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  1. Dive into an intriguing tale of mercy in the Book of Jonah. | The Bible Project
  2. Available Formats
  3. ​Jonah Study Guide

The major question of Jonah 4 is connected to the book's abrupt ending. After Jonah's complaint, God explains in verses why it is silly for Jonah to care so much about a plant and so little about a city full of people—and that's the end. The book seems to drop off a cliff without any further resolution. Bible scholars have addressed this question in many ways, although there is not a strong consensus. What people do agree about for the most part is that the abrupt ending was intentional—there aren't any missing verses still waiting to be discovered.

Rather, it seems the biblical author intended to create tension by ending the book on a cliffhanger. Doing so forces us, the reader, to make our own conclusions about the contrast between God's grace and Jonah's desire for judgment. Plus, it seems appropriate that the book ends with God highlighting Jonah's skewed vision of the world and then asking a question to which Jonah had no answer. It reminds us of Who was in charge throughout the entire circumstance. One question we can answer is: What happened to the Assyrians?

Dive into an intriguing tale of mercy in the Book of Jonah. | The Bible Project

There seems to be a period of genuine repentance in which the people of Nineveh turned away from their wicked ways. Sadly, this repentance didn't last. A generation later, the Assyrians were up to their old tricks. In fact, it was the Assyrians who destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel in B. Note: this is a continuing series exploring the Book of Jonah on a chapter-by-chapter basis.


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Share Flipboard Email. Have the children think of a word that means to stop doing wrong and start doing right. Give the children time to make suggestions; then write Repentance on the chalkboard. Show the picture at an appropriate time. Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives.

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Reading and discussing the scriptures with the children in class will help them gain personal insights. Why did the Lord want Jonah to go to Nineveh? Jonah The people of Nineveh were not Israelites and therefore were not part of the covenant people; why would the Lord send Jonah to preach repentance to them?

As you discuss these questions, help the children understand two points: First, those people who are part of the house of Israel have the responsibility to take the gospel to those who are not part of the covenant people. Second, Heavenly Father loves all his children and wants them all to be worthy to come back into his presence. What can repentance do for us? See enrichment activity 1.

Where did Jonah go instead of going to Nineveh? Why is it impossible to flee from the presence of the Lord? When the Lord caused a great wind to blow, what did the shipmaster want Jonah to do? What did Jonah want the mariners to do with him to stop the tempest? Jonah — When the men were reluctant to throw Jonah into the sea, what did they do to try to save the ship? How long was Jonah in the belly of the great fish? What did Jonah do while he was in the fish?

Jonah —2.

Jonah 1 / Verse by Verse Season 3 / Episode 1

What did Jonah do that showed he was repenting? Jonah ; —4. What did the people of Nineveh do when they heard Jonah? Jonah —8. Explain that sackcloth was a coarse, dark cloth made of the hair of camels and goats. This cloth was made into rough garments for people to wear as a symbol of sorrow and mourning. What did the people of Nineveh do to repent? Jonah , 8 ; they recognized they had been doing wrong, prayed to God, and turned away from their evil practices. Who needs to repent?

​Jonah Study Guide

See enrichment activity 2. How do we know when we need to repent? Who made it possible for us to repent and be forgiven? Jesus Christ. Why is it important that we repent of our sins? What do we need to do to repent? Recognize our sin, feel bad about it, ask forgiveness , do what we can to make restitution, and never do it again. You may want to summarize the answers on the chalkboard. What does the Lord promise to do if we repent? You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

Discuss with the children what sins do to us. Then ask for a volunteer from the class, tie his or her ankles together with a rope, tie, old nylon stocking, or sash, and have the child try to step up on a stool or a chair without jumping or hopping. Read Doctrine and Covenants Explain that mistakes and wrongdoings can be compared to the rope. They also prevent us from being as happy as we would have been if we had not sinned. Ask the children what we can do to untie the ropes of our wrongdoings. Help the children understand that because of the Atonement, we can repent, overcome our mistakes, and be forgiven.

Untie the rope and have the person step up on the stool or chair if using a chair, hold it while the child steps up on it. Explain that repentance is similar to untying the rope. We are free from the errors that bring us unhappiness and are able to progress toward being worthy of living with Heavenly Father. Ask the families of the children in your class for a baby picture of each child, if possible, or use one picture of a baby.

