We all know the Jonah story and how its ‘principal’ perception suffered transport from Jerusalem into a far city, Nineveh, an ancient Assyrian city on the Tigris River and near present-day Mosul in North-Central Iraq. Nineveh, the Assyrian Empire’s Capital City, enjoyed great influence and prosperity, especially under Sennacherib and Ashurbanipal (seventh century B.C.); but in the south, in 612 B.C., Babylonian allies revolted and destroyed Nineveh. If this historical rendition is acceptable, then traditional conceptions of Jonah purpose are not truly focused, devoid of any chronological assigns or connection between story purpose and prophetic parallelisms. Thereof, awareness to chronological reality or time frame for Jonah’s trials, tenure in the whale belly, and cause for transport motivation, magnifies events transpired several years prior to 612 B.C. In fact, Jonah’s interaction limits the adventure to sometime after 721 B.C. but before 612 B.C. Conventionally dated at 846 to 825 B.C., we know, in exegetical retrospect, tradition erroneously assigns Jonah’s missionary journey to the II Kings 14:25 account—indeed, at the time of Jonah’s prophecy during Jeroboam’s reign over Israel. These chronologically diverse accounts are about the same man, to be sure; however, one account describes a young man and the other represents a very old man.
Jonah considered Gathhepher his domicile. Yet, he began his analogous journey at Jerusalem and traveled about 35 miles northwestward to Joppa, from the ‘presence of the Lord’ (who resided in the Temple). In Joppa, he found a ship embarking to Tarshish. Popular commentary differs on the Tarshish location: perhaps Spain, or perhaps near the Red Sea next to Egypt. But, again, traditional commentary errs; for Tarshish, by Jonah’s interaction and destination, lay upon the central Assyrian coast. In any event, Jonah’s mission was to discover a particular people’s status in Nineveh. Question: What people were important to the Hebrew God? (Ez. 37:21; Hosea 1:6-10)
Were Jonah’s investigative targets Assyrian Nationals? Definitely not! His mission was to observe the sixscore thousand persons, within the city, that cannot discern their right hand and left hand; these were those many previously promised to be destroyed (Israel autonomy) by the Hebrew God, now taken captive, and yet awaiting release from captivity, but not to former autonomy: via Isaiah 14:25 prophecy (725 B.C.) and Daniel 9:1 (historical moment of release, following Cyrus’ edict in his first year as Persian Intercessor over Babylonian affairs at 536 B.C.(third year was contemporaneous with Belshazzar’s third year). In fact, much the same language exists in Isaiah 14:25 prophecy as in the Jonah whole. The Hebrew God promised Israel house destruction to include self-determining lifestyle and rampant idolatry; yet, subtly, the Hebrew God rescinded his destruction decree and caused much anger in Jonah (Jonah 4:1). And why would Jonah become angry and desire to die? “. . . O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.” (4:8) To understand Jonah’s willingness to die, we must first ascertain meaning for the subjective death contemplated.
But let us begin at Jonah beginning, define characters, and utilize a few entirely legal words from the choice in Strong’s Lexical Thesaurus. As we read Jonah, we should be entirely cognizant of biblical theme: to restore Israel to theocratic conformity, to restore the non-Covenanted Ten Tribes back into fellowship with the Covenanted Two Tribes. This was the messianic mission, to restore the righteousness lost in Adam. This was the great promise; this was the great restoration to righteousness, but occupying an infinitesimal portion of the whole Ten Ages. We begin and attempt to extract reason from Jonah’s mission to Assyria.
1:16 The boatmen should be recognized as Judah house constituents; for, at the time, only Judah house constituents participated in the vows and sacrifice mentioned in 1:16. Remember, the Judah house was responsible for Israel house resort to idolatry and disfavor in 975 B.C.; thereby, they brought Israel house destruction in 721 B.C. (for ever, Jonah 2:6); such unending definition contradicts traditional perpetuity notions extemporized in ‘for ever,’ ‘eternal’ and ‘ever and ever.’ Time frame exegesis reinforces this determination.
