Jonah 1:1-3 Diagrams

I’ve been playing with the Bibleworks 9 diagramming module.

I’m still new to this kind of diagramming method, so if anyone has any notes/corrections, please let me know.

Jonah 1:1-3 (pdf)

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Jonah 4:1 and 4:6

In preparing to preach Jonah 3-4 recently, I noticed some interesting things in the text. Here is one:

Jonah 4:1 says:
וַיֵּ֥רַע אֶל־יוֹנָ֖ה רָעָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה וַיִּ֖חַר לֽוֹ׃

Jonah 4:6 ends:
וַיִּשְׂמַ֥ח יוֹנָ֛ה עַל־הַקִּֽיקָי֖וֹן שִׂמְחָ֥ה גְדוֹלָֽה

Gramatically, this construction is called an ‘internal cognate accusative’. It’s called internal because it “is an expression of the verb’s action” (IBHS 10.2.1g). It’s called cognate because the words share a common root (רעע and רעה in v1; and שׁמח and שׁמחה in v6).

The constructions seem to be purposefully paralleled. There are a few differences between the two: the presence of the DDO in v1; the prepositional clause in v6 and the lamed of possession at the end of v1. But the significance and comparison of the two constructions is clear.

What’s more important in this particular situation is the irony of the uses. Jonah’s ‘displeasure’ (ESV) comes out when the Ninevites are saved (4:1, cf 3:5) whereas his ‘exceeding gladness’ (ESV) is utterly selfish and is focussed on his own temporary comfort caused by a plant (4:6). Something is not quite right there in Jonah…

Jonah 1:2 and 3:2

וּקְרָ֣א עָלֶ֑יהָ כִּֽי־עָלְתָ֥ה רָעָתָ֖ם לְפָנָֽי׃

וִּקְרָ֤א אֵלֶ֙יהָ֙ אֶת־הַקְּרִיאָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אָנֹכִ֖י דֹּבֵ֥ר אֵלֶֽיךָ׃

There is a difference in preposition between these two verses. 1:2 uses the preposition עַל whereas 3:2 uses אֶל. Scholars differ about the significance.

In 1:2 we are told the reason for the message – it is because Nineveh’s sin has come up before God, and therefore God’s message is against that sin. (I’m taking the כִי clause as the cause of Jonah’s message (‘because…’) rather than the content of it (‘that…’).)

Whereas in 3:2 there is a parallel going on which isn’t present in 1:2. Jonah is to קרא the message אֶל the Ninevites which God spoke אֶל him. Jonah is simply called to pass on the message which he has received. He is God’s prophet – God’s mouth piece.

Although these two verses/sections are clearly parallel, I think they are telling us different things. 1:2 is telling us the reason for the message; 3:2 is telling us (and Jonah) the source of the message.

1:2 tells us the content of the message; 3:2 tells us the source.

So no wonder different prepositions are used.

Jonah Summary Notes Chapter 2

  1. God appoints a fish to deliver Jonah (deliverance not judgement). Commentators differ over exact significance of time frame. Most neglect wider biblical understanding and links with Jesus, his resurrection and words in Matt 12.
  2. Introduces remainder of ch2 as Jonah’s prayer to YHWH – a ‘thanksgiving psalm’ according to Gunkel.
  3. YHWH heard Jonah’s cry for help.
  4. Jonah describes the nature of his distress.
  5. Jonah’s hope in YHWH that he will be rescued. Theodotion’s Gk version reads πως presumably translating אֵיךְ rather than אַךְ. LXX has άρα.
  6. Jonah is drowning
  7. Jonah is facing death, but YHWH brought his life up from the pit.
  8. Jonah remembered YHWH; YHWH heard Jonah
  9. It is useless serving any god except YHWH.
  10. Jonah sacrifices to YHWH and promises to complete vows (cf. sacrifices and vowes of sailors in 1:16). Salvation belongs to YHWH.
  11. Jonah is vomitted onto dry land (ready to be recommissioned).

Jonah Summary Notes Chapter 1

  1. main characters introduced. Jonah identified with Jonah in 2 Kings 14:25.
  2. Nineveh introduced as העיר הגדולה. Disagreement about size or importance. Final כי clause: “that” or “because”? Content or reason? Varying nuances of רעה.
  3. Jonah as anti-prophet. repetition of מלפני יהוה.
  4. God’s sovereignty, introduction (1 of 4) to טול. Judgement on Jonah’s action.
  5. Contrast actions of sailors (trying to save, praying) and Jonah’s inactivity (sleeping). Similarity of the call of the sailor and YHWH in v2 (“arise…call out”).
  6. Captains requests of Jonah – that he call out to his god.
  7. Superstition of sailors – determined to find out the cause of the storm. God’s sovereignty demonstrated that the lot fell on Jonah.
  8. Sailors question Jonah.
  9. Jonah only answers their final question (ואי־מזה עם אתה). YHWH fronted in Jonah’s answer. YHWH is not a local deity he is אלהים השׁמים. More than that he is lord of the sea and dry land. He is, therefore, the one responsible for and able to stop the סער.
  10. Sailors fear greatly and ask what Jonah thinks he is playing at?!
  11. Sailors enquire what is required to do to calm the sea.
  12. Jonah tells sailors to lift him up and throw him over board.
  13. Sailors try to row back, unable to do so.
  14. Pray to God.
  15. Jonah’s overboard. Sea stands still.
  16. Sailors recognise that v9 is true and so sacrifice and vow to YHWH.