Jonah Chapter 1
And the speech of Yehovah was unto Dove [Yonah] son of My-Two-Truths [Amee-tai] to say, 2 “Arise! Walk unto Neen-vay the big city! And call upon her that their bad ascended to my faces!” 3And Dove [Yonah] arose to flee to Tarsheesh from the faces of Yehovah!
And he descended to Yaffo. And he found a ship. She went to Tarsheesh. And he gave her wage. And he descended into her to come with them to Tarsheesh from the faces of Yehovah.
4And Yehovah threw a big wind unto the sea! And a big storm was in the sea! And the ship thought to be broken! 5And the saltees feared! And they screamed, a man unto his gods! And they threw the utensils that are in the ship unto the sea to lighten from upon them. And Dove [Yonah] descended unto the thighs of the wainscoting. And lay down. And he slept.
6And the great-one of the company approached unto him. And he said to him, “What is to thee, sleeper? Arise! Call unto thy gods! Perhaps the gods will gleam to us, and we will not perish!”
7And they said, a man unto his neighbour, “Go-ye! And we have thrown-down lots. And we have known on account of whom this bad is to us!” And they threw-down lots. And the lot fell upon Dove [Yonah].
8And they said unto him, “Tell to us, na, via what—for whom this bad is to us. What is thine errand? And from where wilt thou come? What is thy land? And where from this—a people—art thou?” 9And he said unto them, “I am Hebrew. And I fear Yehovah Gods of the heavens Who made the sea and the dry!” 10And the men feared a big fear!
And they said unto him, “What is this thou hast done?” For the men knew that he fled from the faces of Yehovah, because he told to them. 11And they said unto him, “What will we do to thee, and the sea has calmed from upon us?” For the sea is walking and tempestuous. 12And he said unto them, “Lift ye me, and throw me unto the sea. And the sea has calmed from upon you. For I know that this big tempest is upon you on account of me!”
13And the men dug to return unto the dry. And they were not able. For the sea is walking and tempestuous upon them. 14And they called unto Yehovah! And they said, “Oh, Yehovah! We, na, will not perish via the being of this man! And do not give innocent blood upon us! For Thou, Yehovah, Thou hast done just as Thou hast desired!”
15And they lifted Dove [Yonah]. And they threw him unto the sea. And the sea stood from his rage! 16And the men feared Yehovah a big fear! And they sacrificed a sacrifice to Yehovah. And they vowed vows.
I. Walking Orders (verses 1-3)
Yehovah told Yonah the son of Ameetai to arise and walk unto the big city of Nineveh. He must loudly call upon the city that the bad of its citizens ascended to Yehovah’s faces. Upon hearing this, Yonah arose to flee to Tarshish which is in the opposite direction! He desired to get away from the faces of Yehovah.
1. What does Yonah mean? It means dove, referring to the very gentle bird.
2. If Ameetai means My two truths, to what would these truths refer? Yehovah only has one Truth. I don’t know what the parents of Yonah’s father were thinking when they named him My Two Truths. If the dotting of the Hebrew language is wrong, and his name was really Ameetee, which would mean My Truth, that would make more sense, and it would be spelled the same. Then, Yonah would be Dove, son of My Truth. That would describe a gentle person who is a son of Messiah, Who is the Truth.
3. How far was Nineveh from Israel? It was and is about 750 miles!
4. Why did Yehovah desire Yonah to walk to the big city of Nineveh instead of riding? The text doesn’t tell why. I propose that Yonah stayed as a guest of folks on the way, and could speak to guests as a prophet of Yehovah. Walking would mean more stops and more opportunities.
5. How long would a journey of this distance take by foot if a person can walk 25 miles in a day, staying as a guest at each stop for one day? 25 goes into 750 30 times. If Yonah stayed one day as a guest at each place that he stopped, it would double the time to 60 days: two full months!
6. Why was the size of Nineveh so unusual back then? Large cities require services that were just not easily done. For examples,
- There must be a regular and good food supply for folks living in the densely populated parts of the city, since folks there won’t be able to grow all their own food.
- There must be a good way to transport the food to the inhabitants.
- There must be good sewage systems, or else folks will begin to get sick.
- Water supplies must be kept separate from the sewage systems, or else folks will die.
- There must be good law enforcement with a very strong leader (like a king), or else violence and lawlessness will grow rapidly. Good law enforcement usually means that folks know each other (so that they will know if a stranger comes who might rob people and do violence).
- There must be a uniform view of religion and cultures, or else anger will rise as folks disagree, and violence will result.
There are many other requirements that would have made a very large city impossible in most parts of the world. The Nineveh region must have been very fertile, giving excellent crops in order to support such a large city.
7. To what does bad refer in, “And call upon her that their bad ascended to my faces”? It refers to harm, destruction, the results of violence, the results of mistreatment of others, etc. The word never refers directly to sin, but instead to what sin produces: ruin.
8. Why did Yehovah say that their bad ascended to His faces? What does that mean? This describes bad as if it is like smoke that ascends. It comes up into Yehovah’s faces, getting into His eyes and into His nostrils, and it greatly angers Him.
9. Why did Yonah arise to flee to Tarshish, which is in the opposite direction? What did he have against obeying Yehovah? Yonah was a prophet. As a prophet, he knew the speeches of Yehovah against Israel and Israel’s sins. He knew that Nineveh would later attack Israel, and Yehovah would give victory to Nineveh. He knew that the Ninevite warriors were very cruel, because he had heard of how the Ninevite warriors enjoyed being cruel to those they captured. He knew that doing anything to save Nineveh from destruction would be being a traitor against Israel! It would be like saving Nazi Germany from destruction knowing what the Nazis would do to the Jews! Thus, Yonah had no intention of obeying these orders. He would much rather die than help the worst enemies of Israel.
10. Why does the text read, “And Yonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the faces of Yehovah” instead of “And Yonah arose to flee to Tarshish from Yehovah”? Yehovah must have appeared to Yonah. Yonah desired to get away from Yehovah and His faces. The only way he figured to do this was to leave Israel and become part of other peoples.
11. Where is Tarshish? I don’t know the exact location. Some have proposed that it was in Spain! That would be in the opposite direction from Nineveh!
II. Going on a Cruise (verse 3)
Yonah went down to Yaffo in Israel. He found and boarded a ship going to Tarshish; he paid the passenger fare. He went below deck to travel with them to Tarshish from the faces of Yehovah.
1. Where is Yaffo? Find Joppa on the seacoast in the map below (Copyright Access Foundation, Zaine Ridling, Ph.D. Editor):
It is called Yaffo in Hebrew.
2. What does Yaffo mean? It means beautiful. It is really a pretty place with orange groves. (Yaffo oranges are sometimes available in our grocery stores!)
3. What does “and he gave her wage” mean? This means that he paid the fare for the voyage.
4. Who is her in, “And he descended into her”? She is the ship!
5. Identify them in, “…to come with them to Tarshish…”: They are the sailors.
6. Did Yonah really think that he could escape from the faces of Yehovah? Yonah was willing to bet the price of the voyage to find out!
III. The Violent Storm (verses 4-5)
Yehovah threw a big wind unto the sea! That was a terrific storm. Those in the ship thought it would be broken. The saltees (sailors) feared. Each saltee screamed to his own gods.
They then started throwing items overboard in order to lighten the ship.
Yonah went down into the hold of the ship, into the wainscoting. He lay down and went to sleep!
1. Why did Yehovah throw a big wind unto the sea? Yehovah’s purpose was to stop the ship from progressing to Tarshish as long as Yonah was onboard.
2. Why did He add a big storm? Yehovah also desired to cause the sailors much fear. Storms were among their worst fears, since many sailors before them had died in storms.
3. Whenever there are big winds and storms at sea, does Yehovah cause them? Yehovah rarely does this type of action. Big winds and storms can be part of natural weather cycles and seasons. There are angels who are in charge of the four great winds on the planet who also can affect the winds:
Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth so that the wind will not blow on the earth nor on the sea nor on any tree.
These angels only can act in unusual ways when they have commands or permission to do so.
4. What does “the ship thought to be broken” mean? This means that the crew of the ship thought that the ship would be destroyed by the waves tearing the ship into pieces.
5. What is a saltee? This is a sailor who sails the oceans. Since the oceans are salt water, the sailors were called saltees.
6. How many different gods did the sailors use? Each sailor had his own god or gods, though some sailors would use the same gods. They felt that they needed their gods in times of distress and great danger. A few sailors might have been without gods, but when the crisis of death by drowning seemed very possible, even godless sailors usually called out to the gods.
7. Why did the sailors scream? Were they that easily made frightened? They were screaming, but not out of fear as in a scary movie; they were screaming because of the roaring of the winds and the waves! They could not be heard without screaming! Thus, they screamed to their gods, hoping their gods would hear and hearken to them.
8. What are utensils? They are pieces of equipment. The sailors threw utensils (that they were transporting) into the sea to lighten the ship so that it might remain afloat.