1:12 Jonah was a Judah house member. Prior to 721 B.C and before captivity, both Israel and Judah house members were engaged in idolatry. To forestall Judah house covenant collapse, Israel house and idolatrous practices (outside God marriage benefit [encompassing belomancy at II Kings 13:18 and Jonah 1:7]) were ‘cast’ away in punishment from God presence and continuing into Jonah’s time. Jonah 2:7 intimates true God domicile, and proves Ben Winter deductions in THE GREAT DECEPTION: Symbols And Numbers Clarified; wherein, the Hebrew God residence receives notice as one domiciled in the Holy Temple! In Jonah 6:8-:16, an entreaty for calm and peace seeks Judah’s exoneration for Israel downfall and destruction into anonymity.
2:4 Clearly, referencing Israel house in captivity, Jonah expects to look upon the Holy Temple (God residence) again, at some future date. The Temple had obligation to remain standing until such sentience could be realized. For modern religionists, blinded by tradition, the Temple can no longer exist as Hebrew God residence, nor as the Hebrew ‘Heaven’ concept; therefore, such fellowship could never exist in a futurist sense: not for Jonah benefit nor for any modern Jehovah, Messiah, or Allah based existentialism.
2:5 Deep in the abyss (depth), ‘grave,’ the (God) ‘symbolic order deserters’ (weeds) firmly bound the ‘promised inheritance’ to Jonah’s ‘easily shaken’ head.
2:6 He was cut off from the ‘mount.’ “The world cast me out as a ‘fugitive’ ‘for ever.’” (Again, proven in THE GREAT DECEPTION: Symbols And Numbers Clarified, ‘for ever’ defines not a time existing in perpetuity but an uninterrupted time interval persisting until ‘end to a designated time frame.’)
2:7 ‘My (Israel) vitality was shrouded in the midst of captivity; yet, my prayer came into thee (God, in the Temple Sanctum) and delivered me from my grave (pit), spiritual death.’ [Such was not operational until after Pentecost, A.D. 30. (Ez. 37:19)]
2:8 ‘Those engaged in vain idolatry relinquish ‘acceptable piety.’ (forgetting ‘mercy’ availability, no longer sought in Jonah’s time.)
2:9 Futuristically, Jonah proposed to once again submit to ‘works’ efficacy: ‘But I will sacrifice unto thee . . . I will pay that that I have vowed.’ Jonah admitted: Salvation, that is, escape from Law and punishment, must reside in Messianic righteousness, affected only through ‘works and grace’ differentiation defined at Romans 11:6; yet depending on Temple worship during the Messianic Age.
2:10 And Jonah’s three days and nights ended with his ejection onto dry land and with attention focused on the Israel house (parallel with Messianic Kingdom attention after Pentecost at A.D. 30 [Matt. 15:24. “. . . I am not sent but into the children of Israel.”]) How many, I wonder, in today’s monotheism diversity, can claim children of Israel descendency?
3:4 Jonah entered Nineveh and discovered the City (Israel Captives), who would be allowed forty days (‘forty years,’ in the Messianic Kingdom) to advantage the ‘grace’ utility (defined at Romans 11:6 and not applicable prior to A.D. 30 beginning of the forty year period); only then could converts acquire the salvation envisioned at Jonah 2:9.
3:10 And the Hebrew God relented, for Israel house constituents received freedom in all the places they had been sold into captivity (Acts 2:7-:11 gives their National heritage and birthplaces).
4:1 Jonah was displeased with the forty-year ‘grace’ schedule and became ‘envious’ or very angry.
We have to ask: Why was Jonah displeased, envious, or angry? For, Jonah wanted to die. Because of what, from what, or to what? You cannot understand Jonah language unless you know why the principal requested death of the Hebrew God. To be sure, Jonah did not request to die a physical death but to die from the metaphysical affliction then causing conscience angst. Jonah wanted to die much as Paul died daily (I Cor. 15:31). And ‘she,’ who wanted to die, was not a singular entity but a plural entity. It was an analogous reference to children of Israel constituents who needed to die, to die not in a physical cessation of life but of death in a metaphysical sense.
