Jonah was the son of a man called Amittai. He may have been
the prophet who came from Gath-Hepher in northern Israel (2
Kings 14:25) and who preached to Israel during the reign of
Israel's enemy at this time was Assyria, the capital city
of which was Nineveh. Jonah was told by God to go and warn
the people of Nineveh of coming judgements but he boarded
a ship at Joppa to sail to the west in an attempt to run away
But no-one can run away from God and Jonah failed in his
attempt to 'escape'. During a violent storm, Jonah was thrown
into the sea where he was swallowed by a great fish, which
God had prepared. After 3 days he was saved by God from his
Jonah's mission to go to Assyria was a tough one. Everywhere
the Assyrians were feared, especially in the land of Israel.
How Jonah fared when he arrived in Nineveh, and what the
Assyrians did, is told in chapters 3 and 4.
The book of Jonah is not only a record of true events - it
is a story with many lessons about the ups and downs of life.
Whether in fear, in deep distress, in moments of pride or
in times of despair, we can still turn to God and He is able
to help us.
Jesus had to face death, just as Jonah who was thrown in
to the sea. After 3 days Jesus was brought back to life again.
He himself compared this great miracle to that performed by
God for Jonah (see Matthew 12:38-41).