9. What is wainscoting? It is like paneling. It is wood that makes rooms more comfortable and practical. In a ship, it would be the wood paneling that covers the ribs, walls and support beams in the hull of the ship so that the hold area (the lower area) can be used for storing goods in a practical way.
10. What are the thighs of the wainscoting? I propose that these thighs are where the ribs of the hull are located. If this is correct, Yonah went behind the wainscoting (paneling) to areas where he could be out of the way, and perhaps not be found.
11. Why did Yonah descend unto the thighs of the wainscoting to lie down and to sleep? Yonah was depressed! Folks who are depressed are often very tired or sleepy. He knew what he was doing, and he knew he was the cause of the problems. He didn’t want to face the problems with the sailors. He just wanted to sleep.
12. How could he sleep though this motion and danger? As I proposed above, he was depressed. That made sleep come easily to him.
IV. Join Us in Prayer! (verse 6)
The captain over the sailors approached Yonah. He said to him, “What is to thee, sleeper? Arise! Call unto thy gods! Perhaps the gods will gleam at us, and we will not perish!”
1. Who is the great one of the company? He is the captain of the ship, since the company is the one to whom the rest are tied (as with a rope), and since he is also the great one of the rope. (The Hebrew word khevel can mean a cord or rope, and can also mean a band or company where band refers to a group held together by some purpose.)
2. How did the great one of the company find Yonah? He went looking for this passenger who disappeared during the storm! The captain was responsible to not lose anyone on the ship if at all possible. Also, he wanted Yonah to also call unto his gods!
3. What gods did the captain think that Yonah had? He thought Yonah had gods just like the sailors and he had: personal gods. (Be wary of the god/gods of anyone who has a personal god, because that god/those gods will be an idol/idols.)
4. What does “gleam to us” mean? This means to shine light to us—give recognize us and give us the reason for this. It is like what one does who knows someone else is in the dark, and turns on a flashlight (torch) for the person.
5. If the gods will gleam on them, according to the captain, what will happen? They will not perish.
V. Lots of Dice (verse 7)
Each man on board spoke to others about throwing dice to find out who is responsible for this bad situation. They did so; the dice indicated that Yonah was responsible.
1. What are lots in the Bible? They are dice—they are used to figure out the will of the gods/Gods (the false gods or the real and living Gods Yehovah).
2. Where lots good indicators of the will of the gods or of Yehovah?
Proverbs 16:33 He casts the lot into a bosom. And all his justice is from Yehovah!
This text refers to a person during the Tribulation. Yehovah has often guided the lot before this time. For example, the apostles (missionaries) of Yehovah used it to determine who would replace Judas Iscariot after he committed suicide:
Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Yehovah commanded Moshe to divide the Land of Israel by lot when the Israelis finally went into the land:
Numbers 26:55 And the land shall be divided by lot.
Those who used false gods also used the lot to determine the will of the gods, and Yehovah sometimes guided those lots so that Yehovah’s desire would be done by idolaters. (This will occur in this text we are considering.)
3. The sailors seemed certain that they could determine who was responsible for “this bad” being to them by casing lots. Were they right to be so certain? They were idolaters, and they were superstitious. Yet, they were right in this case, since Yehovah would make certain that the lot pointed out the right person! This will show the careful reader that Yehovah sometimes uses tools of paganism (tools of beliefs in false gods) to guide pagan idolaters to do Yehovah’s will!
4. How could they throw down lots when the winds were tossing the ship so hard, that it was about to be broken in pieces? They went to a place where the lots wouldn’t be lost or washed overboard, like down in the ship’s hold, and they threw them there.
5. By what process did they use the dice to determine that Yonah was the one? I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell what the process was. (If the Bible had shown the process, folks would read this text and would copy the process to find the supposed will of God for their own lives! That would be just like how many use the rest of the Bible for the same purpose, and this is also idolatry! The Bible’s purpose isn’t to teach idolatry, but rather Truth.)
VI. The Interrogation and Fear (verses 8-10)
The men said to Yonah, “Tell to us, na, via what—for whom this bad is to us? What is thine errand? And from where wilt thou come? What is thy land? And where from this—a people—art thou?” His response was, “I am Hebrew. And I fear Yehovah Gods of the heavens Who made the sea and the dry!” This caused the men to greatly fear.
1. What does na mean in Hebrew? It is a little word (classified in grammar as a particle—a word that only has one form) that indicates that the speaker is speaking without anger. These men were shouting very loud because of the winds and the terrible noise. They didn’t want Yonah to think that they were angry with him, so they used the word na.
2. Why does the sentence, “Tell to us, na, via what—for whom this bad is to us” seem so broken up? It is broken up because the men were speaking very fast, and they had to have all the information right away! Several of them were speaking at the same time! They were firing questions at Yonah!
3. What did they mean by, “Tell to us, na, via what…”? They were speaking of the bad (the bad situation), and by whose hand or by what reason this bad was coming against them and the ship.
4. What did they mean by, “Tell to us for whom this bad is to us”? They desired to know who was responsible for this terrible situation.
5. What did they mean by, “What is thine errand?” They meant something like this: “Where are you going, and for what purpose are you going there?”
6. What did they mean by, “And from where wilt thou come? What is thy land?” They figured that they could learn much by finding out the land from which this passenger (Yonah) had come. A land tends to have its own set of gods!
7. What did they mean by, “And where from this—a people—art thou?” This refers to the people, not the land. (I can tell because the word people is masculine singular, the word land is feminine singular, and the word this is masculine singular. It must refer to something that is masculine singular; people is masculine singular.) They were asking Yonah the location of the people from which he came. They figured they could learn why the gods are so angry with Yonah if they knew this information.
8. Which of their questions did Yonah answer when he said, “I am a Hebrew”? He was answering the questions about the people from which he came and the land from which he came.
9. What does being a Hebrew mean? It means that the person is from Avraham, Isaac and Jacob (though it originally meant that the person was from one of Avraham’s ancestors named Ever). Folks knew what a Hebrew was in the days of Yonah. It was like saying, “I am a Jew” or “I am an Israeli.”
10. Which of their questions was Yonah answering when he said, “And I fear Yehovah Gods of the heavens Who made the sea and the dry”? He was indirectly answering, “Tell to us, na, via what—for whom this bad is to us.”
11. Why did the men fear a big fear when they heard Yonah’s answer? Yonah told them more than just which God he feared. The text next states, “For the men knew that he fled from the faces of Yehovah, because he told to them.” That was the information that caused them to greatly fear! (A reader must sometimes read ahead to get answers to questions!)
VII. The Solution (verses 10-12)
Now the men wanted to know what Yonah had done to bring this wrath on them all. Yonah had told them that he fled from the faces of Yehovah. They therefore asked the question, “What will we do to thee, and the sea has calmed from upon us?” The sea kept on walking—with huge waves—and was tempestuous—very violent.
Yonah gave them the steps: “Lift ye me, and throw me unto the sea. And the sea has calmed from upon you. For I know that this big tempest is upon you on account of me!”
1. What did they mean by, “What is this thou hast done?” They wanted to know if Yonah understood what he was causing: that he was causing all the sailors to be killed because he ran from the faces of Yehovah! Yonah was getting them all killed because of this!
2. Why did Yonah tell the men that he fled from the faces of Yehovah? He had no reason to hide this information, and he had no reason to lie. He knew he was endangering them all, and Yonah feared Yehovah. Therefore, he told the truth to these innocent idolaters.
3. What were they asking Yonah when they asked, “What will we do to thee, and the sea has calmed from upon us?” They were asking Yonah to tell them what to do to Yonah in order to stop the fury of this Yehovah the Gods of the heavens Who made the sea and the dry! They were asking Yonah for the solution to the problem that Yonah had caused!
4. What does “For the sea is walking and tempestuous” mean? The sea is walking means that the waves are tall and very active, moving in a particular direction. The sea is tempestuous means that it is dangerously active from storms and winds.
5. Who said, “For the sea is walking and tempestuous”? I didn’t put this into the quotes because I couldn’t tell whether the Spirit of God, Who is the narrator, was saying this, or whether the sailors were saying this. I just know that it is true.
6. Why did Yonah say, “Lift ye me, and throw me unto the sea. And the sea has calmed from upon you”? Was he trying to get himself killed? Yonah did not mind dying (rather than doing the errand that Yehovah assigned to him), and he didn’t want the sailors to die. They were trying very hard to keep themselves and him alive. He therefore candidly (openly) told them the solution to the problem.
7. How did Yonah know that this would calm the sea? Yonah was a prophet! He knew very well that Yehovah was doing all this on account of him, and he also had the very words of Yehovah regarding this situation. He said, “For I know that this big tempest is upon you on account of me!”
8. Why would Yehovah sink a ship, kill all the crew, and cause great loss of the items being shipped just because one person isn’t doing what He wants? Is this fair? First, Yehovah almost never deals in fairness! If He had been fair, humans would have been destroyed long ago! Instead, He often deals in mercy, and He always deals with Grace—that is, with the greatest zeal to do the very best for those who do right, and to bring bad upon those who insist on doing wrong after giving them time to turn. Never view the actions of God from the angle of fairness. Yehovah is far better than that.
