The title is derived from the name of the prophet Jonah.
The story is about a Hebrew prophet, who on hearing the Lord's command to prophesy to Nineveh, rebelled and boarded a ship to the farthest port. God sent a storm, and the sailors tossed Jonah into the sea where he was swallowed by a great fish. Jonah prayed, and the Lord caused the fish to vomit Jonah onto the seashore.
This time Jonah made his way to Nineveh where he declared the city's destruction. The king and his subjects repented and pleaded for God's mercy, and the Lord annulled their punishment. Jonah was unhappy; he wanted Nineveh destroyed. His prayer was marred with anger toward the Lord. Jonah begged for death. The Lord confronted Jonah by showing the vast difference between Jonah's selfish attachment to an unreliable vine and the Lord's unlimited and unbiased love for the ignorant people of a pagan city.
All manuscripts of the Minor Prophets place Jonah between Obadiah and Micah.
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