we finish Jonah today and will go a different book next time. we will do Mark next. we talked about Gods will and the timeframe in which He works. how does this relate to current Palestine? God has acted differently at various times. when Abraham came to Palestine he just tried to fit in. Lot’s city, Sodom, and Gomorrah were destroyed. Joshua led the Israelites against Jericho and surrounding cities which were destroyed when the Israelites came back from Egypt. now He is trying to save Ninevah. we can’t predict Gods actions or are they really man trying to imposing his answer to a situation. we should be trying to determine what the message to the people at that time. people project their biases onto God. The Jesus faction or direction at this point is changing direction because of the nagonomie digs to include more influence to Thomas as a gospel. We go to Mark next. We last discussed Mark before 2012 in the era when Jerry wrote notes for Paul Horick for our record of the Lost Boys.
This was probably a centuries later than it appears. There is some Jeremiah and Isaiah in here. It is the first time a foreign country or city was forgiven. Why was Jonah so afraid of going to Ninevah. What was the bad thing that Ninevah had done? Ninevah was a city of 200000 and must have been a challenge to talk to and get the message. Assyria of which Ninevah was the capital was responsible for dismantling the northern kingdom. This occurred in the 700 bc time frame. So this is a scary place and I don’t want my god forgiving Assyria. Israel started its decline after the monarchy started and then it was divided. Look at the list of kings in the lutheran study bible. There is also a timeline in which Jonah is listed. At this time people were into omens and many were found in this area. Jonah wad a better missionary than he thought he was and the king set a better example. What to Assyria after this. Did any good things happen after Assyria admitted its faults? This was written at the time of Ezra’s reforms after the Babylonian exile. Israel was rebuilding its society, customs and looking inward. And forget about the rest of the world and that God loves them too. How does God influence us to live in love and hope? Bill says it would be fun to know who wrote it down and why it was written. What was expected of his audience?
John talked about the problems of translation. Then moved into spreading the word of god to others. Another purpose is to read during Yom Kippur, sin and forgiveness. Jonah went the opposite way. God threw the storm at them and the people on the boat threw Jonah overboard into the mouth of a big fish. God is in charge throughout. A version says he went Sheol or place of the dead but removed from god. But the translations can make big differences, like a place of the dead, belly of hell, banished from God, depths of the grave. But God sent the fish saved him from dying and then the fish vo.ited him upon the shore. God acts in unlikely ways. This is a story told to children to convince them to do the right thing. Is that the way God works in us as well. Paul says all things work together for good, not that all things are good. We sometimes find people saying after the fact that there was good that came from a bad thing that happened to them. Al says Ninevah is called the city of the fish, a sign of God speaking to them. Luke 11:9, Matthew 12:38 this is an indictment of the times in Ninevah. The parables were rewritten several times before they got the point correctly. Like artists repainting a picture till they got it right. Matthew 12:42 talks about the queen of the south or queen Sheba. The errors in translations in the Psalms are greater than all the errors in the rest of the Bible.
He promises to be our guide forever to the end. What is time? How did we get the time divisions we have today. There is a link to Tarshish in Jonah. There are 5 minor prophets including Jonah. Only 5 words of prophecy in Jonah. And Nineveh will be destroyed. We discussed the stated size of Ninevah being 3 days walk. It might be a realtors exaggeration!! Jonah is the first apostle to the Gentiles. Sometimes we get involved in an intellectual discussion of something in the bible and we get caught up in an attempt to assess whether it could happen. We need to look at what the message is about and what God is telling us to do. Does God care about the people of Nineveh? This book tells that God speaks to others beyond the Jews. Is Jonah a Jesus figure, but Jonah is resisting gods will whereas Jesus is carrying out gods will. Jonah was running from God because he didn’t want to confront the people of Nineveh. The large problem for us is how to discern that there are prophets and who we should trust and believe. Prophecy is more about telling the people what God wants us to do not necessarily a fortune teller.
This book was studied before this blog was started. A summary will be added later.