Yehovah hasn’t sunk the ship yet, and He hasn’t killed all the crew. The great loss of items being shipped can always occur from a storm at sea, and that price will be very small compared to the good results that will soon occur in this true story. Yehovah will sometimes change entire governments just for the sake and benefit of one person. He does good.
VIII. The Attempt and the Plea (verses 13-14)
The men dug with their oars, pulling as hard as they could to get to dry land. They could not. The Ship didn’t move toward land. The sea walked with huge waves, and the violent winds kept them out at sea.
The men then called to Yehovah. The started with, “Oh, Yehovah! We, na, will not perish via the being of this man!” They didn’t want to die because of what Yonah had done.
They then said, “And do not give innocent blood upon us!” They didn’t want to be held responsible for killing Yonah.
They reminded Yehovah, “For Thou, Yehovah, Thou hast done just as Thou hast desired!”
1. What did they dig? Rowing very hard is like digging into the waters!
2. What does “to return unto the dry” mean? The dry refers to the dry land. They were trying to get to shore!
3. Why weren’t they able (to return to shore)? Yehovah made certain that the winds blew the ship from the land and kept them in danger in order for them to be forced to do what they must do next.
4. Why does the text repeat, “For the sea is walking and tempestuous upon them”? Whenever the Bible repeats something, it tells the reader that this was very important. The sea is fighting against them by walking its waves in the opposite direction from land and in its attacks against the ship! The sea is obeying Yehovah.
5. Why did the sailors call to Yehovah? Didn’t they still have their own gods? Their own gods weren’t working. The Gods of Yonah, Yehovah, was the cause! (Gods is pluralbecause Yehovah is the God of the sea, the God of the land, the God of … In other words, He is all the true Gods in one!) Calling out to Yehovah made sense.
6. What did the sailors mean by, “Oh, Yehovah! We, na, will not perish via the being of this man”? This is the wording for the request in Hebrew. We might say, “Oh Yehovah, don’t let us perish because of the life of this man,” or, “Don’t kill us because this man did wrong,” but the sailors showed much more respect in their answer. “We will not perish” is a request. “…via the being of this man” isn’t accusing Yonah, but it is pointing out him and his physical being as the cause of the problem.
7. What did they mean by, “And do not give innocent blood upon us”? We wouldn’t use the word give in this way; we might say, “And don’t hold us responsible for killing an innocent man.” They knew they had to kill Yonah by throwing him overboard; yet, they knew that this was a very wrong act. If they didn’t do it, however, all would die. It was a terrible dilemma for these sailors. They were asking to not be held accountable for what they were about to do.
8. What where they saying when they said, “For Thou, Yehovah, Thou hast done just as Thou hast desired”? They were saying that Yehovah did exactly what He wanted to do, and throwing Yonah overboard was His will, not their will.
IX. Man Overboard! (verses 15-16)
The sailors lifted Yonah, and they threw him unto the sea! The sea immediately stopped raging! The waters became calm.
The men feared Yehovah with a very big fear. They sacrificed a sacrifice to Yehovah on the ship, and they vowed vows to Yehovah.
1. What does “And the sea stood from his rage” mean? That means that the sea stopped being angry, and became calm.
2. Was the sea truly enraged? The sea was obeying orders from Yehovah! Yehovah had told the winds and the sea to attack that ship! The sea was like an angry dog being told to attack. Once Yonah was thrown overboard, the sea’s work was finished.
3. Does the sea really think and act like a person? If the sea can obey, it can be like a person! Lands can make decisions and do things; that is why the location, Mount Zion, and Yehovah speak together (see Isaiah 49:14—“And Zion said, ‘Yehovah has forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me!’”). If lands can, the sea can also! Yehovah has made these so that they interact with the creatures in them, and they interact with man. The very soil outside is alive, and you can work it and beautify it. (The soil likes that.)
4. Why did the men fear Yehovah with a big fear? The immediate calming of the sea was more frightening than the storm! They now knew that Yehovah truly is the God of the sea in a way that they had never seen any of their own gods perform! Who is this God who can control the sea with such power?
5. How did they do a sacrifice to Yehovah when they were onboard the ship? The deck was quite wet, and the men knew how to safely cook an animal on the ship. They slaughtered a lamb, a goat, or some animal that was on the ship and being transported with them, and they did a sacrifice right there on the deck!
6. What is the purpose of doing a sacrifice? A sacrifice is always a picture of something else. It isn’t about the animal; it is showing something and giving something to a god or to God. The animal represents someone or a group that is far more important than the animal, and eating the animal is identifying with that more important person or group.
The text doesn’t tell me why they did a sacrifice to Yehovah. I can suspect that it was a sacrifice for their own sins. The vows (next) give more information.
7. What did they vow, and why did they vow? The text doesn’t say what they individually vowed, but each sailor made his own vows to Yehovah. They each connected themselves to Yehovah by their vows.
8. What is a vow? It is much more than a promise in this way: it asks for a god or God to watch and see that the vow will be done. If the person doesn’t do the vow, the person is asking the god or God to judge the person guilty for lying to the god or to God! Thus, a vow involves a god or the True God in the promise.
9. Does this mean that the sailors became fearers of Yehovah, including obtaining salvation from their sins and getting everlasting life? The sailors whose faith didn’t fail over time indeed did become saved, and do have everlasting life! When I mentioned above that throwing items overboard was a small price to pay for what happened next, I am referring to the salvation of some of these men (if not all of them). Yonah ran the other way, and the result was the salvation of at least some of these sailors!
Jonah Chapter 2
1And Yehovah measured a big fish to swallow Dove [Yonah]. And Dove [Yonah] was in the internals of the fish three days and three nights.
2And Dove [Yonah] rolled-himself unto Yehovah his Gods from the internals of the fish. 3And he said, “I called unto Yehovah from tribulation to me! And He answered/humbled me! I screamed from the belly of Sheol! Thou didst hearken-to my voice!
4 “Thou didst sling me submerged into the heart of the seas. And a river will surround me! All thy breakers and thy waves crossed-over upon me. 5And I, I said I’ve been forced-out from straight-in-front-of Thine eyes! But I will accrue to look unto the Temple of Thy Holy-One!
6 “Waters encircled me unto a being! The deep will surround me! A reed was wrapped to my head. 7I descended the land with her bars to the cuttings of the mountains for my sake to Hider. And Thou hast made-my-lives-ascend from destruction, Yehovah my Gods, 8when my being fainted upon me. I remembered Yehovah! And my rolling came unto Thee—unto the Temple of Thy Holy-One!
9 “Guards of breaths of vanity shall forsake their grace!
10 “And I, I will sacrifice to Thee via the voice of confession! I will make peace what I vowed!”
“Her Salvation is to Yehovah!”
11And Yehovah said to the fish, and he vomited Dove [Yonah] unto the dry.
I. Kosher Fish (verse 1)
Yehovah measured a big fish (so that Yonah would fit) to swallow Yonah. Yonah was inside this fish three days and three nights.
1. Why did Yehovah have to measure the big fish? The fish could not be a whale; whales don’t swallow large objects. Some whales are filter feeds, meaning that they feed on the smallest plants and animals in the ocean by swallowing ocean water, and their system filters the small plants and animals for digestion. In order for a fish to swallow a human, the fish must be of a variety of sea creatures that swallows large fish whole. One type of fish that can grow very large in the right environment is a goldfish! There are other fish that can become very large. Yehovah chose one of the fish that swallows food whole, and He made certain that it measured the right size to swallow Yonah.
2. What is significant about his being in the fish three days and three nights? That will be the same length of time that Yeshua will be in Sheol, in the heart of the earth after He is crucified:
Matthew 12:40 For as Yonah was in the fish’s belly three days and three nights, so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.
II. Prophetic Prayer (verses 2-3)
Yonah rolled himself (giving details as he prayed) unto Yehovah his Gods from inside the fish.
He said, “I called unto Yehovah from tribulation to me!” He was in the Tribulation.
“And He answered/humbled me!” Yehovah responded by both answering and humbling him.
“I screamed from the belly of Sheol!” He was in Sheol, and thus was dead.
“Thou didst hearken-to my voice!” Thus, whatever he asked was granted.
1. Was Yonah alive in the internals of the fish, or was he dead? This verse describes that he “rolled himself” (in prayer) from the internals of the fish. That was where he was located. I have previously figured that he drowned, was swallowed, and went to Sheol until he was resurrected, but I cannot prove this from the text. I also know that Yehovah easily has the power to keep Yonah alive inside the fish’s belly even though there is no air to breathe there (a fish’s belly is filled with water). Yonah was quite awake, since he rolled himself to Yehovah his Gods. One person told me that she (Angela) believed that Yonah was alive in the fish’s belly; I now agree with her.
