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22 September 2016
  + The Holy Prophet Jonah +
22 September, Old Testament

Jonah A singular prophet among the many in the Old Testament, Jonah the son of Amittai was born about an hour's walk from Nazareth. His prophetic ministry involved a call to preach at Nineveh, capital of pagan Assyria (Jonah 1:1-2). His reluctance to respond and God's insistence that His call be heeded is the story of the book that bears Jonah's name.

Although the swallowing and disgorging of Jonah by the great fish is the most remembered detail of his life, the book address it in only three verses (Jonah 1:17; 2:1, 10). The important theme is how God deals compassionately with sinners. God spared sinful Nineveh — for a time. Eventually, their evil returned and brought about their eventual destruction.

The Lord also dealt mercifully with sinful Jonah who resisted God's call and fled toward Tarshish to escape it, who resented the Lord graciously saving the savage Assyrians, and who sat and sulked about their deliverance, saying, "I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. (Jonah 4:2)"

Jonah's three day sojourn in the belly of the fish is mentioned by Jesus as a sign of His own death, burial, and resurrection (Matthew 12:39-41).

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