The brevity of the Book of Jonah is apt to lead the casual reader to the conclusion that there is nothing of particular significance here except the diatribe about the whale that swallowed Jonah. But the Book of Jonah has four very brief chapters, and it is only a little more than twice as long as the Book of Obadiah, which is the shortest book in the Old Testament. Because it is very brief, we are apt to pass over it. There are six significant subjects which are suggested and developed in the Book of Jonah which make it very relevant for us today:.

This is the one book of the Old Testament which sets forth the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of the great doctrines of the Christian faith are set forth in certain books of the Old Testament. For instance, the Book of Exodus sets forth redemption. The deliverance from sin for the sinner who comes to Christ is illustrated in that book.

In the Book of Ruth you have the romance of redemption, the love side of redemption. In the Book of Esther, you have the romance of providence. The book of Job, I believe, teaches repentance. You can go through the Scriptures and find that the great doctrines of our faith are illustrated in various books of the Old Testament.


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The little Book of Jonah illustrates and teaches the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. If this book does not teach the great doctrine of resurrection, then this most important doctrine of the Christian faith is not illustrated by a book in the Old Testament. For this reason alone, I would say this is a significant book. The Book of Jonah teaches that salvation is not by works, but by faith which leads to repentance.

The way to God is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by the blood of a substitutionary sacrifice provided by the Lord. The most significant statement in the Book of Jonah is in the second chapter. He is the author of salvation; He erected the great building of our salvation; He is the architect. Jonah refused to go to Nineveh, but God was still going to get the message to Nineveh.

The fourth great truth in this book is that God will not cast us aside for faithlessness. He may not use you, but He will not cast you aside. There are a lot of football players sitting on the bench; in fact, more sit on the bench than play in the game. A player is called out to play only when it is believed that he can make a contribution to the game.

If you and I are faithless, God may bench us; but we are still wearing our uniform, and He will not cast us aside. Anytime we want to get back in the game of life and do His will, He will permit us to do it. The fifth great truth is that God is good and gracious.

Jonah 1:1-6

Read Jonah for the most penetrating picture of God in the entire Bible. He is no vengeful deity in the Book of Jonah. The sixth and last great teaching is that God is the God of Gentiles. I have written Romans over the Book of Jonah in my Bible. Yes, of the Gentiles also.

If He was willing to save a woman like Rahab the harlot, and a brutal, cruel nation like the Assyrians, including inhabitants of Nineveh, its capital, then I want to say to you that God is in the business of saving sinners. McGee, J. Thru the Bible Commentary, Vol. We believe that the most scientific view, the most up-to-date and rationalistic conception, will find its fullest satisfaction in taking the Bible story literally, and in identifying one of the greatest human beings with the most decisive leaps forward ever discernible in the human story.

We may be sure that all these things happened just as they are set out in the Holy Writ. Why must God's children suffer? Why must we feel pain? Why must we keep on fighting When it seems, we fight in vain? Why do the ones who do not choose To follow where He's led Seem to walk an easy road When a hard path we must tread? Why does He give the riches here To those who never heed?

Doesn't He see His own dear ones Who really are in need? So when they seem to sneer at us When we speak of life above, Remember, precious child, God chastens those He loves. God only sends these trials To those He really loves. His children will get their rewards In Heaven up above. There are the Balaenoptera musculus or sulphur-bottom whale, and the Rhinodon typicus or whale shark.

Neither of these monsters of the deep have any teeth. They feed in an interesting way by opening their enormous mouths, submerging their lower jaw, and rushing through the water at terrific speed. After straining out the water, they swallow whatever is left. A sulphur-bottom whale, one hundred feet long, was captured off Cape Cod in His mouth was ten or twelve feet wide—so big he could easily have swallowed a horse.

These whales have four to six compartments in their stomachs, in any one of which a colony of men could find free lodging. They might even have a choice of rooms, for in the head of this whale is a wonderful air storage chamber, an enlargement of the nasal sinus, often measuring seven feet high, seven feet wide, seven feet long.