2. What did Yonah mean by, “I called unto Yehovah from tribulation to me”? Was Yonah being put into tribulation (trouble)? Everything Yonah will say in this prayer has nothing to do with Yonah himself. He is a prophet, and he is prophesying about things to come! He is speaking for another. I propose that he is speaking for Mount Zion, a small hill in Jerusalem (in Israel) that will later become a very large mountain.
Mount Zion will experience the terrible seven years of Tribulation many centuries from now, and immediately before Yeshua arrives at Mount Zion to reign for ten centuries. Yonah is telling the prayer that Mount Zion will pray, rolling it out to Yehovah at that time.
3. What does “And He answered/humbled me” mean, and what will occur? The first part, “He answered me,” means that Yehovah will respond to the speaker (to Mount Zion), and will do what the speaker asks. The second part, “He humbled me,” is what will be necessary before Yehovah will do what the speaker says.
The reason I put “answered/humbled” is because Yehovah, Who designed the Hebrew language, made sure that the very same verb that means to answer also means to humble or to humiliate. Many texts in the Bible use this verb. Of all the texts in the Bible that use this verb, prophetic texts that use it very often make perfect sense whether the reader reads answer or humble. Yehovah will do both!
The word humble means to know one’s rank (in terms of others) and one’s responsibilities to and for others, and lives that way. The difference between humble and humiliate in English is whether the actions are voluntary or are forced. A person who is humiliated is supposedly shown his/her low rank and great responsibilities to another by force. The Hebrew language makes no distinction between the two, and the reader must know which is which by reading the text and figuring it out.
Yehovah will humiliate Mount Zion at the beginning of the Tribulation because she will be part of Jerusalem, and the city will be in sin. He will humble Mount Zion (Mount Zion will voluntarily realize her real rank and responsibilities before Yehovah and to others) later, and will do what she can to save Israelis.
4. What is so important about humility? Only a humble person can be given everlasting Salvation. Yehovah has blocked all others from Salvation. Those who will not look carefully at their own ranks before God and men, and their own responsibilities before God and men, will not receive everlasting Salvation!
5. Yonah said, “I screamed from the belly of Sheol.” Where is Sheol, and was Yonah there? Sheol is in the very heart of planet earth: in its very center. Many scientists think that the core of the planet is extremely hot liquid rock. They are wrong if the Bible is Truth. It is a chamber where those who died are housed. It used to have two chambers separated by a great gulf of space: one chamber for Saints and one chamber for non-saints. (Now, Saints go to the heavens.)
Sheol is a location, and it is also the name of the demonic angel (who has a feminine gender) who is responsible to take care of those in Sheol.
If Yonah was there, he was dead. I propose that Yonah is prophesying and speaking for another: for Mount Zion. Enemies will change the flow of water under her, and she will sink as a giant sinkhole, going down toward Sheol. She will call from the belly of Sheol (which will have been greatly enlarged at this time to be a significant part of the inner part of the earth). (Psalm 69 describes these events in detail.)
Thus, I propose that Yonah himself was not there.
6. Yonah said, “I screamed from the belly of Sheol! Thou didst hearken-to my voice!” What did Yehovah do? Yehovah will raise Mount Zion up to a very great mountain using water pressure. She will have a top alone that is 50 miles by 50 miles! Her sides will be much larger! Jerusalem will be on her north side.
III. The Sub-Marine (verses 4-5)
“Thou didst sling me submerged into the heart of the seas.” He was slung underwater, and was submerged into the heart of the seas (plural).
“And a river will surround me!” He will be surrounded by some river!
“All thy breakers and thy waves crossed-over upon me.” Not just a few breakers and wavers, but all Yehovah’s breakers and waves crossed over upon him.
“”And I, I said I’ve been forced-out from straight-in-front-of Thine eyes!” He figured that Yehovah shoved him out of His sight; Yehovah did not desire to see him.
“But I will accrue to look unto the Temple of Thy Holy-One!” He knows that he will look unto the Temple of Yehovah’s Holy One (the Holy One of Israel).
1. Was Yonah slung into the heart of the seas by Yehovah? No, he wasn’t. The sailors slung him, and they did that because Yonah told them to do it. If this describes what Mount Zion will experience, however, enemies will use the very waters that Yehovah has stored under Mount Zion to unhinge the sides of Mount Zion so that she will sink. Because Yehovah brings the Tribulation and gives men knowledge to know how to sink her, Mount Zion will see that this sinking is the hand of Yehovah. All the seas together have a heart that is underground: a huge supply of water much, much greater than the waters that we see above ground are there.
2. What does “Thou didst sling me submerged into the heart of the seas” describe? First, the word for seas is plural. There are many seas in this world. Those that are connected to the underground (subterranean) seas together have a heart: a middle part deep in the planet.
The speaker states that he was slung submerged into the heart (the very middle) of the seas, indicating that this took place deep underground in the huge center of earth’s seas that are connected.
3. What does “And a river will surround me” describe? This will be the reason why Mount Zion will sink. It will no longer be connected to land on its sides, so that it will fall into the subterranean heart of connected seas. Thus, a river of water will flow around Mount Zion’s location; that river will isolate Mount Zion from the surrounding land. Mount Zion will be like a cork that is too small falling into a bottle and surrounded by liquid, but the liquid will be moving.
4. What will occur for “All thy breakers and thy waves crossed-over upon me” to happen? While breakers and waves don’t seem to be part of underground seas, Mount Zion will be underground and in an underground sea, lower than all waves and breakers of the seas that are above ground.
5. What does “And I, I said I’ve been forced-out from straight-in-front-of Thine eyes” mean? Mount Zion will be describing what she observes: she will be forced out from the position of being right in front of Yehovah’s eyes, with Yehovah’s eyes being located in the Temple in Israel. This forcing out will be done by the forces of the False Prophet of the Assyrian (the False Prophet of the Antichrist). This Assyrian world ruler (the Antichrist) will have a false prophet as his right-hand man. This false prophet will be very violent against anyone who doesn’t support the Assyrian. This False Prophet will figure out a way to sink Mount Zion using water—by rerouting water under Mount Zion’s supports. Mount Zion will then sink into the water, and far deeper down Mount Zion will be in mud (in mire). This sinking will force her out from straight in front of the Temple in Jerusalem, and thus from straight in front of Yehovah’s eyes.
6. What does accrue mean? It means to grow by addition; to increase.
7. Explain “I will accrue to look unto the Temple of Thy Holy One”: This describes Mount Zion’s increasing by Yehovah’s using water pressure to raise her and to increase her! She will grow into a huge mountain! She will then be able to look unto the Temple of Yehovah’s Holy One (the Messiah) because that Temple will be on her north side!
IV. More Death; More Resurrection (verses 6-8)
“Waters encircled me unto a being!” Those waters are there to take away his life, and he cannot escape from them.
“A reed was wrapped to my head.” That reed is a water plant by the shore.
“I descended the land with her bars to the cuttings of the mountains for my sake to Hider.” He went down the land; she hemmed him in on both sides forcing him to go through the mountain passes that were cut out by erosion. This was for his sake as he went to Hider—to the God Who hides Himself, to the period of time that isn’t recorded in the Bible.
“And Thou hast made-my-lives-ascend from destruction, Yehovah my Gods, when my being fainted concerning me.” Yehovah his Gods caused him to escape alive from destruction just when his being, his life fainted on top of him.
“I remembered Yehovah!” He remembered this God, this Hope.
“And my rolling came unto Thee—unto the Temple of Thy Holy-One!” His detailed prayer came unto Yehovah—until the Temple of Yehovah’s Holy One of Israel.
1. What does “Waters encircled me unto a being” mean? The being of a person is the person’s physical body, the person’s soul (who the person really is), and the person’s spirit (that part of the person that gives life to the physical body). If waters encircled Mount Zion unto a being, that means that her physical body (the soil, rocks and organic matter that makes the mountain), her soul (that contains her personality and character) and her spirit (which is what gives her life, and thus the ability to speak, think and respond to her environment) are all surrounded by waters. She is in mortal danger: she will soon end up being a drowned, dead mountain.
2. What deep will surround her? The great underground seas will surround her.
3. What reed was wrapped to her head? I propose that the flow of waters that were used to sink her sank her so far, that waters from seas above flowed into where she was, taking reed plants with their flow. She must sink very low for the top of her to have a reed wrapped to her head.
4. What does “I descended the land with her bars” mean? The land has bars—barriers made of great rocks that keep the land above from joining with the land beneath, so that there are huge rooms for water. Some of those huge caves include stalactites and stalactites that have joined, looking like oddly shaped prison bars. Mount Zion sank, seeing these caves on the way down.
5. What are the cuttings of the mountains? They are places where the mountains have cut huge openings as they are forced upward. (Many mountains grow upward over time. If they didn’t, they would all be eroded—that is, worn, flat by now.)
6. Why was this descending for the speaker’s sake? All this occurred on account of the speaker, Mount Zion. The enemies that did this targeted Mount Zion in order to stop Messiah Yeshua from coming. As long as Mount Zion is gone, the promises of Yeshua’s coming cannot be fulfilled, since He will come to Mount Zion, not to sinkhole Zion!
