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Ami
4:02 PM
@JonEricson, "...it seems unlikely that he would have composed such a moving, rich, and poetic prayer while in such a terrible situation."
The whole book of Jonah is filled with surprising and unlikely events...
The psychology of Jonah is very hard to understand.
Why does he run away? Why does he go to sleep during the storm? Why does he not mind getting thrown overboard?
But perhaps the "craziest" part of the book is that the people of Ninveh actually listen to Jonah after he's been sitting in a fish for three days and then randomly gets washed up on their shore.
 
 
1 hour later…
5:32 PM
@Ami Jonah is a tough nut to crack for sure and I probably should make sweeping statements about him or the book named after him.
@Ami It's amazing the got past the smell...
 
Ami
The whole book is filled with hyperbole, in Ninveh even the animals repent and wear sackcloth, Jonah is swallowed by a "big fish," the city of Ninveh is: "an exceeding great city of three days' journey..."
 
I intend to answer my question at some point, since I think the text encourages us to look back at the central prayer as the main theme of the book. I think it's a very difficult thing to know if the author intended the story to be taken as historical, but the purpose of the story seems quite clear.
 
Ami
(No city then or now would take three days to walk across, manhattan takes half a day)
what's that?
what is the purpose of the story?
 
:2515447 I live in Los Angeles, which, depending on what you call the city, takes quite a long time to cross on foot. ;-)
 
Ami
three days?
 
5:40 PM
The purpose of the story is to show God's incredible mercy, not just to Israel, but to the entire world. (And Jonah shows in the last chapter a remarkable resistance to that mercy.)
@Ami Probably not. But if I wanted to talk to people along the way, it would take a lot longer. But I can live with calling it allegory and not history. Some people feel strongly one way or the other, but not me.
 
Ami
I don't feel strongly one way or the other...if it's historical it's history written in a hyperbolic literary style...which is fine
I like you're theory about the book of Jonah
I agree that God's universal love and mercy is part of what's going on...
 
@Ami Is now the best time to tell you I got it from Vegetales? ;-)
 
Ami
lol
Nahum is another book in the OT about the city of Ninveh
The book of Jonah ends: "Thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repentest of the evil."
The book of Nahum begins: "God is jealous, and the LORD avengeth; the LORD avengeth and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies."
 
@Ami I haven't done a detailed study on that yet.
 
Ami
So the two books are almost definitely meant to be read back to back
It's not often studied
it's a prophecy of doom for Ninveh
 
5:48 PM
@Ami Not enough action, I suppose. ;-) To be honest, I can't remember a thing about it despite having read it at least 4 times. It's on my schedule for December so I'll try to pay attention this time. (Or maybe just rearrange my schedule since you've caught my interest...)
 
Ami
personally, I think the books of Jonah and Nahum are dealing with the rise and fall of Assyria through prophecies on the city of Ninveh which is the capital of Assyria (this would be an example of synecdoche).
and the rise and fall of Assyria is another way of talking about the exile of the ten tribes of Israel during the reign of Hosea the son of Elah in the northern kingdom of Israel and Hezekiah in the Southern kingdom and the return of the ten tribes during the reign of Josiah of the southern kingdom.
All of which is well described in the book of Kings and Isaiah
And Jeremiah
I'm in the process of writing a blog post about this...but I've been in the process for the last 3 months or so...
which is a problem.
Unfortunately I have to run, but it's been a pleasure.
have a good day.
 
@Ami My mom always complains about how boring the Minor Prophets are when she reads them. It occurs to be the problem we Americans have is that we are not it touch with the background. It would be like trying to read an editorial from 100 years ago from newspaper in a country we've never heard of.
@Ami It has. Thank you for your help with the bits of the Tanakh I don't understand. (Which is more than just bits...)
 

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