23 Facts About Jonah


Jonah or Jonas, son of Amittai, is a prophet in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, from Gath-hepher of the northern kingdom of Israel in about the 8th century BCE.

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Jonah is the central figure of the Book of Jonah, which details his reluctance in delivering God's judgement on the city of Nineveh, and then his subsequent, albeit begrudged, return to the divine mission after he is swallowed by a large sea creature.

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In Judaism, the story of Jonah represents the teaching of teshuva, which is the ability to repent and be forgiven by God.

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Jonah is regarded as a prophet in Islam and the biblical narrative of Jonah is repeated in the Quran.

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Jonah admits this and states that if he is thrown overboard, the storm will cease.

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Jonah, now being exposed to the full force of the sun, becomes faint and pleads for God to kill him.

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Book of Jonah is one of the twelve minor prophets included in the Tanakh.

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The Book of Jonah is read every year, in its original Hebrew and in its entirety, on Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – as the Haftarah at the afternoon mincha prayer.

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The Leviathan heard Jonah's threats, saw that he was circumcised, and realized that he was protected by the Lord, so it fled in terror, leaving Jonah and the fish alive.

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Jonah is mentioned twice in the fourteenth chapter of the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, the conclusion of which finds Tobit's son, Tobias, rejoicing at the news of Nineveh's destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus in apparent fulfillment of Jonah's prophecy against the Assyrian capital.

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Jonah is regarded as a saint by a number of Christian denominations.

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Jonah being in swallowed by the giant fish was regarded as a foreshadowing of Jesus's crucifixion and Jonah emerging from the fish after three days was seen as a parallel for Jesus emerging from the tomb after three days.

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Luther questioned the idea that the Book of Jonah was ever intended as literal history, commenting that he found it hard to believe that anyone would have interpreted it as such if it had never been included in the Bible.

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Luther's antisemitic interpretation of Jonah remained the prevailing interpretation among German Protestants throughout early modern history.

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Jonah is the only one of Judaism's Twelve Minor Prophets to be named in the Quran.

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Jonah is mentioned in a few incidents during the lifetime of Muhammad.

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Ninth-century Persian historian Al-Tabari records that, while Jonah was inside the fish, "none of his bones or members were injured".

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Tomb of Jonah can be found in Diyarbakir, Turkey, located behind the mihrab at Fatih Pasha Mosque.

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Jonah's rejection of God's commands is a parody of the obedience of the prophets described in other Old Testament writings.

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Book of Jonah employs elements of literary absurdism; it exaggerates the size of the city of Nineveh to an implausible degree and incorrectly refers to the administrator of the city as a "king".

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Jonah translated ketos as ventre ceti in Matthew 12:40: this second case occurs only in this verse of the New Testament.

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Debate over the fish in the Book of Jonah played a major role during Clarence Darrow's cross-examination of William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes Trial in 1925.

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The story of Jonah was adapted into Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki's animated film Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie.

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