The Agora
Bible Commentary

1 2 3 4


The scribes and Pharisees wanted a sign from Jesus. True, they had seen his miracles; yet they asked for a definite sign, beyond any doubt, that he was the Messiah. But Jesus answered: "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah" (Mat 12:39, NIV).

The events recorded in the book probably covered only a few months or years at the most. Jonah lived during Jeroboam II's reign (793-753 BC).

Jesus Christ referred to Jonah as a historical person and to his experience as real (Mat 12:38-42; 16:4; Luke 11:29-32)

Jonah, outline:

1. Jonah flees his mission: Jon 1:1–17

a) Jonah's commission and flight: Jon 1:1–3
b) A storm at sea: Jon 1:4–14
c) Cast overboard: Jon 1:15 – 2:1
d) Jonah's prayer of thanksgiving: Jon 2:2–10

2. Jonah reluctantly fulfills his mission: Jon 3:1– 4:11

a) Jonah's renewed commission and obedience: Jon 3:1–4
b) The Ninevites' repentant appeal to the Lord: Jon 3:5–9
c) The Ninevites repentance acknowledged: Jon 3:10 – 4:4
d) Jonah's complaint and rebuke: Jon 4:5–11

See Lesson, Jonah, sign of


Index Next