Isaiah 59:20 The Redeemer shall come to Zion!
7. What does to Hider mean? The timeline of the Bible is like this:
All things that occur to Hider occur until the planet ends.
8. What does the speaker mean by, “I descended the land with her bars to the cuttings of the mountains for my sake to Hider”? The speaker is saying that she went down the land with the land’s stone pillars like prison bars on all sides, coming down until she reached the places where the mountains that are being pushed up are cutting into the rock. All this was done to Mount Zion on account of Mount Zion’s importance in the plan of God and Messiah’s return. The enemies did this so that Mount Zion would be gone until this earth ends. That way, Messiah could never come.
9. What occurred next, described by, “And Thou hast made-my-lives-ascend from destruction, Yehovah my Gods”? Yehovah caused Mount Zion to ascend (to go up) and to bring Mount Zion back to life and from this successful destruction!
10. Why is lives plural? All living creatures have more than one life. You did; you had a life in your mother’s womb; you had another life once you were born; you had yet another life as a toddler, and another as a walking, young child. The same things are true regarding Mount Zion. She will go through different stages of life. All those stages of life are part of her lives; Yehovah made her lives ascend from destruction.
11. What does Yehovah mean? It means, He will be; He is; He was.
12. Why is Gods plural? Yehovah is all the Gods! He is all the Gods that are real Gods. He is the God of the ocean; He is the God of the land; He is the God of nature; He is the God of the sky; He is the God of Truth; He is the God of …
13. The speaker continued, “And Thou hast made-my-lives-ascend from destruction, Yehovah my Gods, when my being fainted upon me.” What occurs if the being faints upon the speaker? If the being is made of the body, soul and spirit, the body faints, and it falls. The soul faints, and the person or mountain passes out. The spirit faints; the person or mountain loses hope.
14. The speaker then said, “I remembered Yehovah!” What is so significant about this? Remembering Yehovah brings hope back to the speaker! This remembering includes what Yehovah has done, how He keeps His promises and vows, that He is good; that He is never taken by surprise!
15. What is this rolling that come unto Yehovah? It is giving details of what is occurring in order to ask for assistance. It is a form of prayer known as supplication (which is not exactly begging, but is asking urgently for help).
16. What is this Temple? It is a place in which Yehovah lives. Every part of its construction, contents, and what occurs in it tells a true story of what will happen during the Tribulation. It is like a prophetic building, but the way it is made and the way it runs are what prophesy of things to come!
17. Who is this Holy One? He is fully the Holy One of Israel: the owned One of Israel. He is Israel’s God; He is Messiah Yeshua.
18. What occurred if the speaker’s rolling came unto Yehovah and until the Temple of Yehovah’s Holy One? When it comes unto Yehovah, He will respond to the urgent request, and He will help the speaker (Mount Zion)! When it comes unto the Temple, those who make up the Temple will respond, and will help the speaker. Those who make up the Temple include all of the following:
- The Jewish Saints living during the Tribulation
- The non-Jewish Saints living during the Tribulation
- Jewish non-saints living during the Tribulation who help save the lives of Jews (and non-Jews)
- non-Jewish non-saints living during the Tribulation who help save the lives of Jews (and non-Jews)
Thus, Yehovah and the above groups will help the Israelis (and non-Israelis) who desire to find refuge on Mount Zion.
V. Damned Lifeguards (verse 9)
“Guards of breaths of vanity shall forsake their grace!” Those who try to save their own lives will reject the Grace of God.
1. What are breaths of vanity? Breaths refer to inhaling and exhaling air to stay alive. Breaths of vanity refer to the same thing, except those breaths will be for nothing! This goes along with the following texts:
Matthew 10:39 He that has found his life shall lose it. And he who has lost his life on account of me (Salvation) shall find it.
Matthew 16:25 For whoever shall desire to save his life shall lose it. And whoever shall lose his life on account of me (Salvation) shall find it.
Luke 17:33 Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it. And whoever shall lose it shall preserve it.
John 12:25 He who loves his life shall lose it. And he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to everlasting life.
During the Tribulation, trying to keep oneself alive will certainly lead to the person’s own death! Doing what one can to help keep others alive will be the way to keep oneself alive! Those who guard their own lives will lose their own lives. Worse than that, they will forsake their grace (see the next question).
2. What does grace and “shall forsake their grace” mean? The word grace as used in the Bible means having a fervent (very strong), ardent (burning) zeal (a very great personal interest in something and how it turns out) by which a person is motivated to take action. An example of this is what Yeshua did. He had a very strong and burning personal interest in providing for humans being rescued from sin and slavery to sin, and being rescued to righteousness. He therefore took action, and gave Himself as a sin sacrifice!
If folks forsake their grace, they are forsaking Yeshua’s sacrifice for them; they are instead choosing to be everlastingly sent to the permanent Lake of Fire and Burning Sulfur where they will be tormented without any ending or rest from it. All who guard their own lives to keep themselves alive during the Tribulation will forsake their grace, and will go to the Lake of Fire and Sulfur.
3. What must a person do that is the opposite of guarding his/her own breaths of vanity? The same four texts above give the answer:
Matthew 10:39 He who has lost his life on account of me (Salvation) shall find it.
Matthew 16:25 Whoever shall lose his life on account of me (Salvation) shall find it.
Luke 17:33 Whoever shall lose it shall preserve it.
John 12:25 He who hates his life in this world shall keep it to everlasting life.
In other words, being a hero/heroine by saving the lives of others will be the opposite of guiding breaths of vanity.
VI. Sacrifice, Confession and Peace (verse 10)
“And I, I will sacrifice to Thee via the voice of confession!” He will once again do sacrifice to Yehovah, but this time via confessing!
“I will make peace what I vowed!” He will keep his vows by doing what he said in the vow.
“Her Salvation is to Yehovah!” Yehovah is the one who owns and is responsible for his being’s Salvation!
1. Why is ‘I’ mentioned twice? The speaker is very certain that she will be the one who will do the sacrifice of confession!
2. What is confession? It is admitting that something is true (if it is true) or false (if it is false), and it is giving credit where credit is due.
3. What is the voice of confession? It is what occurs when one confesses (admits) something out loud—especially something that the person previously would not confess (admit).
4. Why is this voice of confession some kind of sacrifice? A sacrifice often involves a death (whether voluntary or not) for the sake of another. Mount Zion will offer her own life to Yehovah/Yeshua by confessing Yeshua (Salvation) and by saving the lives of those who took refuge in her caves during the Tribulation and during the time when the enemies will sink her into the heart of the seas. She will also do the voice of confession when she has been brought up from the dead!
5. What does “I will make peace what I vowed” mean? This means that she will do exactly what she vowed. She will make peace by keeping her vow(s).
6. Who is her in, “Her Salvation is to Yehovah”? This is Mount Zion’s Salvation!
7. What does “Her Salvation is to Yehovah” mean? It means that Mount Zion’s Salvation belongs to Yehovah. No one else will be able to provide Salvation for her.
8. Who said, “Her Salvation is to Yehovah”? Yonah himself said this!
VII. Fish Puke (verse 11)
Yehovah said something to the fish. The fish responded by vomiting Yonah toward the dry land.
1. What did Yehovah say to the fish? I don’t know! Whatever it was, the fish was finally able to get rid of this meal that was never digested!
2. Where did the fish vomit Yonah? He vomited him toward the dry land on some shore—very likely in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea (where these things took place).
3. What did Yonah smell like? Yonah smelled very bad! Fish puke is extremely strong and very bad! It makes the very best perfumes! (Man learned centuries ago how to take the worst-smelling things and turn them into the best-smelling things!)
4. What did Yonah do once he was vomited on the shore? I can only guess that he went to wash himself and his clothing.
Jonah Chapter 3
1And the speech of Yehovah was unto Dove [Yonah] a second time to say, 2 “Arise! Walk unto Neenvey the big city! And call unto her the calling that I spoke unto thee!”
3And Dove [Yonah] arose. And he walked unto Neenvey according to the speech of Yehovah.
And Neenvey was a big city to Elohim, three days’ walk.
4And Dove [Yonah] began to come into the city a one-day walk. And he called. And he said, “Forty days more, and Neenvey is flipped-over!” 5And the men of Neenvey believed in Elohim!
And they called a shutting! And they put-on sacks from their big and unto their little.
6And the speech struck unto the king of Neenvey. And he arose from his chair. And he crossed-over his splendour from upon him. And he covered sack. And he sat upon the ash. 7And he screamed! And he said in Neenvey from the taste of the king and his big-ones to say, “The man and the beast, the herd and the flock shall not taste anything! They shall not pasture, and they shall not drink water! 8And the man and the beast covered themselves sacks! And they called unto Elohim via a grip! And they turned, a man, from his bad way and from the violence that is in their palms! 9Who will know? The Elohim will turn and console, and He will turn from the heat of His nose. And we will not perish!”
10And the Elohim saw their works—that they turned from their bad way. And the Elohim was consoled concerning the bad that He spoke to do to them. And He did not.
