Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Jonah Chapter One

My Bible study is group has been studying "post cards of the Bible". We define that as any book under five chapters. So right now we are discussing Jonah. The whale (fish) gets discussed a lot when one talks about Jonah but the cross cultural interaction is also a part of the story. Jonah's story takes place before the northern Kingdom Of Israel were carried off by the Assyrians. In a sense Jonah is an example of interacting with the Assyrians. Jonah may witness to the Assyrians (Nineveh) by his righteous life or he may show the power of God in judging his sin. God gets his work done either way. Later on the Northern Kingdom would have their sin judged by God allowing the Assyrians to drag them off into exile. The Samaritian people would be a result of that conquest, a half Assyrian - half children of Israel mix of people. By the way, a small group of Samaritians still exists today.

Another interesting observation is that Jonah mentions to these sea going people that God is LORD of both land and sea. We often see in the Old Testament passages a deviding of the different environments like this. Jonah says...

"I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD , the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land."

While their classifications of environments may not fit the modern ones, it is interesting how the Old Testament treats this concept.
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