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The Runaway

The Runaway

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The Runaway

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  1. The Runaway Jonah 1

  2. The Book of Jonah • History or Parable? • If parable: “the message of the story of Jonah ought to be taken as seriously as the message of the parable of the waiting father or the good Samaritan or any other part of the Bible” (Limburg 1993: 24).

  3. Divine Instruction • Elijah • “The word of the Lord came to him, ‘Arise: go [qum + hlk] to Zarephath’…so he arose and went [qum + hlk] to Zarephath” (1 Kgs 17.8-10). • Jeremiah • “The Lord said to me, ‘Arise: go [qum + hlk] to Euphrates...so I went [hlk] to Euphrates” (Jer 13.6-7).

  4. Divine Instruction • Jonah • “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, ‘Arise: go [qum + hlk] to Nineveh…But Jonah arose [qum] to flee [brh] to Tarshish” (Jonah 1.1-3).

  5. Nineveh

  6. Tarshish = end of the world

  7. A Trip to Tarshish • A Jewish record “calculates that a full year is necessary for a voyage to Spain. It is a place as extremely remote as this which the narrator has in mind. That is why the Tarshish ships supply all kinds of exotic rareties [sic]: 1 Kings 10:22 lists not only precious metals but also ivory (elephants’ tusks), apes, and baboons” (Wolff 1986: 101).

  8. Jonah’s Descent • Jonah goes down (√yrd) to Joppa (1.3) • Jonah goes down (√yrd) into the ship (1.3) • Jonah goes down (√yrd) into the deck of the ship (1.5) • “Jonah is totally separating himself from God, both horizontally (toward Tarshish) and vertically (toward the bottom of the sea)” (Limburg 1993: 43). • Jonah has fled “away from Yahweh” (millipene yhwh) (1.3[x2], 10).

  9. Preventative Measures • They threw vessels overboard • They attempted to row back to shore • “each cried out to his own god” (1.5a) • “The captain’s order to ‘Get up, call on your god!’ is the second time Jonah has been told to get up and call/cry out; the vocabulary is the same as the Lord’s initial commission to Jonah, there translated ‘preach’ (1:2)” (Limburg 1993: 50-51).

  10. Calling out to God • “each cried [qrh] to his own god” (1.5) • “they cried [qrh] to the Lord” (1.14) • “everyone who calls [qrh] on the name of the LORD will be saved” (Joel 2.32a)

  11. Jonah’s Punishment • God hurls (√tul) a tempest upon the sea (1.4) • The sailors hurl (√tul) cargo into the sea (1.5) • Jonah is hurled (√tul) into the sea (1.15)

  12. Projecting into the New Testament

  13. The Prodigal Son (Lk 15) • “‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’” (15.21) • “‘For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’” (15.27a).