I. Walking Orders Again(verse 1-2)
Yehovah’s speech came to Yonah a second time. He told him to arise and to walk unto the big city of Nineveh, and to shout unto her what Yehovah told him previously to call.
1. Why didn’t Yehovah tell Yonah off for disobeying and wasting time? Yehovah knew exactly why Yonah had done what he had done when he fled. The time for action was now; Yehovah discussed Yonah’s views later.
2. What was the original calling that Yehovah had commanded Yonah? It was that their bad ascended to Yehovah’s faces.
II. Travel Nineveh (verse 3)
Yonah arose from the shore. He walked unto Nineveh just as Yehovah spoke to him.
1. Why did Yonah arise and walk this time? I don’t think that he found being in a fish’s stomach for three days, being in the dark and completely surrounded by water without any air, but still alive and awake, any fun. This time, he decided that he would walk as he was told. What he did once he got there had yet to be decided.
2. How far was Nineveh? It was at least 750 miles!
3. How long was the walk? I previously proposed that it would have taken two months if he stayed two nights and one day at each place he stopped. It was pointed out to me that he would have rested on Shabbat (on the Sabbath); that would have increased the walk time by another two weeks!
III. The Big City (verse 3)
Elohim Himself saw Nineveh as a big city. It took three days to walk through it!
1. How many miles is a three-day walk? If a person can walk twenty miles a day, stopping for water and to eat, the city was 60 miles across! This is a very large city!
2. What kind of a city can be this big? What is it called? Those kinds of cities are now called city-states. They are cities, but they act as if they are a state—like a country of their own. They have their own armies and their own kings.
3. What is important about this being a big city to Elohim? It is a city that He is about to destroy because of the bad occurring in it; and yet, it is a city that He desires to save from destruction. It is therefore a ‘big deal.’
IV. Doomsday Announcement (verses 4-5)
Yonah just began to come into the city; he walked into it a distance that one can walk in a full day. He shouted the message of Yehovah: “Forty days more, and Neenvey is flipped-over!” The inhabitants of Nineveh believed in Elohim!
1. How many miles is a one-day walk? It is about twenty miles.
2. What did Yonah call? He called, “Forty days more, and Neenvey is flipped-over!”
3. What had Yehovah told him to call? He had told him to call, “Your bad ascended to Yehovah’s faces!”
4. Did Yonah disobey Yehovah’s command again? The Bible gives no indication that Yonah did wrong. What Yonah said had to either be prophecy or a lie. How would Yonah know that the city had only forty days before being destroyed? Yehovah must have told him this. Therefore, Yonah prophesied Truth. The text doesn’t tell whether or not Yonah said anything else. He could have said more. It does tell that he included, “Forty days more, and Nineveh is flipped over!” I previously assumed that this is all he called, but that isn’t the right way to read the Bible. Unless the Bible states that this is all he called, assuming that it is all he called is wrong.
5. Did Yonah give them any hope? Did he tell them that they could repent? I propose that he did not. I propose that Yonah could not give them hope; he would have been a traitor to Israel, had he done that. You see, Yonah was a prophet. He knew that Israel was also sinning against Yehovah. He knew that Israel would not repent. He knew that Nineveh would attack Israel, and would win. Therefore, it was against Yonah’s ethics to aid an enemy by telling that enemy how to be saved from Yehovah’s wrath. Yonah very much desired Yehovah to judge and destroy Nineveh for Israel’s sake. The Ninevites were cruel fighters. Yonah loved the Israelis. They were his family. Knowing that he had helped these cruel, vicious fighters against Israel was more than Yonah could bear. This is why he sought death instead of going straight to Nineveh. Now that he had gone, he could not give them hope. He could only tell them of their destruction, and he could only hope that Yehovah would destroy them. Telling them that they could repent would be giving them hope, and would be aiding an enemy.
6. Who are the folks today who are the offspring of the Ninevites? They are the Iraqis!
7. The text states, “And the men of Niveveh believed in Elohim.” What caused them to believe in Elohim? Was Elohim their God? Elohim was not their God. They had numerous other gods in whom they believed.
The text gives no reason why they believed in Elohim after Yonah said what he said. They knew that Yonah was from Israel. They should have only had contempt for him, but strangely, the countries around Israel tended to honour the Israeli prophets. That didn’t mean that they did what the prophets said, but they tended to treat them well. In this case, the Ninevites believed the message that this Jewish prophet brought, and they believed in the Gods of Israel.
8. Why is this event so important in the Bible? The Iraqis are a very wild people. They tend toward violence, and they are mean to folks they capture. They enjoy torturing folks whom they consider enemies. The same was true in the days of Yonah. They were very hard to rule; they had to be ruled with force and fear. If all the folks in Nineveh can turn to Elohim at one time, so can Israel! Israel will turn, but many centuries from our time! Until then, Israel will nearly always be doing what Yehovah sees as wrong even when the Israelis think they are doing right. At our present time, the Israelis have so many different opinions and live in so many different ways, that they are totally not unified. Very few believe in the God of the Bible. Most don’t believe in any god. (Yet, anyone who takes a stand against Israel is taking a stand against Yehovah!)
This event is so important because if Iraqis can turn to Elohim, the Israelis can also turn.
9. Was does believe mean in the Bible? Belief is the certainty of things expected to occur or not occur (based on the promise of another who is very trustworthy), being totally convinced of things that haven’t yet been seen or realized. This certainty is because the one who believes knows that the one who promised will keep his/her word.
Very young children believe their parents and caretakers. Their parents and caretakers carry them in their arms, and young children are not afraid of falling. Since belief and faith are exactly the same thing, a parent who takes care of a child is called a ‘Faither’ in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for faith is emunah. The masculine form of this word is amen (where we get the word amen). A man who takes care of a child is called an omen, and a woman is called an omenet. They both mean ‘faither’—one who promotes faith in another person!
V. Sackcloth and Closing Time (verse 5)
The people of Nineveh called for a closing of the mouth! This included no food intake! They put on sackcloth from the highest ranking persons to the lowest, from the biggest person to the littlest.
1. What is a shutting? It is a closing of the mouth. This is normally viewed as a fast—a refusal to eat. It is more than this; it can be the refusal to speak complaints, and the closing of business as usual. Everything shut down in Nineveh; it wasn’t just a time of fasting from food.
2. What are these sacks? They are gunny sack materials, like what would be used to carry potatoes or larger amounts of rice. The materials were very coarse against the skin. They put them on as if they were clothing.
3. Why did they put on this sackcloth? That was a demonstration of humility and mourning before the gods/Gods and others. Anyone putting this on was portraying the lowest rank besides being naked and covered with mud! (Going naked would not normally have been right to do.)
4. Did they put sacks on their little babies? Yes! That way, the little babies would weep! They hoped that Elohim would hear the babies!
VI. The Royal Response (verses 6-9)
The king finally heard the message, and it struck him hard. He got up from his chair (throne) and changed his gorgeous garments, putting on sackcloth. He sat down in ash. And he screamed!
He gave commands according to the normal way that commands are given: “The man and the beast, the herd and the flock shall not taste anything!” He gave more details: “They shall not pasture, and they shall not drink water!” Thus, the animals had to be restricted from all food and all water.
“And the man and the beast covered themselves sacks!” Every man and every animal had to be covered with sackcloth in the entire land!
“And they called unto Elohim via a grip!” They must call unto Elohim without ceasing, gripping (holding on) to continue with this call!
“And they returned, a man, from his bad way and from the violence that is in their palms!” Every person must turn from the bad and from the violence that is in the very palms of their hands—over which they have control!
“Who will know? The Elohim will return and console, and He will return from the heat of His nose. And we will not perish!” There isn’t any certainty, but perhaps the Gods will turn and bring consolation instead of devastation! Perhaps He will turn from the great heat of His nose (anger). Perhaps the inhabitants of Nineveh will not perish!
1. What does “the speech struck unto the king” mean? This means that what Yonah said greatly affected the king! It hit him hard! His conscience was greatly affected.
2. Why did he arise from his chair? He couldn’t just sit there; he had to do something. (His chair is his throne.) He took action.
3. What does “And he crossed-over his splendour from upon him. And he covered sack” mean? This means that he took off his beautiful robes that he wore, and put on sackcloth just like the rest of the citizens did. His beautiful robes crossed over from being worn by him to being placed somewhere else. He wrapped himself in gunny sack material.
4. What does “he sat upon the ash” mean? Where did he get the ash? He probably got the ash from a fireplace or from a kitchen stove where wood is burned. He placed ashes under himself and sat upon them.
5. What would sitting on ash do, and what did this picture? Sitting on ashes will make a person very dirty. It will get on the hands, and eventually can get on one’s face. It pictures the opposite of beauty, bringing a person much closer to the soil. It pictures the opposite of being clean, bringing a person to being very dirty and soiled in appearance. It is a reminder that humans are made of soil. Since ashes are also the weakest of all materials that humans can handle, it is a reminder of what humans themselves will become once they return to the ground. The king did this so that Elohim would see that he humbled himself.
