Questions about the book of Jonah

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cih1355

Puritan Board Junior
Were the sailors in Jonah chapter 1 saved? Jonah 1:16 says that they feared the Lord, offered a sacrifice, and made vows. Why does Jonah 3:5 use the term, "God", instead of the "Lord"? Did the Ninevites have a true conversion?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
:wr50:
I think the sailors were converted. It fits the whole "missionary" tenor of the book. Jonah was afraid God would be gracious to the heathen (see 4:2; and meanwhile he wasn't converting the Israelite masses!). So despite himself, Jonah preaches the gospel to heathen sailors.

I don't think the Ninevites were affected in the same degree. There were likely more than a few notable conversions. Remember, "a little leaven levens the whole lump." "Suppose there were [only ten] righteous within the city ...." And there was, indeed, a public repentance for sin, though it may have been mainly superficial. God honored it for the time being, but at a later date, long after Jonah's visit was a tattered memory and sin reigned again in Nineveh, God broke "the rod of his anger" (Is. 10:5) and tossed it on the ash heap of history.
 

JohnStevenson

Puritan Board Freshman
The book of Jonah

[quote:7ca651a68d="cih1355"]Were the sailors in Jonah chapter 1 saved? Jonah 1:16 says that they feared the Lord, offered a sacrifice, and made vows[/quote:7ca651a68d]
I don't think the passage really addresses whether or not the sailors were saved. Joppa was not an Israelite town -- it was probably under the sway of the Phoenicians during this period.

The book of Jonah has everyone in the book doing the will of the Lord -- the storm, the sailors, the fish, the people of Nineveh, the worm, the goard and even the east wind. Everyone in this book does the will of the Lord except the prophet of the Lord.
 

Redeemed

Puritan Board Freshman
The thrust of the passage seems to indicate the the mariners (KJV) or rather sailors did not know the LORD. Notice the language of the passage: "Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god...(v. 5)". There seemed to a smorgasbord of idolatry on the ship. However after Jonah was tossed overboard and the sea ceased, Scriptures says:"Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly,...(v.16)". So in response to the greatness of the living God, they humbly gave Him worship and made vows. I'm not going to dogmatically say they came to name the LORD subsequent to this event, but I will say this encounter brought about a clear Copernican revolution within the orbit of their beliefs.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by cih1355
Were the sailors in Jonah chapter 1 saved? Jonah 1:16 says that they feared the Lord, offered a sacrifice, and made vows.
I think they were saved, just like Naaman the Syrian. They were confronted with God and submitted. Fearing the Lord is usually a reference to godly fear, a trademark of God's people.

Why does Jonah 3:5 use the term, "God", instead of the "Lord"?

Often Elohim is used by foriegners to name God. That seems to be the eveangelical use of the term in the OT. Notice that Ecc. also uses "God" instead of "LORD" in the whole book because it's appeal was wider than just Israel.


Did the Ninevites have a true conversion?

I think they were. The repentence wasn't qualified in the text, and Jonah was ticked off that Israel's enemies were now serving God. I don't think he would be upset if his enemies were just faking it. :2cents:
 

ChristianasJourney

Puritan Board Sophomore
I started reading a book about Jonah this morning...and what impressed me is the thought of what Jonah must've felt like being sent to the GENTILES...I thought of Peter's reaction, as well as Paul's when it came to recognizing that Jesus was also the Messiah to the gentiles. I bet Jonah had the same feelings, only stronger. "You're sending me to THEM!"
 
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