The Prophet Jonah and His Message Part 2 -- By: Gerald B. Stanton

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 108:431 (Jul 1951)
Article: The Prophet Jonah and His Message Part 2
Author: Gerald B. Stanton


The Prophet Jonah and His Message
Part 2

Gerald B. Stanton

(Concluded from the April-June Number, 1951)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 12–13, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–2 respectively.}

Jonah as a type of Israel. Almost as amazing as the Messianic typology of Jonah is the way in which the prophet and his experiences correspond to the total history of the Jewish people. This latter fact is often recognized by the Jews themselves. In fact, in the synagogue ritual the book of Jonah is the Scripture passage which is always read on the Day of Atonement. “Years ago the Editor of ‘Our Hope’ asked an old orthodox Jew why this prophecy should be read on the great day of prayer and fasting. The reply was revealing. ‘We are,’ said the aged Jew, ‘the Jonah.’ There is real truth in this statement. Among all nations of the world only the Jews, by reason of their peculiar position and unique experience, stand out as the Jonah nation.”1

Note the following similarities: (1) Called. Even as Jonah was commissioned to serve God and carry His message to a Gentile nation, so God chose the Jewish nation to represent Him and bear His message on earth. To Abraham God said, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee…and thou shalt be a blessing [literally: and be thou a blessing].” Through Abraham and his seed all the families of the earth were to be blessed (Gen 12:2–3). Although in a large sense this has been fulfilled (see Rom 9:4–5), the Jews were never fully obedient in carrying the message of God to pagan nations. Rather, they fled from this calling and corrupted their calling by giving themselves over to pagan idols.

(2) Disobedient. Israel became apostate, and like Jonah departed from the presence of the Lord. (3) In trouble. Disobedience to God is always followed by disaster. Storm after storm has broken over the nation Israel since the days of their departure from God and rejection of the

Messiah, His anointed. The sea, in Scripture, is typical of the nations (Isa 57:20–21) and in the restless lap of the nations for these hundreds of years the Jew has been tossed to and fro, a wanderer on the face of the earth, a man without a country (Deut 28:64–67). (4) Identified. In spite of the conditions under which it was given, Jonah 1:9 remains one of the ...

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