Book of Jonah

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The Book of Jonah (Hebrew: Sefer Yonah) is a book in the Hebrew Bible. It tells the story of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah ben Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission.[1] Set in the reign of Jeroboam II (786-746 BCE), it was probably written in the post-exilic period, sometime between the late fifth to early fourth century BC.[2] The story has an interesting interpretive history (see below) and has become well-known through popular children’s stories. In Judaism it is the Haftarah for the afternoon of Yom Kippur due to its story of God's willingness to forgive those who repent.[3]

Contents

Outline of book

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The primary theme of the Book of Jonah is God's compassion.[4] It can be divided into four sections, roughly divided by each chapter: (1) God's sovereignty, (2) God’s deliverance, (3) God's mercy, and (4) God's righteousness. It may also be outlined in the following manner:

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