Yonah - meaning “dove” or morning dove. This reminds us of the Dove in Genesis who would search the waters for a place of rest.
Yonah came from the town of Gath-hepher, which was near Nazareth (2 kings 14:25;Matt. 12:40)
Unconfirmed Jewish tradition states Yonah was the son of the widow Zarephath whom Adonai raised from the dead through Elijah. Coincidence? We will see later.
It was during the reign of Jeroboam II (793-758 B.C.)
Yonah was a prophet to the northern ten tribes of Israel; he is not remembered for his preaching in Israel but His call of repentance in Nineveh.
The Pharisees of Yeshua’s day must have forgotten where Yonah was from:
John 7:52 They answered and said to Him (Yeshua), "You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee." (NAS)
Has a Prophet risen out of Galilee?
Yes, Two prophets
One (Yonah) sent to the Gentiles or Ninevites of the Assyrian Empire who were adversaries of Israel.
The other Yeshua Ben Yoseph who also was a Galilean sent to Israel.
Luke 11:30 For as Yonah was a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will also the Son of man be to this generation.
The pagan Ninevites where known for their wickedness. Yonah did not want to go to them to let them know that the error of their ways that would destroy them if they did not repent.
Interestingly, Pagan Ninevites repented for their actions at the voice of a prophet who didn’t want at first to be obedient. There was NOTHING phony about their repentance. If there were Adonai would have brought judgment on them swiftly.
In Contrast, Most Israelites did not want to repent from the voice of the prophet from Galilee who was obedient even obedient enough to die for His friends.-Yeshua.
Yonah hoped for the destruction of Nineveh. He hated them because they were a cruel people. Adonai still had compassion and more or less told Yonah to go to them as the last chance for them to obey and end their wickedness.
Yeshua wept for the repentance of Yerushalayim. Yeshua wanted to bless Israel but as a nation they rejected this blessing. What was the blessing? - Yeshua HaMashiach and eternal life. Many only hurt themselves by this rejection. (Matt. 21:42-43;Ps. 118; Dan. 2:45;Isa. 28:16;1 Peter 2:4-8))
Yonah 1:1Now the word of Adonai came to Yonah the son of Amitai, saying,
The Word of Adonai came to Yonah.
Yonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
G-d message was very clear, very direct.
Yonah 1:3 But Yonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Adonai, and went down to Yafo (Joppa); and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of Adonai.
When we hear the word of Adonai we should obey. WE all however make mistakes from time to time. We sometimes do not always know what is good for us. G-d in His mercy will deal with us in His way. Sometimes we place our own desires above the desires of HaShem. We sometimes try to run from His Word and our responsibilities to Him. We will never find true rest or shalom unless we stop running from Adonai and surrender to His will. AS believers we must obey and tell others the message from Adonai about His Son. We are also commanded to tell others about the good news. If you are ever criticized for serving the L-rd, just ignore it and consider yourself blessed. You also would not want to end up like Yonah did. WE also do this because we still have compassion for them and want them to know what a blessing the Messiah is.
Repent and trust in the Word of Adonai that was brought to us.
This is the only recorded instance of a prophet refusing G-d’s command.
Tarshish - thought to be a city in Southern Spain.
Yonah was going in the complete opposite direction of where G-d wanted him to go.
Yonah 1:4 But Adonai sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Some times G-d has to use drastic measures in our lives to get our attention.
Yonah 1:5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man to his god, and cast the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. But Yonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
This gives us a foreshadowing of Yeshua sleeping while Peter and experienced men of the sea who were used to bad weather where afraid. It must have been some storm in both cases.
Mark 4:35-41 And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, ASLEEP on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "HUSH BE STILL." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" (NAS)
Yonah 1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said to him, What is to you, O sound sleeper? Arise, call on your G-d, if so be that G-d will think upon us, that we perish not.
In other words, Don’t you care? We are perishing please call on your G-d for help.
Again, Does this remind you of anyone?
Yonah gives us a picture of who the Messiah would be. Yonah like many in the past are a “type” of Messiah. His Word continues to guide us and point to the coming Messiah. The only difference here is, the disciples called on Yeshua to help them from perishing and Yeshua calmed the storm Himself.
Tehillim (Psalms) 107:23-31 Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the L-RD, And His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, and were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the L-RD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to BE STILL, So that the waves of the sea were HUSHED. Then they were glad because they were quiet; So He guided them to their desired haven. (NAS)