Jonah – Chapter 1

I was so excited to have Bible study via Skype with my Grandpa. He has wanted to study Jonah for a while but scheduling a time between my parents, my husband and I, and him was hard. This year, we all have Wednesday nights available. Praise the Lord, we started chapter one last night. I am going to write down my notes from these studies. There is a wealth of knowledge to tap into from my Grandpa’s years of study.

Let’s start with a small, but important, preface. The Book of Jonah is a story about Messiah. Not in literal form; but in it’s concepts. I like how Webster defines it: an abstract idea; a general notion. Too often we read a story in the Bible and take it at face value. Which is fine, there is nothing wrong with that. However, we can miss out on even deeper meanings if we stop there. By looking closer at similarities to other Bible stories, name meanings, even the gender of the original Hebrew words, we can uncover another level of understanding.

Speaking of concepts, there is one that I should mention before starting: Two Messiahs. Throughout the Old Testament there are many many prophecies about the coming Messiah. Some portray Him as the Ruling Messiah, the King, the Son of David, Ha Moshiach Ben David.

Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

Then other verses portray the Him as the Suffering Servant, the Messiah Son of Joseph, Ha Moshiach Ben Joseph.

Isaiah 53 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed… 

When Yeshua came over 2000 years ago, the Jews were expecting the Messiah Son of David. They wanted to be saved from the Romans. They wanted the glory of their nation restored to that in the days of David. But instead, the Jews got the Messiah Son of Joseph. They rejected Him. They had Him crucified. He became the fulfillment of the Suffering Servant Messianic prophecies. The Jews are still waiting for the Moshiach, Messiah to come. As believers in Yeshua, we know that He has already come. But we also know that He is coming back, as the Conquering King, bringing Justice and Ruling forever. So the concept of having two Messiahs is not foreign. There is a duality at play here while maintaining the oneness of Yeshua. I recommend this article for a quick study of this idea of Two Messiahs.

http://www.jesusplusnothing.com/studies/online/thetwocomings.htm

 

OK. Hopefully I haven’t lost you yet. Let’s get started by reading the first chapter of Jonah.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,“Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to [a]break up. Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the [b]cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it [c]for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep. So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”

Each man said to his mate, “Come, let us cast lots so we may [d]learn on whose account this calamity has struck us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.”

10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, “[e]How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 So they said to him, “What should we do to you that the sea may become calm [f]for us?”—for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm [g]for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has comeupon you.” 13 However, the men [h]rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them. 14 Then they called on the Lord and said, “We earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.”

15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

17 [i]And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights

 

The meanings of the Names:

The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai

Jonah – Dove

In the Bible, we also see a dove with Noah. There was no rest for the dove, not until she fulfilled her purpose, finding dry land.  The same concept is can be found with Messiah Ben Joseph.

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. Genesis 8: 8-9

For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth…And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:1,7 KJV

 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. Matthew 8:20

The Dove is also a symbol of Peace. There was peace after the wickedness of man was destroyed during the flood. She could finally rest when she found dry land. Messiah is the Prince of Peace. He also had the Spirit of God descend on Him in the form of a dove after His baptism. His mission was to bring peace to mankind, through His Sacrifice.

10 So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. 11 The dove came to him toward [d]evening, and behold, in her [e]beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.12 Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.

 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3: 21-22

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1

Amittai – My Truth

So the Jonah is the Son of Amittai. Literally, Dove/Peace is the son of My Truth. This is a picture of the Father, who is all truth and the Son, the bringer of peace and His Father’s truth.

Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. Psalms 31:5

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation. Jeremiah 10:10

Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. John 7:28

“I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” John 8:26

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ This is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

Jonah is a type of Yeshua. Born from the Father of Truth.

 

“Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”

What is the purpose of the Messiah? To SAVE us from the judgement that our sin demands. What did God want Jonah to do? Tell Nineveh that their judgement was imminent.

Let’s go back to the concept of the Two Messiahs.  One is mercy (Moshiach Ben Joseph) and the other is Judgement (Moshiach Ben David).  Here is a curious thought that the sages mentioned regarding this verse. Basically, they had the idea that both Messiah’s are arguing about who will be the one to go to Nineveh, to proclaim GOD’s word. The Messiah of Judgement, or the Messiah of Mercy. What would have happened to mankind if the Messiah of Judgement had come first? We would have had no salvation. We would have been doomed. Under the Law there is no Hope.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 3:23

But because the Messiah of Mercy came first, we have hope. Now we have nothing to fear when HE returns as the Messiah of Judgement. They will be in perfect harmony, Mercy and Justice.

But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But Jonah fled from GOD. Last I checked, Yeshua didn’t. Or did He?

