This book, in the Hebrew copies, is called "Sepher Jonah", the Book of
Jonah; by the Vulgate Latin version "the Prophecy of Jonah": and in the
Syriac version "the Prophecy of the Prophet Jonah". His name signifies
a dove, derived from a root which signifies to oppress; because it is a
creature liable to oppression, and to become the prey of others.
Hillerus {a} derives the word from a root which signifies to be "fair"
and "beautiful", as this creature is This name is very suitable to a
prophet and minister of the Lord, who ought to be wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves; and who mourn over their own sins, and the sins of
others. Jonah did not always in, his conduct answer to his name,
particularly when he was so angry at the Lord's sparing the Ninevites,
and so impatient for the loss of his gourd. His father's name was
Amittai, as in \\#Jon 1:1\\ and in \\#2Ki 14:25\\; from whence it also
appears that he was of Gathhepher, a town in the tribe of Zebulun,
\\#Jos 19:13\\; and was a part of Galilee, \\#Isa 9:1\\; and so R.
Jochanan, in Abendana, affirms, that he was of the tribe of Zebulun,
and of Gathhepher, which was in that tribe; which confutes that notion
of the Pharisees in the times of Christ, that no prophet came out of
Galilee, \\#Joh 7:52\\. The Jews {b} have a tradition that his mother
was the widow of Sarepta, whose son Elijah raised from the dead, which
was this prophet; and who is said to be the son of Amittai, that is,
"truth": because his mother thereby knew and believed that the word of
the Lord in the mouth of Elijah was truth, \\#1Ki 17:23,24\\; but his
being a Hebrew contradicts him, \\#Jon 1:9\\; for Sarepta was a city of
Sidon, and he must have been a Sidonian if born of her, and not a
Hebrew: but, be this as it will, it is certain he was a prophet of the
Lord; and this book, which bears his name, and very probably was
written by him, its divine authority is confirmed by the testimony
Christ, of whom Jonah was a type; see \\#Mt 12:39-41\\; and indeed the
principal design of this book is to set forth in himself the type of
the death and resurrection of Christ, by his being three days in the
whale's belly, and then delivered from it; and to declare the grace and
mercy of God to repenting sinners, and to signify the calling of the
Gentiles after the death and resurrection of Christ; and is a very
profitable book to instruct us about the power and goodness of God; the
nature of repentance, and the effects of it; the imperfection and
infirmities of the best of men in this life; and the call and mission
of the ministers of the word, and the necessity of their conformity and
attendance to it. Cyprian the martyr was converted from idolatry by
hearing this prophecy read and explained by Caecilius. If this prophet
was the son of the widow of Sarepta, or the person Elisha sent to
anoint Jehu, according to the tradition of the Jews {c}, he was born in
the times of Ahab, and lived in the reigns of Joram and Jehu; and,
according to Bishop Lloyd {d}, he prophesied in the latter end, of
Jehu's reign; where Mr. Whiston {e} also places him, about 860 B.C.;
or in the beginning of the reign of Jehoahaz, when Israel was greatly
oppressed by Hazael king of Syria, \\#2Ki 13:22\\; at which time he might
prophesy of the victories and success of Jeroboam the second, and
grandson of Jehoahaz, \\#2Ki 14:25\\; and, if so, he is more ancient than
Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, Joel, and Micah, whose contemporary he is generally
thought to be Pseudo-Epiphanius {f}, as he gives a wrong account of the
place of the birth of this prophet, so of the place of his burial; which
he makes to be in the land of Saar, and in the cave of Kenan, the father
of Caleb and Othniel; but it is more likely that he died and was buried
at Geth, where he was born; and where Jerom {g} says his grave was,
shown in his time, about two miles from Zippore, in the way to Tiberias;
with which account Isidore {h} agrees; and so Benjamin Tudelensis {i}
says, his sepulchre was on a hill near Zippore. Monsieur Thevenot {k}
says, not far from Nazareth the tomb of Jonah is now to be seen, to
which the Turks bear a great respect.

{a} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 429.
{b} Hieron. Proem. i Jon.
{c} Seder Olam Rabba, c. 18. p. 45,
{d} Chronological Tables.
{e} Chron. Tables, cent, 7.
{f} De Prophet. Vit. c. 16.
{g} Ut supra.
{h} De Vita & Morte Sanct. c. 45.
{i} Itinerar. p. 52.
{k} Travels, par 1. B. 2. c. 55. p. 213.


This chapter gives an account of the call and mission of Jonah to go to
Nineveh, and prophesy there, and the reason of it, \\#Jon 1:1,2\\; his
disobedience to it, \\#Jon 1:3\\. God's resentment of it, by sending a
storm into the sea, where he was, which terrified the mariners, and put
the ship in danger of being lost, \\#Jon 1:4,5\\; The discovery of Jonah
and his disobedience as the cause of the tempest, and how it was made,
\\#Jon 1:6-10\\; The casting of him into the sea at his own motion, and
with his own consent, though with great reluctance in the mariners,
\\#Jon 1:11-16\\. The preparation of a fish for him, which swallowed him
up, and in which he lived three days and three nights, \\#Jon 1:17\\.