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Preaching on Jonah

An overview of the historical background and theology of Jonah to help you develop your sermon series and apply it to your hearers.

Preaching on Jonah
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Historical Background

There is no reason to doubt that Jonah is the author of the book, although this is routinely challenged in circles of higher criticism. The candor of the book harmonizes with what we know about the person of Jonah. Little is known of Jonah outside this book. 2 Kings 14:25 mentions Jonah’s father Ammitai in the days of Jeroboam II. Neither is spoken of elsewhere in the Old Testament, which suggests this is the same Jonah. From this verse we may assume that Jonah was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom, his birthplace was in Gath-hepher, not far from Nazareth, and he exercised his prophetic office before or during the early reign of Jeroboam II. He was a rough contemporary of Hosea and Amos.

All the above assumes that this book is not legend, but the actual history of the man named Jonah. The weight of much modern scholarship sees this book as an allegory, legend, or fable. For some of us that is overcome by the long reference to the book by the Lord Jesus ...

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