey.
4  Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey,
   When he cried, and said, In forty days,
   Nineveh shall be overthrown.
5  The people of Nineveh believed God,
   So they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth,
   From the greatest of them, even unto the least of them.
6  The word came unto the king of Nineveh; he arose from his throne,
   He laid his robe from him, covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7  He caused it to be proclaimed and published through out all Nineveh:
   By decree of the king and his nobles, let neither man nor beast,
   Herd or flock, taste anything; let them not feed or drink;
8  Let them be covered with sackcloth, and cry unto God.
   Yea, let them turn everyone from his evil way,
   From the violence that is in his hands.
9  And who can tell if we will repent,
   And turn unto God,
   But he will turn away
from us,
   His fierce anger,


JONAH 4

Jesus felt that because God could do anything, and was so kind and merciful, full of love, and slow to anger, that surely, He could find a way to overthrow the world without using him. God comforted Jesus by giving him friends, even the Apostles (represented by the comforting gourd). But when the going got tough (hot and windy) he was left alone, to face the battle to defeat the world.

1  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

Others translate this as grieved instead of angry, but either way it is still expressed in hyperbole, and means only that he is reluctant.

2  And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee,
   O LORD, was not this my saying unto thee,
   When I was yet in my country?
   Therefore I fled from thee unto Tarshish:
   For I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful,
   Slow to anger, of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

When he was in heaven, "My country." He left God to go into the world (Tarshish). His prayer expresses his opinion that his mission might not be necessary; for God can do anything.

3  Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life;
   It is better for me to die than to live.

But, if it must be, Jesus will offer his life for all mankind. It is better that he die and pay for our sins, because then mercy can be extended to us by God.

4  Then said the LORD,
   It doest thou well to be angry.

He is angry at Satan, because, if Satan is not stopped he will upset God's plans.

5  So Jonah went out of the city on the east,
   And there made a booth and sat under it in the shadow,
   Till he might see what would become of Nineveh, the great city.
6  The LORD God prepared a gourd to come up over Jonah, to shadow his head,
   To deliver him from grief. Jonah was exceeding glad for the gourd.

God gave Jesus the Apostles, and others, such as Mary, who gave him great comfort.

7  But God had prepared a worm before the sun rose the next day,
   And the worm had smote the gourd so that it withered away.

When Judas' conspiracy (the worm) was successful and Jesus was arrested, everyone, "family" and friends, abandoned him (withered away).

8  And it came to pass, when the morning sun did arise,
   That God also prepared a vehement hot east wind;
   And the sun beat on Jonah until he fainted,

In the morning, Jesus faced the hot east wind of trials and scourgings. "Terrors take hold on him as many waters, And a tempest stealeth him away in the night. The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth; And the storm hurleth him out from his place. (Job 27:20-21).

   And wished himself to die, and said,
   It is far better for me to die
.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24).

9  And so God said to Jonah,
   It doest thou well to be angry for the gourd;
   And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

Jesus' anger (in hyperbole) toward Satan (for the gourd) in behalf of all, sustained him in his great sacrifice, even until death.

10 Then said the LORD, Thou had pity on the gourd,
   For the which thou had not labored, neither madest it grow;
   Which came up in a night, perished in a night:

Jesus took pity upon his "friends" (brothers and sisters), who are as the grass, "All flesh is as the grass, And the beauty thereof as a flower. The grass withereth, and the flower fadeth, that perishes in a day (Isaiah 40:6-7).

11 Then should not I spare Nineveh, that great city,
   Wherein are more than six score thousand persons,
   That cannot discern between their right hand and left; and also much cattle?

God will extend mercy to the people of Nineveh (of the world), because of what Jesus has done. "Cattle" is used metaphorically for people who have not yet accepted the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (See Job 21-10).

Jonah 4 repeated without commentary to show the patterns.

1  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2  And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee,
   O LORD, was not this my saying unto thee,
   When I was yet in my country?
   Therefore I fled from thee unto Tarshish:
   For I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful,
   Slow to anger, of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3  Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life;
   It is better for me to die than to live.
4  Then said the LORD,
   It doest thou well to be angry.
5  So Jonah went out of the city on the east,
   And there made a booth and sat under it in the shadow,
   Till he might see what would become of Nineveh, the great city.
6  The LORD God prepared a gourd to come up over Jonah, to shadow his head,
   To deliver him from grief. Jonah was exceeding glad for the gourd.
7  But God had prepared a worm before the sun rose the next day,
   And the worm had smote the gourd so that it withered away.
8  And it came to pass, when the morning sun did arise,
   That God also prepared a vehement hot east wind;
   And the sun beat on Jonah until he fainted,
   And wished himself to die, and said,
   It is far better for me to die.
9  And so God said to Jonah,
   It doest thou well to be angry for the gourd;
   And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
10 Then said the LORD, Thou had pity on the gourd,
   For the which thou had not labored, neither madest it grow;
   Which came up in a night, perished in a night:
11 Then should not I spare Nineveh, that great city,
   Wherein are more than six score thousand persons,
   That cannot discern between their right hand and left; and also much cattle?


