Jonah is one of Israel’s early writing prophets. The book is found in the second division of the Scriptures, called in Hebrew, the Nevi’im—The Prophets. The Book of Jonah is from the collection of the short prophetic books called, “the Twelve,” or in Hebrew, Sheneim ‘Aschar, or also in Aramaic, Terei ‘Aschar.
Although The Book of Jonah is only four chapters long, the story is a treasury of wisdom. To dig for its wisdom and find answers, we must read between the lines. We may ask as we read, “Why would God forgive the enemies of Israel?”, or for that matter, “Why would He even offer their enemies, the Ninevites, a chance to repent?” We might ask about Jonah, “Why did Jonah run away from God’s call?”, “Why did God bring Jonah back from death and give this rebellious prophet a second chance?”, or also, “Jonah appears to be so unworthy—why is he considered to be one of the most successful of God’s prophets?” We might also ask more personal questions, “Does God hear me when I pray to Him?”, and “Does God know me and care about me? Does He know and care about my family?” Here’s another question: “What would I do if I heard God asking me to go to my enemy with His message of hope for them?”
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