The Book of Jonah, explained from its literary, biblical and historical backgrounds.
Translation: Dick Broeren Sr.
Paperback edition: 978-90-76783-47-5.
E-book edition: ISBN/EAN 978-90-76783-46-8.
For sale at Amazon.com.
The prophet Jonah is best known for the storm at sea and his stay in the big fish which – after three days – spits him out on dry land. Less well-known is his prayer in the fish, his later performance in the big city of Nineveh and his skirmish with a tabernacle, a miracle-tree, a worm, a scorching east wind and not in the last place with God. But what is the connection between all those incoherent images? They only seem to be gathered to tell an exciting story. And yet it’s evident from the language, the style and the composition, that the book of Jonah has been written very carefully. Besides, there are connections with other stories in the Bible and rabbinical literature. That’s why we’d better consider the story of Jonah a Midrash-story which updates certain themes from the Torah and the Prophets in the time of the Persian occupation of the land of Israel after the Babylonian exile.
In this book many aspects of the story of Jonah are discussed: the relation between Israel and the nations, the development of the prophecy in Israel, liturgical, historical and political backgrounds. The peculiar images appear to constitute a consistent argument which reveal some of the most fundamental religious perceptions of Israel. Next the author explains in a word for word commentary many words and expressions in the Hebrew text of the book of Jonah. He also makes use of other books of the Hebrew Bible and of historical data (what is the land of war?) and of rabbinical literature. That’s the reason why this book offers more than a mere exegesis of the book of Jonah. It’s perfectly suitable for private study, but also for discussion in theological study groups.