1:1–17 This passage depicts Jonah’s disobedient response to the commission as a prophet to go to Nineveh, but does not tell us Jonah’s reason for fleeing from God (which is not revealed until 4:2). Here we witness Jonah’s interaction with the Gentile sailors, which involves a theme prominent in the book’s second division—the Lord’s mercy to Gentiles. Despite Jonah’s disobedience and hypocrisy, the sailors do not despise Jonah’s God, but see the clear hand of the God of Israel and respond in worship. In contrast with Jonah, the Gentile sailors are careful to avoid personal sin before God (v. 14). The prophet of God is judged, but the Gentiles are spared, an event that foreshadows the response and sparing of the Ninevites in the book’s second division.
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