6. Why did the king scream? The text doesn’t say. He realized that he and all his citizens were about to die. He was terribly frightened.
7. What does “he said in Nineveh from the taste of the king and his big-ones to say” mean? The taste of the king was his preferred way of communicating his orders and his will. It is like in the expression, “She has good taste.” The taste of his big ones (his generals) was the same as the king’s taste. They communicated their orders in the way they normally did this.
8. Why did they command man and beast to not taste anything? The king and his generals wanted every person in the city to call out to Elohim. They wanted the children and babies to cry so that Elohim would hear them. They wanted the animals to make noise from hunger so that Elohim would also hear them. This command to not taste was the same as the command to not eat, but it went further! Not even the flavour of food was to be tried!
9. Why did he command them all to not drink water? This was the for same reason; it put both man and animals in the position to call out to Elohim and to make noise from the terrible discomfort of no water. They lived in a hot land. Going without water was torture!
10. The text states, “And the man and the beast covered themselves sacks.” How did the animals manage to cover themselves? Why did they do this? The animals didn’t. The humans covered themselves, their children, and their babies with this sacking material. They then covered the animals with it. They did this in order to show humility, and in order to cause animals and humans to weep and to call to Elohim.
11. What does “via a grip” mean? This means that they held on to call, to weep and to shout to Elohim without letting go and giving up.
12. From what bad way did they turn? Many of the folks in Nineveh had been doing things that would harm others and profit themselves. They were destroying other persons, were being cruel to others, and were sinning, causing bad things to occur by sin. They quit doing these things.
13. What does “violence that is in their palms” mean? The palms of the hands are what folks use to grip things. This is a ‘childism’ in the Bible—something that makes sense when viewed from the angle of a child. Think if a child who is about two years old. The child finds a ball. The child then throws the ball in the house; it hits and breaks a glass item that is on a shelf. This is a child’s form of violence against the glass item; it was in the palm of the child’s hand, and thus was in the power of the child’s hand. Adults can do the same thing. They have the power to do violence against others who cannot defend themselves against the violence. That violence is in their power—it is in the palms of their hands!
14. What does “Who will know? The Elohim will turn…” mean? What we might say is this: “Who knows if God will do something different!” They hoped that Elohim would not destroy them with the city. They all now feared being targeted for death.
15. Why did they take this threat so seriously? The Ninevites knew that they were doing wrong. They also knew that Yehovah had destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim in a previous century. Those citizens had not believed the warnings. These folks did believe it, and they were afraid!
16. The text states, “Who will know? The Elohim will turn and console.” What does this last part mean, and what is consolation? Consolation is diminishing the pain and hurt after a great loss. We might say, “Who knows if God will do something else, and will lessen the suffering that we are suffering over our coming deaths and slaughter.” Those in Nineveh made certain that everyone was suffering from the sackcloth, the hunger and the thirst. If Elohim consoles, He will remove the threat that is causing the great pain of fear—the panic.
17. What is “the heat of His nose”? The word heat indicates anger. When a person becomes very angry, that person also becomes hot. It is like in this expression: “He was really hot!” meaning that he was very angry.
The nose is where the heat comes out—like in a fire-breathing dragon! It is like what an angry bull shows on a cold day, with steam coming out of his nose.
When folks become angry, their noses are what show the heat. Nostrils flare—that is, they widen out.
18. What would be required in order for the citizens of Nineveh to not perish? The following must occur:
- Elohim must turn from His plans to destroy the city
- Elohim must console the city’s inhabitants (including the animals)
- Elohim must turn from the heat of His nose
Then the citizens of Nineveh and their animals won’t be in danger.
VII. Seeing and Not Doing (verse 10)
Elohim saw their works! He saw that they turned from doing the bad things they had been doing. And Elohim was consoled about the bad that He had spoken that He would do to them. He didn’t do it.
1. What did Elohim see that was important to Him? He saw their works. The rest of what they did wasn’t anywhere as important as their works. The religious actions they did were not important. They works were that they turned from their bad (destructive) way.
2. What does “the Elohim was consoled concerning the bad that He spoke to do to them” mean? The great heat of Elohim’s anger was assuaged (greatly diminished, lessened, brought to a much smaller amount, and soothed), and the grief that Elohim had over His plans to destroy them was turned away from Him. He was both full of grief over what He had to do to them and He was angry at them for bringing that wrath from Him. Now, He was consoled; He did not have to slaughter them, and His anger was much lower.
3. The last statement is, “And He did not.” He did not what? He did not destroy them.
Jonah Chapter 4
1And he-was-bad unto Dove [Yonah]: a big bad! And heat was to him! 2And he rolled himself unto Yehovah. And he said, “Ah, Yehovah! Isn’t this my speech unto my being upon my soil? Therefore I anticipated to flee to Tarshish! For I knew that Thou art a Mighty-[One] of favour and wombing, long of noses and multiple of Grace and consolation concerning the bad! 3And now, Yehovah, take, na, my being from me! For my death is better than my life!”
4And Yehovah said, “Is the heat good for thee?”
5And Dove [Yonah] exited from the city. And he sat from the east to the city. And he made a Succah there for himself. And he sat under her in the shadow until he will see what will be in the city.
6And Yehovah Elohim measured a Kikayon-plant. And he ascended from above to Dove [Yonah] to be a shadow upon his head, to rescue him from his bad. And Dove [Yonah] rejoiced a big rejoicing concerning the Kikayon-plant.
7And the Elohim measured a worm at the ascending of the dawn for the next day. And she smote the Kikayon. And he withered. 8And he was as the sunrising of the sun. And Elohim measured a cutting, east wind. And the sun attacked upon the head of Dove [Yonah]. And he made-himself-wilt. And he asked his being to die. And he said, “My death is better than my life!”
9And Elohim said unto Dove [Yonah], “Is the heat good for thee concerning the Kikayon-plant?” And he said, “The heat is good for me unto death!” 10And Yehovah said, “Thou, thou didst have pity upon the Kikayon in which thou didst not labour and did not make big, that was the son of a night. And he perished the son of a night. 11And I, I will not pity over the big city Neenveh in whom there are many more than 120,000 of Adam who did not know between his right to his left, and multiplied cattle?”
I. Frustrated to Death (verses 1-3)
Yehovah’s decision to turn from the destruction of Nineveh was a very bad decision to Yonah. He prayed a detailed prayer to express this. He said, “Ah, Yehovah! Isn’t this my speech unto my being upon my soil?” This is what Yonah told Yehovah while he was still in the Land of Israel.
“Therefore I anticipated to flee to Tarshish!” This is why he fled to Tarshish; he knew in advance that this would occur!
“For I knew that Thou art a Mighty-[One] of favour and wombing…” Yonah knew that this is the type of a Mighty One Yehovah is: He is quick to show favour and to womb—that is, to take one who needs help and consolation, and bring that one to His womb, as in His lap, to console him/her.
“…long of noses…” He doesn’t anger very quickly; He waits a long time to respond in great anger.
“…and multiple of Grace and consolation concerning the bad!” He many times over will demonstrate a very strong zeal on behalf of a person or group to do that person or group much good, and to be consoled Himself concerning the bad He would have done if the person or group hadn’t turned.
“And now, Yehovah, take, na, my being from me! For my death is better than my life!” He wants Yehovah to cause him to die. His death is better than his continuing to live under these circumstances.
1. What was such a big bad to Yonah? Yehovah’s decision to not destroy Nineveh was a big bad: a very destructive and harmful decision on Yehovah’s part.
2. What did Yonah view it this way? Yonah knew that Nineveh will later attack Israel, and will slaughter thousands. Had Yehovah only destroyed Nineveh, Israel would have been safer.
3. What does “And he rolled himself unto Yehovah” mean? This means that he gave the details of his situation and his view in prayer.
4. What does “Ah, Yehovah! Isn’t this my speech unto my being upon my soil” mean? This is more like, “Oh, Yehovah, this is exactly what I said would happen while I was still at home!” This is exactly why Yonah didn’t want to come.
5. What did he mean by, “Therefore I anticipated to flee to Tarshish”? To anticipate is to see, look forward to, or figure something before it occurs. Because Yonah knew the outcome—that Yehovah wouldn’t destroy Nineveh, he fled to Tarshish. He didn’t want to be part of Yehovah’s saving Nineveh.
6. What does “I knew that Thou art a Mighty One of favour” mean? This means that Yehovah is very strong, and He uses His strength to favour folks and groups (who will do good and who will turn from doing bad to doing good).
7. What does “I knew that Thou art a Mighty One of wombing” mean? This means that Yehovah is very strong to take persons or groups who do right and seek consolation from Him, and to console them, as if they were a child who needs to be held very closely and very tightly against the womb—the area where a baby grows. A man and a woman both have an area of the body that the Bible considers the womb area even though only a woman has a womb that can grow a baby.
8. What does “long on noses” mean? Since the nose is what shows anger, being long on noses means that it takes Yehovah a long time before He becomes so angry that He will destroy. He doesn’t become quickly angry in most cases. He gives evil folks and evil groups much time to turn before He finally attacks and destroys them.
