The Book of Jonah is a book of the Nevi'im ("Prophets") in the Hebrew Bible. It tells of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah son of Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission. The story has a long interpretive history and has become well known through popular children's stories. In Judaism, it is the Haftarah portion read during the afternoon of Yom Kippur to instill reflection on God's willingness to forgive those who repent; it remains a popular story among Christians. It is also retold in the Quran.
Unlike the other Prophets, the book of Jonah is almost entirely narrative, with the exception of the poem in chapter 2. The actual prophetic word against Nineveh is given only in passing through the narrative. As with any good narrative, the story of Jonah has a setting, characters, a plot, and themes. It also relies heavily on such literary devices as irony.
View the Chapters of Jonah:
1 2 3 4