בָּרַח bârach, baw-rakh’; a primitive root; to bolt, i.e. figuratively, to flee suddenly:—chase (away); drive away, fain, flee (away), put to flight, make haste, reach, run away, shoot.

Make haste. Basically to go away from quickly. Yeshua left His Father quickly to bring salvation to man.

 

So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Joppa – Beautiful

As I looked up where Tarshish is on a map, I found this description of Joppa:

Solomon landed his timber and other materials for the Temple at Joppa, and tradition has handed down what is called “Solomon’s Harbor” there.

Just like Jonah went down to Joppa, so did Yeshua. Whenever the Bible mentions “going down” check to see if it is accurate geographically. Many times, it is not a location, but more of an action and where that action puts you in relationship to someone else. So Yeshua left His heavenly home with the Father and descended to earth in human form. He was separated from the close relationship He had with the Father for all the time previously. God fashioned him a body.

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7 

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:5-10

Now interesting part about Tarshish. Do you know where Tarshish is located? I didn’t. It is near Spain, right outside the Mediterranean Sea.

Tarshish is the name of the Phoenician colony on the river Tartessus, called also Baetis, the modern Guadalquivir. It was the farthest limit of the western world as known to the Hebrews. 

Where did Jesus say that we are to preach the Gospel? To all the nations, to the very ends of the known world. Nowadays, that is a little further than Tarshish.

And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8

 

The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to [a]break up.

Sea – Nations, world.

Again, let’s talk concepts. The Sea in the Bible can mean many things, but more often than not, it means nations, or goyim (Gentiles), or “the World.” Just like in Noah’s time, the sea covered the world and destroyed the nations. Also, in Revelation, the Beast comes from the Sea, or the nations. Not only that, but in the new Heaven and Earth, there will be no more seas. Maybe a picture of how there will be no nationalities, but one people under God? And just like the seas, with it’s salty water, the World can not quench man’s spiritual thirst.

 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered…And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. Genesis 7:19, 21-22

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Revelation 13:1

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:28

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

 

 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the [b]cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it [c]for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep. So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”

Hmmm this story seems familiar.

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? Mark 4: 37-38

 

Each man said to his mate, “Come, let us cast lots so we may [d]learn on whose account this calamity has struck us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.”

Casting Lots: Both Jonah and Yeshua had casting lots.

 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. Psalms 22:18

35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. Matthew 27:35

When the lot fell to Jonah, they proceeded to ask him lots of questions. Very similar to Yeshua during his ministry. Who are you? Where are you from?

Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. John 18:37

And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? Luke 7:20-21

Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. John 8:19

Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. John 8:25-30

 

Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, “[e]How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 So they said to him, “What should we do to you that the sea may become calm [f]for us?”—for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm [g]for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you.” 13 However, the men [h]rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them. 

The only way to avoid the storm is through Yeshua’s sacrifice. Just like the men tried to row and row to get to dry land and failed, the same was for the priests of Jesus’ time. No matter how many sacrifices and good works they did, it would never have paid the great debt that sin wrought. The same holds true for our lives today.

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. Isaiah 64: 4-7

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6

But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9: 12-13

 

14 Then they called on the Lord and said, “We earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.”

The men of the ship prayed that the blood of an innocent would not be on their hands. Similarly, Pilate washed his hands when he could find no wrong with Yeshua. But both circumstances required the death of a man, an innocent man at that.

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Matthew 27:24-26

 

15 So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

Jonah was picked up, heaved up and thrown overboard to certain death. Yeshua was also lifted up to certain death, even the death of the cross.

 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3: 14-15

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? John 12: 31-34

 

17 [i]And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights

This last verse you can see the obvious connection. Three days and Three nights. For now though, I am going to wait to touch on this verse when I start chapter 2.

Thank you for reading through all of this. I know it is a lot to digest. Here is a quick recap.  GOD told Jonah, the son of Amittai, to go to Nineveh because of their wickedness. Jonah fled from God to Joppa to sail to Tarshish. Now if we look at it through the lens of the concepts we have just discussed, we get a beautiful picture of Yeshua. GOD told Yeshua, to Son of Truth, to go to Nineveh because of their wickedness. Yeshua went away quickly from God to take on a Human form as the Messiah of Mercy to preach Salvation to the ends of the world. Both Jonah and Yeshua were in a boat in the middle of a storm. They were woken up by being asked whether they cared if the men died. Yeshua does care. That’s the whole reason He came. To bring Life! Both had lots cast and both were innocent. Just like Jonah was heaved up and died to calm the storm, so to was Yeshua lifted up to die as the only perfect Sacrifice to pay the price for our sins.

 

 

 

 

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