15 February, 2017
Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Jonah: 3 and 4
Study 2 From the Book of Jonah is: Jonah 3 and 4
With this study, we end the book of Jonah and will start the book of Joel tomorrow.
1. God is unchangeably consistent in His attitude to men. What moral action is necessary to avoid judgement and find mercy? Cf. Joel 2:12-14. Acts 10: 34, 35. How did Jesus commend the Ninevites’ actions? Cf. Mt. 12:41.
2. Jonah the patriot almost hides Jonah the prophet. How do 4:2b, 4, 10 and 11 rebuke his attitude? Contrast the attitude of Jonah with that of Jesus the Jew. Cf. Mt. 23: 37, 38; Mk. 10 45.
3. What aspects of the character of God stand out in this short book?
1. 3:3. ‘An exceedingly great city’: The administrative district of Nineveh, which could be referred to here (as distinct from the city alone), was thirty to sixty miles across.
2. 4:2. ‘Repentest of evil’: the Hebrew root means ‘to breath heavily’. A change of mind is not so much meant; the thought is almost that the Lord takes a deep breath of relief that He does not have to act in judgment as the consistency of His character would otherwise demand.
3. 4:6. ‘A plant’ a fast-growing, trailing or climbing plant with broad leaves.
4. 4:9-11. ‘Jonah (for selfish reasons) pities the insignificance plant for which he was not responsible. Should not God much more (and unselfishly) have pity on the poor ignorant inhabitants with their cattle in the evil city of Nineveh?