 

JONAH 1

Jesus tries to let the cup pass from him, but it does not. He is caught in a terrible tempest, but he knows only he can put a stop to it by sacrificing his life. He offers his life to save theirs.

1  Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2  Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city and cry against it,
   For their great wickedness has come up before me.
3  But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish,
   From the presence of the LORD,
   And went down to Joppa.
   He found a ship going to Tarshish,
   So he paid the fare thereof, and went into it,
   To go unto Tarshish away from the presence of the LORD.

Jesus is expressing his desire that the cup might pass from him, but only if it be "Thy will."

4  But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea,
   And there was a mighty tempest in the sea,
   So that the ship was like to be broken
5  Then the mariners were sore afraid,
   And cried every man to his god.
   They cast forth the wares,
   That were in the ship,
   But Jonah was inside the ship,
   Where he laid down and was fast asleep.

Jesus didn't know beforehand of the severity or the duration of his storm, which is symbolized by his sleeping.

6  So the shipmaster came to him, and said to him,
   What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God,
   If it so be that your God will think upon us that we perish not.

Jesus, our hope, is asked to become our intercessor with the Father.

7  Then said every one unto his fellow, Come, let us cast lots,
   That we may know for whose cause this evil come upon us.
   So they cast lots, and the lot did fall upon Jonah.
 

And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first (Abraham 3:27).

8  So they said unto him, Tell us, we pray thee,
   For whose cause this evil is upon us;

The evil is upon all men, for all have sinned.

   What ever is thine occupation?
   And whence comest thou?
   What is thy country?
   Of what people art thou?

He is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, the Son of the living God, and our elder brother; and the King of the Jews?

9  He said to them, I am a Hebrew,
   And I fear the LORD, the God of heaven,
   Which hath made both the sea and the dry land.

He said, I am a follower of the only true God, He who made everything that was made, even a Hebrew.

10 Then were all the men exceedingly afraid,

"The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant (Psa. 25:14).

   And said, Why hast thou done this?
   For they knew that he is fled,
   The presence of the LORD;
   He had told them so.

He was offering his earthly life for all mankind, and it meant that he had to leave (fled) the presence of the LORD.

11 Then said they unto him,
   And what shall we do unto thee,
   That the sea may become calm unto us?   
   For the sea was very wrought and tempestuous.

All the earth is called the sea in the scriptures. It is the realm of Satan, who is always very wrought and tempestuous. He had been cast down to the depths of the sea, to be the serpent.

12 He said to them, Take me up, and cast me into the sea,

Send me into the world to die for your sins and overcome Satan.

   And it shall be calm; for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

Jesus would overcome death and sin, bringing "peace into the world." Satan is furious because God did not choose his plan in premortality. Instead God choose Jesus to carry out His plan; that is why the "tempest rages."

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship to land,
   But could not, for the sea was wrought against them.

All that men can do is not enough to save them. After they do all that they can to reach perfection, it is by the grace of God that they are finally made clean and gain salvation.

14 Wherefore they cried, We beseech thee, O LORD,
   We beseech thee, neither let us perish,
   Nor lay upon us innocent blood.

That is, Let us not die spiritually, in our sins. Let us be without spot, washed clean by the blood of the Son, so that no sin can be laid upon us.

   Thou, O LORD, hast done as it please thee.
15 So the men took Jonah,
   Cast him forth into the sea,
   And the sea ceased from its raging.

Jesus' sacrifice brought peace by overcoming Satan.

16 Then the men feared of the LORD exceedingly;

They feared in the sense of having respect, as above, and so made covenants with the Lord (to keep His commandments).

17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah;
   Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

Jesus was in the tomb for three days and three nights.

Jonah 1 repeated without the commentary to show the patterns.

