This month our Bible reading plan takes us to the Minor Prophets. To help us assemble these books and understand their message, here are a number of resources to Jonah, the first book of The Twelve. You can find more information about the Minor Prophets here.
An Outline of Jonah
Jonah is one of the most intricately written books in the Old Testament. With increasing levels of detail, here are three outlines.
The Message of the Twelve (p. 167)
A Jonah and the pagan sailors who turn to the Lord (chap. 1)
B Jonah and the Lord: Jonah’s song of thanksgiving for his salvation (chap. 2)
A’ Jonah and the pagan Ninevites who turn to the Lord (chap. 3)
B’ Jonah and the Lord: Jonah’s anger over the Lord’s compassion on Nineveh (chap. 4)
The ESV Study Bible (p. 1685–86)
A. Jonah’s commissioning and flight (1:1–3)
B. Jonah and the pagan sailors (1:4–16)
C. Jonah’s grateful prayer (1:17–2:10)
A′. Jonah’s recommissioning and compliance (3:1–3a)
B′. Jonah and the pagan Ninevites (3:3b–10)
C′. Jonah’s angry prayer (4:1–4)
D. Jonah’s lesson about compassion (4:5–11)
The most detailed outline of Jonah comes from Ernst Wendland. In his two JETS articles (Part 1 and Part 2), Wendland provides numerous literary structures in Jonah. Here is the basic outline from his work.
A. (1:1–3) Yahweh calls Jonah the first time and he flees from Nineveh
B. (1:4–16) A life/death crisis; exhortation by the captain; Jonah’s unwilling message to the pagan sailors of the ship; result: they all repent and pray
C. (1:17) Surprising transition: Yahweh saves Jonah by means of a great fish
D. (2:1–9) Jonah’s response, a pious prayer: thank you—for letting me live
E. (2:10) Instruction: Yahweh’s miraculous object lesson is complete—Jonah is safely delivered
A’. (3:1–3) Yahweh calls Jonah the second time and he travels to Nineveh
B’. (3:4–9) A life/death crisis; Jonah’s unwilling message to the pagan people of the city; exhortation by the king; result: they all repent and pray (an even greater number)
C’. (3:10) Surprising transition: Yahweh saves Nineveh by “repenting” himself
D’. (4:1–4) Jonah’s response, a peeved prayer: please—just let me die
E’. (4:5–9) Instruction: Yahweh’s miraculous object lesson in the plant, worm and wind—Jonah is sorely afflicted
F’ (4:10–11) Conclusion (thematic peak): Yahweh’s last word to Jonah and to every current listener: “Salvation belongs to Yahweh” (cf. 2:9)
Overview Sermons on Obadiah
- Can You Run from God? The Message of Jonah by Mark Dever
- Gospel Realization by Tim Keller
- Major Points from Jonah by John Blanchard
- Jonah by Richard Belcher
Sermon Series on Jonah
Into the Depths: Finding God’s Grace in Jonah’s Rebellion
A sermon series at Occoquan Bible Church.
- Into the Depths (Jonah 1:1–6)
- The Storm of Obedience by Jared Bridges (Jonah 1:7–16)
- Swallowed in Death, Raised in Life (Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:38–42)
- Make my Life a Prayer to You (Jonah 2:1–10)
- Overturning Grace by Jared Bridges (Jonah 3:1–10)
- Let Us Behold (Not Begrudge) Our Gracious God (Jonah 4:1–11)
Via Emmaus Articles on Jonah
- Sovereignty, Satire, and Second Chances: An Introduction to the Book of Jonah
- Getting into Jonah by Seeing the Book’s Literary Structures
- A Repentant Prayer or a Faithless Fake? What Jonah 2 Teaches Us About Our Hearts
- An Evidence of Repentance or Hypocrisy: Why Does Jonah 2 Cite So Many Psalms?
- Reading the Bible Better: What Makes a Valid Chiasm?
Articles on Jonah
- Ernst Wendland, Text Analysis and Genre of Jonah (pt 1) (JETS 1996)
- Ernst Wendland, Text Analysis and Genre of Jonah (pt 2) (JETS 1996)
- Elmer Dyck, Jonah Among the Prophets: A Study in Canonical Context (JETS 1990)
- John H. Walton, “The Object Lesson of Jonah 4:5-7 and the Purpose of the Book of Jonah,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 2 (1992): 47-57.
- Eugene Merrill, “The Sign of Jonah” (JETS 1980)
- Ray Lubeck, Prophetic Sabotage: A Look at Jonah 3:2–4
Books on Jonah
- A Gracious and Compassionate God: Mission, Salvation, and Spirituality in the Book of Jonah by Daniel C. Timmer
- Jonah by John Walton
- Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah by T. Desmond Alexander
- Jonah: A Study in Compassion by O. Palmer Robertson
- Salvation through Judgment and Mercy by Bryan Estelle
Via Emmaus Articles on The Twelve
- Reading the Minor Prophets Together: Ten Observations from Paul House’s ‘The Unity of the Twelve’
- Finding Theological Unity in The Twelve: Reading the Minor Prophets with Richard Fuhr and Gary Yates
- The Theological Message of the Twelve
- Putting the Prophets in Their Place: An Introduction to the Historical Background of the Minor Prophets
Books on the The Twelve
- Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Gary E. Yates, The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets (Nashville: B & H Academic, 2016).
- Paul House, The Unity of the Twelve (New York: T & T Clark).
Books on the Prophets in General
- Peter J. Gentry, How to Read and Understand the Prophets (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
- O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Prophets (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2004).
- Aaron Chalmers, Interpreting the Prophets: Reading, Understanding and Preaching from the Worlds of the Prophets (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2015)
Soli Deo Gloria, ds