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There have been some recent developments in my Biblical Studies that this article will be sharing. The book of Jonah, in particular, has been brought to my attention and there are some plainly written facts that I had previously not only overlooked, but misunderstood. In studying Jonah recently I have found these misunderstandings to have been straightened out, bringing the more accurate knowledge I need to fully understand God’s true character. I pray this article does the same for you. Let’s learn together.

The air was crisp and the ocean breeze clean smelling. The sun was rising, sending it’s light frolicking over the sea’s waters, playing against it’s surface as it does with diamonds and gems. He was gruff looking, tan, but the smile in his eyes revealed a man who occupied himself with innocent tomfoolery. The hardened sailor’s beard danced under his chin as he asked Jonah, “What brings you to our ship, lad?” Jonah was straight and to the point. “My name is Jonah, son of Ammattai. I fear The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Have you heard of Nineveh?” Jonah asked, raising a knowing eyebrow. “Of course” the sailor said, “unless you are looking for trouble you stay out of Nineveh, lad. Besides, we are heading in the opposite direction: Tarshish”, the sailor said, pointing towards the horizon. The sailor would have continued on, to tell Jonah when the next ship leaving for Nineveh was but Jonah quickly replied “Exactly. I am headed to Tarshish. The Lord God of my ancestors spoke to me just recently and told me to go to Nineveh to tell the animals there to repent. I am running from Him.” The sailor cut in,“God? You are running from God?” looking at the young Jonah inquisitively. Jonah continued “I can’t go to Nineveh. Those people are barbaric. I wouldn’t last two minutes. I don’t have the faith to complete that kind of task. I just don’t.” Jonah said while brushing the dirt with his feet, looking disappointed in himself and scared.

“I see,” the sailor replied thoughtfully. A few moments passed to allow the sailor to turn it over in his mind before a hand found it’s way to Jonah’s back, giving it hardy slap while a laugh escaped the sailor’s throat and that look of playful rues passed across the sailor’s face again. “Why dont you head down that way and my young friend Reuben will show you to your hammock down in the recesses of our ship.” Jonah walked over to the other, younger sailor who was paying close attention to the conversation his older shipmate was having with Jonah. As the two young men began to take a step towards the deck the older sailor called out “Joner!” Jonah turned to find a 5oz silver round flying through the air towards his chest. If he had turned a moment later, Jonah would not have had time to catch it. The old gag had picked Jonah’s satchel during the conversation. “I do that for fun, Jonah, but you must have your witts about you, lad. A lot of the men on this ship are not as light-hearted and will take all the money your family has given you if the opportunity arises. Be careful. Welcome aboard.”

Jonah looked angrily at the man, then turned to walk with the younger sailor. Jonah gave the young Reuben an untrusting, hateful look as his fist clenched the silver round. His other hand instinctively went to his satchel to search for the rest of his things, making sure he didnt pick something to keep for himself. The young sailor saw Jonah’s anger and quickly tried to quell it: Lokk is right, Jonah. Many of the men on this ship are mean spirited, angry and if it werent for a few good men like Lokk and the captain of our ship having a passion to see men hard at work, as a team, trusting one another through thick and thin to stifle their proclivity to cheat, steal and kill, this ship would not be a bearable place to spend much time. Keep your witts about you. Let’s show you to your hammock.”

This Biblical Fan-Fiction short depicts a likely scene as Jonah entered the ship on the way to Tarshish. In Jonah 1:10, at some point before the storm, the casting of lots, and the throwing of Jonah off of the ship, we learn that Jonah previously told the shipmates of his plans, that he was running from God.

It is interesting that Jonah, during a deadly storm, was sleeping in the bowels of the boat (reference Jonah 1:5). At a point in Yeshua’s ministry, he also was in a deadly storm, sleeping. This parallel is a tangential, yet very important clue in the lessons learned from deep and consistent study in God’s word.

Another interesting note concerning Jonah’s story that is commonly misunderstood is the character of the mariners. They were good men, maybe not holy to begin with, but good. This evidence can be found in the way they dealt with Jonah when it was made clear that the reason they were being killed in the storm was because of Jonah’s recalcitrance. When the lot fell on Jonah: “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew and I fear LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” And the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of LORD, because he had told them.” (Jonah 1:8-10)

Although these mariners were afraid for their lives, and knew with the little or no doubt that it was Jonah who had brought these troubles on them,their cargo had already been thrown overboard, they asked him what they ought to do. His response was “pick me up, and throw me into the sea.” (Jonah 1:11). Wouldn’t the obvious response be to throw Jonah overboard as opposed to yielding control to him, asking him what they should do? Furthermore, when Jonah responded with “throw me into the sea”, their immediate response was not to throw Jonah into the sea, but it was to go to the oars and row vigorously towards the shore. Unfortunately for them, but not for Nineveh, the weather grew only worse and the men failed at their attempt. They yielded, they picked up Jonah, they threw Jonah into the sea.


know that these little tid-bits might not seem like much at first glance, but when holy, sacred Scripture, is understood properly, even in it’s finer details, big differences can be made for the better. Penultimately, God’s character is quite clearly shown in this story. Not the butterfly and rainbows portion of His character, but the unyielding portion of His character. Before the life-threatening trouble that Jonah experienced, God calls to Jonah, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” Then, Jonah fled. As a result Jonah danced with death for days and days, only saved by The Almghty’s mercy and grace. Once on the shores of Nineveh, that city of barbarians, God called to Jonah again “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” God is, indeed unyielding at times.

Lastly, let’s look at the circumstances of the saving of the city of Nineveh. Jonah was afraid to go to Nineveh, but the Scriptures show that Nineveh is where He was safe and anywhere else is where Jonah should have feared. The Scriptures teach us that Jonah’s mission, during the first day, was successful (Jonah 3:5 reference). You see Nineveh was a three day journey across. Yet, in Jonah’s first day of preaching, word spread like a wildfire even to the ears of the king of Nineveh. The king proclaimed the need for his people to repent, fast and call on God (Jonah 2:5-7 reference). Now how interesting is this? “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly”(Jonah 4:1). God is certainly Almighty. In spite of Jonah, the preaching of Jonah was used by God to quickly save that city.

Be encouraged my friend, in your sin, as you work out your salvation in fear and trembling God will continue to use you, even in spite of you, so long as you fear Him, even if what He is doing makes you exceedingly displeased. Thank you for growing with us today. Shalom bach.