1  Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2  Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city and cry against it,
   For their great wickedness has come up before me.
3  But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish,
   From the presence of the LORD,
   And went down to Joppa.
   He found a ship going to Tarshish,
   So he paid the fare thereof, and went into it,
   To go unto Tarshish away from the presence of the LORD.
4  But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea,
   And there was a mighty tempest in the sea,
   So that the ship was like to be broken
5  Then the mariners were sore afraid,
   And cried every man to his god.
   They cast forth the wares,
   That were in the ship,
   But Jonah was inside the ship,
   Where he laid down and was fast asleep.
6  So the shipmaster came to him, and said to him,
   What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God,
   If it so be that your God will think upon us that we perish not.
7  Then said every one unto his fellow, Come, let us cast lots,
   That we may know for whose cause this evil come upon us.
   So they cast lots, and the lot did fall upon Jonah.
8  So they said unto him, Tell us, we pray thee,
   For whose cause this evil is upon us;
   What ever is thine occupation?
   And whence comest thou?
   What is thy country?
   Of what people art thou?
9  He said to them, I am a Hebrew,
   And I fear the LORD, the God of heaven,
   Which hath made both the sea and the dry land.
10 Then were all the men exceedingly afraid,
   And said, Why hast thou done this?
   For they knew that he is fled,
   The presence of the LORD;
   He had told them so.

11 Then said they unto him,
   And what shall we do unto thee,
   That the sea may become calm unto us?   
   For the sea was very wrought and tempestuous.
12 He said to them, Take me up, and cast me into the sea,
   And it shall be calm; for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring the ship to land,
   But could not, for the sea was wrought against them.
14 Wherefore they cried, We beseech thee, O LORD,
   We beseech thee, neither let us perish,
   Nor lay upon us innocent blood.
   Thou hast done, O LORD,
   As it please thee
15 So the men took Jonah,
   Cast him forth into the sea,
   And the sea ceased from its raging.

16 Then the men feared of the LORD exceedingly;
17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah;
   Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.


JONAH 2

Jesus describes to us his feelings of being at the very doors of hell. He uses two common metaphors. First, he sinks to the bottom of the mountains, where the mountains represent a higher spiritual condition; and second, he sinks into the darkness of the deep, which is the realm of the serpent, Satan (He thought he had failed). Even though he thought he had failed in his mission to save all men, he does not err before God, and acknowledges that only in God can salvation be found.

1  Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly;
2  And said, I cried of mine affliction unto the LORD,
   And he heard me; out of hell cried I.
   Thou heardest my voice.
3  Thou cast me into the deep,
   And into the midst of the sea,
   And the floods compassed me about:
   Thy billows and waves passed over me.
4  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight,

He had left (cast out) his position on high to come down to the "floods" meaning the earth. See Psa.24:2--"For he hath founded it (earth, v1) upon the seas, and established it upon the floods." 4b] This confirms his belief in life after death, or in being resurrected.

5  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul.
   The depths closed me in round about; 
   The weeds were wrapped about mine head.
6  I went down to the bottom of the mountain;
   The earth with her bars was about me for ever,
   Yet thou brought me up from corruption, O my God.

Compare Psa. 69:14-15, "Deliver me out of the mire (our sins), and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me." (Also Psa. 42:6-9)

7  When my soul fainted within me, I remembered my LORD;
   And my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8  They that observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercy,
9  But I will sacrifice unto thee with thanksgiving:
   I will pay that that I have vowed. 
   Salvation is of the LORD.
10 And the LORD spake unto the fish,
   And it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Metaphorically, Satan is the serpent of the sea (Isaiah 27:1): "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the sea." This verse uses the term "sea" as if it is synonymous with " world." Logically, then, to leave this world in death is the same as saying, to leave the sea in death; thus Jesus left the tomb (sea)

Chapter 2 repeated without commentary to show the patterns.

1  Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly;
2  And said, I cried of mine affliction unto the LORD,
   And he heard me; out of hell cried I.
   Thou heardest my voice.
3  Thou cast me into the deep,
   And into the midst of the sea,
   And the floods compassed me about:
   Thy billows and waves passed over me.
4  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight,

5  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul.
   The depths closed me in round about; 
   The weeds were wrapped about mine head.
6  I went down to the bottom of the mountain;
   The earth with her bars was about me for ever,
   Yet thou brought me up from corruption, O my God.
7  When my soul fainted within me, I remembered my LORD;
   And my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
8  They that observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercy,
9  But I will sacrifice unto thee with thanksgiving:
   I will pay that that I have vowed. 
   Salvation is of the LORD.
10 And the LORD spake unto the fish,
   And it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

 

Rev. 02-07-01

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