PODCAST: The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #522: Jonah 1:1-2 with Daniel Whyte III

This is Daniel Whyte III president of Gospel Light Society International with The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #522, where I read the Word of God and give the sense of it based on an authoritative commentary source such as the Bible Knowledge Commentary or Matthew Henry Commentary. This podcast is based upon Nehemiah 8:8 where it says Ezra and the Levites “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” The aim of this podcast is that through the simple reading of the Word of God and the giving of the sense of it, the church would be revived and the world would be awakened.

Today we are reading Jonah 1-2.

1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

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That was Jonah 1-2. Now here is the sense of it.

The Faithlife Study Bible reads:

Jonah is the only narrative included in the books of the Minor Prophets. It tells the story of God commanding the prophet Jonah to preach in Nineveh, but Jonah decides to run the other way by boarding a ship. After God orchestrates a storm and a great fish swallows Jonah, he obeys God’s command. But when Nineveh—a major city of the Assyrian Empire and Israel’s enemy—repents after listening to Jonah, he is infuriated. The book’s lesson becomes clear in the end: God’s care extends to all who call on Him—even those who previously stood against His people. His mercy is truly for all. The book of Jonah does not name its author. The title character is a prophet—Jonah, son of Amittai—who was active in Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II. The main question complicating the interpretation of Jonah is that of genre: whether the book should be read as a historical narrative or a satiric parable. Some ancient sources, including the New Testament, could be understood as interpreting the narrative as historical. However, the same question of genre affects how those references should be interpreted. The primary issue is not whether the events in the story could have happened. A God who performs miracles could certainly cause a great fish to swallow a human being or cause a vine to grow and wither in a matter of hours. Instead, the issue is what the author intended. Those who argue that the book is a satirical parable interpret its exaggerated elements as comic devices used to lampoon the Israelites, who take pride in their privileged status but do not respond to God’s prophets. These exaggerations include the huge size of Nineveh, the short sermon Jonah gives, and that even the animals of Nineveh repent in sackcloth and ashes. Whatever the story’s genre, the theological lesson remains the same: God’s love and mercy extend to all people who trust in Him.

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Thank you for listening to the Scripture & The Sense Podcast. Remember to read the Word of God each and every day and pray without ceasing to God for wisdom to understand it and apply it to your life. Most importantly, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Please stay tuned for a complete presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you can get your soul saved from Hell to that wonderful place called Heaven when you die. May God bless you and keep you is my prayer.