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Books of the Bible Study Questions: Jonah

Learn about Jonah and, more importantly, how Jonah points toward Christ, with these study helps.

Introduction to Jonah

The Book of Jonah focuses on God’s mercy toward a foreign people and the reluctant prophet He sent to them. When Jesus prophesied His own suffering, death, and resurrection in Matthew 12, He pointed to the example of Jonah, who was punished for his disobedience, “buried” within the fish, and then raised to “life” when the fish vomited him up on dry land on the third day.

Authorship of Jonah

Jonah was written by the prophet Jonah himself. PURPOSE Jonah teaches us God’s mercy toward a Gentile nation who was an enemy of Israel. This shows God also is merciful toward all people—even those who act as enemies of His own people. Jonah also teaches God’s love for His servants, even those who are hesitant to do His will.

Outline of Jonah

For the purposes of this study, we will divide Jonah into seven scenes:

  1. Account of Jonah’s Call and His Reaction (1:1–3)
  2. On Board Ship in the Midst of a Storm at Sea (1:4–17)
  3. Inside the Great Fish (2:1–10)
  4. Yahweh Gives Jonah His Assignment a Second Time (3:1–3)
  5. Jonah Delivers the Message; Nineveh’s Response (3:4–10)
  6. Jonah’s Prayer in Nineveh (4:1–3)
  7. Jonah Sits outside the City of Nineveh; Yahweh Teaches a Lesson on Mercy (4:4–11)

For more resources on reading the book of Jonah, download this free reading guide.

Download Study Questions

Written by

Wayne Palmer

Rev. Wayne Palmer received his master of divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1992. During the next fifteen years, he served two parishes in southeast Missouri. From 2007 to 2016, he was theological editor/writer at Lutheran Hour Ministries in St. Louis. In June 2016, he became Editor, Bibles and Bible resources at Concordia Publishing House. Wayne lives in St. Louis with his wife, Pam.


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