An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 8 - Prophetic Truth - Page 282 of 304
'Assyria had been laying her hand for some generations upon the nations
on the Mediterranean coast, and it was a hand of fierce and ferocious
mastery.  No considerations of pity were permitted to stand in the way
of Assyrian policy ... the kings seem to gloat in their descriptions
over the spectacle presented by the field of battle ... this carnage
was followed up by fiendish inflictions upon individual cities.  The
leading men, as at Lachish when Sennacherib had conquered the city,
were led forth, seized upon by their executioners, and subjected to
various punishments, all of them filled to the brim with horror ... No
man in Israel was ignorant of these things.  Jonah may have witnessed
them ... Nineveh's cup then was full.  The Judge had ascended the
tribunal ... sentence was about to be pronounced ... If Nineveh
perished, Israel was saved, there was only one thing to be feared.
God's mercy might arrest the smiting of God's justice ... What if
Nineveh were left without warning ... it was a choice between vengeance
on him, a rebellious prophet, and vengeance on his people.  He would
sacrifice himself, but let Nineveh perish, and so save Israel ... when
he is cast overboard, there is no prayer, no cry to the Lord, from the
prophet's lips.  He has himself counted the cost.  He has put himself
outside God's mercy.  He has made himself a curse for his people's
sake' (Urquhart).
In the New Testament the name Jonah is used nine times of the Old
Testament prophet, four times of Peter under the name Simon 'son of Jonas',
and once of Peter retaining the Aramaic 'Bar -Jonas'.  Once, Jonah may have
been in mind, when we read in John 7:52, 'Art thou also of Galilee?  Search,
and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet'.  Yet Gath -Hepher, the
birthplace of Jonah, is in Galilee, and it may have been prejudice that
denied Jonah a place among the prophets, and not ignorance of geography;
because Jonah went to the Gentiles.
Every one of the references to the prophet Jonah in the New Testament
deals with either 'the sign' of the three days and three nights, or 'the
preaching' which he made to the men of Nineveh.  Jonah was not only a type of
the resurrection of Christ, but he was a 'sign unto the Ninevites' (Luke
The prophetic import of the book of Jonah seems to be gathered up in
the words of the first verse of chapter 3, 'the second time', as in Isaiah
11:11 which speak of Israel's restoration, or as in Acts 7:13 where 'the
second time, Joseph was made known unto his brethren', foreshadowing the day
that is fast approaching when Israel shall look on Him Whom they have
pierced, or as in Hebrews 9:28 when it is promised that the Saviour shall
appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Something of the dispensational teaching of the book of Jonah can be
gathered by a reference to that other follower of the Lord, Simon son of
Jonas, who at the selfsame place 'Joppa' (Acts 10:5; Jonah 1:3) hesitated and
argued when warned by God at the sending of Cornelius the Gentile with a
request that he might tell him words, whereby both he and all his house
should be saved (Acts 11:14).  Jonah, when questioned by the mariners, said
'I am an Hebrew' (1:9).  Peter, when he met Cornelius, said 'Ye know how that
it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto
one of another nation' (Acts 10:28) a sentiment shared by the church at
Jerusalem (11:1 -3).  Peter confessed that he had at length become convinced
that 'In every nation he that feareth Him (God) and worketh righteousness, is
accepted with Him' (10:35), and Jonah reveals that his disobedience was