9. What does “multiple of Grace” mean? This means that He shows His zeal to benefit persons or groups in many ways and at many times if those persons or groups determine to do right instead of doing wrong.
10. What does “multiple of consolation” mean? This means that Yehovah will do and give what in necessary in many ways and at many times so that persons or groups can stop grieving and to return to normal life with joy (if they will turn to do right).
11. Explain “concerning the bad” in, “For I knew that Thou art a Mighty-[One] of favour and wombing, long of noses and multiple of Grace and consolation concerning the bad”: Yehovah’s strong desires and actions are not to carry out the bad He has determined if folks and groups will only turn to right. He will prove so strong to favour, to womb, to not quickly anger and destroy, to show strong zeal on behalf of these repentant folks, and to console them even after threatening them with terrible destruction (if they will only turn from the destruction that they were doing by sinning against Yehovah).
12. Why does Yonah desire Yehovah to take his being from him now? Yonah now will be viewed as the prophet who saved Nineveh, and who therefore destroyed Israel, one of Nineveh’s soon targets in a war! He wants to die.
13. Is Yonah right when he says, “my death is better than my life”? He feels that way, of course, but Yehovah doesn’t feel that way. Yonah isn’t right; he has important future assignments that will benefit Israel.
14. Do you love your own people as much as Yonah loved his? (Each person will have to answer this question.)
II. The Heated Question (verse 4)
Yehovah asked Yonah one question: “Is the heat good for thee?” Does Yonah benefit himself by being furious?
1. What does heat mean? It means anger. Yonah is very angry with Yehovah.
2. Answer the question: Is anger good (beneficial) for Yonah? It won’t benefit him, because Yehovah won’t turn from the good He is doing toward Nineveh.
III. Camouflage (verse 5)
Yonah went out of the city. He found a place east of the city where he could watch. He constructed a Succah (camouflage) for himself so that he would be hidden under its shadow in order to watch and see what will happen in the city.
1. Why did Yonah exit the city? He went out just in case Yehovah would destroy it. If He did that, Yonah didn’t want to be in the city. His desire to die was only because Yehovah wasn’t destroying the city. Had Yehovah destroyed it, Yonah would have celebrated!
2. Why did he choose to sit to watch the city on its eastern side? I propose that the view of the city was much better there—that there was a place that was high up where he could see the entire city.
3. What is a Succah? The root of the word means camouflage. This is used in order to blend in with the surrounding environment in order to not be easily seen. This way, others who might pass by won’t notice that a person is there. The succah can be part of the person’s dress, or it can be external to the person so that the person can be under it (her).
4. Why did Yonah make a Succah? I can only guess. I am thinking that he did not desire to be approached by folks from Nineveh during this time, since they might want to come to ask the will of Yehovah from Yonah. He wanted to watch the city without being bothered by anyone who might come to him for any reason, including offering him hospitality, after the three days.
5. What produced the shadow under which he sat, and why did he want to sit under a shadow? His camouflage produced part or all of the shadow. (There may have been a tree or a large bush that produced more.) The time of year was very hot, and the sunlight was bright and strong.
6. What does “until he will see what will be in the city” mean? What was he waiting to see? He was waiting to see if the city will be destroyed, or if it will continue as normal.
IV. Kikayon (verse 6)
Now, Yehovah Elohim measured (fitted for size) a plant called in Hebrew Kikayon. The plant must have had very large leaves, since it would provide perfect shade. This plant grew extremely rapidly above Yonah giving Yonah shadow overhead, and to rescue Yonah from his bad (his harm) from the sun. Yonah greatly rejoiced over this Kikayon plant.
1. What is a Kikayon plant? I was not able to find what this was! It is a vine with wide leaves. A squash plant has such leaves. It grows rapidly.
2. Why did Yehovah measure this plant? He determined that it would be a certain size so that it will do its function very well.
3. Who ascended above Yonah? The Kikayon plant did.
4. What service did the Kikayon plant do? It made a shadow upon Yonah’s head, and it rescued him from his bad.
5. What does “to rescue him from his bad” mean? His bad has to do with his feelings and his attitude, as well as the harm that the intense sunlight could do to him while he waited to see if Yehovah will do anything to the city.
If he is rescued from his bad, that means that those things that can harm him won’t be able to harm him. The Kikayon plant brought him joy and relief from the sun.
6. Why was Yonah so happy about the Kikayon plant? It served him well, and kept him from being harmed from the sun; it also provided some cooling. (Plants do that when they have water; they can act as air conditioners out in a field! I found that being under a fig tree was like being under an air conditioner!)
V. Worm and Wind (verses 7-8)
The Elohim next measured a worm as the dawn ascended for the next day. The worm destroyed the Kikayon, and the plant withered.
As the sun rose the next day, Elohim next measured a cutting east wind. The sun beat down on Yonah’s head, and Yonah made himself wilt!
He again asked his being to die. He said, “My death is better than my life!”
1. How fast had the Kikayon plant grown?? It had grown in one day! That is impossible unless Yehovah causes it to occur.
2. Why did Elohim need to measure a worm? That worm had to be big enough to do the work that He gave it to do! That took a big worm to work that fast!
3. What did the worm do? It smote (killed) the Kikayon plant!
4. What happened to that large plant? It withered, since the worm destroyed the water flow by eating through the plant. (Try this: Find a vine that no one planted and that is in a wild area. Cut it at the ground level. See how long it takes the plant to wither.)
5. Who was at the sunrising of the sun? What is being described took place right at sunrise.
6. Why did Elohim measure a cutting, east wind, and what is that? A cutting, east wind is a wind from the east that is very strong and (in this case) very warm. It makes it hard to breathe.
Elohim did this in order to speed up the withering of the plant.
7. What did the sun do on this day? The sun really beat down (“attacked”) upon Yonah’s head.
8. What did Yonah do in response? He made himself wilt as if he were a plant! He didn’t move from his place, but just stayed there in order to die of dehydration!
9. What does “he asked his being to die” mean? This means that he requested his own body and soul to die!
10. Why did he say, “My death is better than my life”? He felt so bad that he had participated in aiding an enemy of Israel!
11. Why did Elohim do this—give him a plant that made him glad, then intentionally send a worm, a terrible wind, and the heat of the sun to destroy the plant and to beat down on Yonah’s head? He used these things to instruct Yonah. (The instruction explanation comes later.)
12. Was Yonah right when he said, “My death is better than my life”? He wasn’t right, but that was the way he felt. He was experiencing self-pity mixed with good loyalty toward Israel.
VI. Having Pity (verses 9-11)
Elohim said to Yonah, “Is the heat good for thee concerning the Kikayon-plant?” That heat is anger. Yonah replied, “The heat is good for me unto death!” Yonah was angry! Yehovah continued, “Thou, thou didst have pity upon the Kikayon in which thou didst not labour and did not make big, that was the son of a night. And he perished the son of a night.” Yehovah then compared Yonah and the Kikayon to Yehovah and some of the folks of Nineveh: “And I, I will not pity over the big city Nineveh in whom there are many more than 120,000 of Adam who did not know between his right to his left, and multiplied cattle?”
1. What did Elohim mean by, “Is the heat good for thee concerning the Kikayon-plant?” The heat is the anger. Elohim is asking Yonah if the anger over the death of the Kikayon plant is good for him.
2. Yonah stated, “The heat is good for me unto death!” Was he right? He wasn’t right. He cared so much for the plant, that he wants to die? That is self-pity and bitterness. He is furious at Elohim, and he isn’t letting go (at this time).
3. What did Elohim mean by, “in which thou didst not labour and did not make big”? Yonah did not do anything to plant or help grow the Kikayon plant.
4. What does “that was the son of a night” mean? This means that the plant lasted just one night!
5. Why did Yonah pity the plant? It had been alive, and it had served Yonah so well. Its death by a worm was cruel, in Yonah’s mind.
6. What does “And he perished the son of a night” mean? This means that it only took one night to completely shrivel it up in death.
7. What does “120,000 of Adam” mean? This means that there are 120,000 humans; they all go back to Adam.
8. What does “who did not know between his right to his left” mean? Most folks that we know will know the difference between their right and their left hands, and will know the right and the left directions. The following are humans who will not know the difference:
- The elderly whose minds have slipped
- The severely mentally retarded
- Those who are totally insane without any moments when they can think straight
The population of the city was so large, that there were 120,000 folks in the above categories!
9. According to verse 11, according to Elohim, what did Yonah desire Him to do or to not do? Yonah desired that Elohim would show no pity on the big city even though it contained that many folks who didn’t even know the difference between a left and right direction and hand. Yonah also desired that Elohim would show no pity on the big city’s cattle.
10. What does this last part show about Elohim? It shows that Elohim will show pity on those who truly know nothing, and those who fear Him must join with Him in showing pity in the same manner.
Those residents of Nineveh had turned from their bad (destruction). Elohim showed them all pity because they turned. He will do the same thing for Israel when Israel finally turns from its bad!