Book summary

Jonah was one of two Old Testament prophets from the northern Kingdom of Israel (the other being Hosea). God called him to go to Nineveh to preach against their wickedness, but he disobeys. He ends up being swallowed by a large fish for three days. Again, God calls him to go to Nineveh and this time Jonah submits. The Ninevites are responsive to his message, repent, and are spared the judgment God had planned for them.

Chapters 1-2 — God’s first call to Jonah

Ch 1 — Jonah flees from God

  • The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)

Ch 2 — Jonah’s prayer

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.” (Jonah 2:1-2)

Chapters 3-4 — God’s second call to Jonah

Ch 3 — Jonah goes to Nineveh

  • Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. (Jonah 3:1-3)

  • When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:10)

Ch 4 — Jonah’s anger at God’s compassion

  • But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. (Jonah 4:1)