Another requisite for understanding Jonah’s story is to determine identity for the ‘gourd,’ ‘hovered over’ (as a remembrance?), and which overshadowed Jonah’s humble abode. The implication is both surprising and shocking. The special college assigned to produce the King James Version translation made every effort to prepare “a book easy to be understood.” Therefore, they did their best; but in their fealty to futurist expectation, they often erred toward their own futurist desire side, on what ‘might have been desired’ rather than ‘what might have been better stated in original prose’ and harmonic agreement.
If any have read and studied THE GREAT DECEPTION: Symbols And Numbers Clarified, they must be convinced of Daniel and John’s enumerated timetables whereby both envisioned an abbreviated Eight Ages (different symbols in paradigm declension) to illustrate Hebrew history, separated into several original and episodic monotheistic existentialisms: i.e., prophetic theory utilizing Ten Ages as the total Ages allocation, condensed by both Daniel and John to Eight: in Daniel, three plucked up by the roots from the Ten total and another grown forth to replace the three (Dan. 7:8). Three were plucked up in turn, each making contribution to ‘chosen’ debilitation; thus, Daniel’s three lived on in the fourth (Dan. 7:12), and all Eight were doomed to be likewise plucked in future greater realization and no more remembered. This is the Bible theme; it illustrates completion for a set number of monotheism Ages, characterized by inherited ethos from the Four Great Kingdoms On Earth (Dan.7:17 and :23), themselves one of the coded Ages. Thus, we perceive a consistent biblical theme and one conforming to prophetic intent. Sad to say, mankind reluctantly pursues difficult thinking. To quote one, Einstein, who did engage in difficult thinking, we submit his observation of people in general: “People do not think well.” Moreover, from any realized or anticipated viewpoint, be it well-thought or un-thought, Old Testament dictates are obsolete to and inapplicable for any but Hebrews descended from Jacob (Israel): a people who’s heritage (8th Beast) was destroyed along with the Temple—and to be no more remembered! (Ez. 21:32) None other has authority to extend the Hebrew God existentialism beyond set time frames associated with The Temple destruction (Mt. 24:2-:3) and Kingdom relinquishment with death of spiritual death (I Cor. 15:26), from the death desired by our subject (Jonah 4:3).
If Ten Ages completion is correct, according to Ben Winter, and condensed to Eight Ages in biblical premise and symbolic reference, then, we might expect such evidence to be everywhere hidden in prophetic paronomasia (word play). Thusly alert, we must spend considerable company with the likes of Clarke, Wesley, Scofield and other thinking exegetes. For, though they did not intercept the ‘Ten Ages format,’ they did come very close to individualizing most of the dispensational increments. By studying and learning from their dedicated commitment and from occasional pure brilliance exhibited in other exegesis, we can begin to fathom the almost unintelligible Jonah exposition.
In familiarizing ourselves with Bible timetable isolations, Jonah’s true ‘gourds’ classification is discovered. Strong’s interpretation for the ‘King James gourd’ is not of gourd at all but the deadliest plant occurring in nature; it is the Castor, or Ricinus communis, the source of ricin. One ricin particle, no larger than a salt grain, can destroy human ribosomes (cell workhorses) and cause death. Its deadly reticulated leaves, hovering over Jonah, are clues to their symbolic substitution and connection to Jonah. The leaves, habitually appointed with serrated notches forming eight points, comfort Jonah; for they are a reminder of Judah influence and the shortness in ‘Ages’ time, of Messianic advent, of Ages completion, and of end to ‘tears and sorrows.’ Jonah tells a story of impending time frame, of a people destroyed (already autonomously destroyed for all time) but to be futuristically reinstated to Covenant status in the Seventh Age; and who, in the end, will be judged again, along with the Judah house, realizing their monotheist existentialism conclusion and end to the Eighth Age inheritance anomaly.
The ‘gourd’ was not a ‘gourd’! Ostentatiously, the ‘gourd’ is synonymous with a four ‘prepared’ insertions epitome in Jonah text—perhaps connected to the Eight point leves and four seed pod content. Whatever the writers intent, the gourd is representative of Daniel’s Four Great Kingdoms, inheritable into the last and terrible Beast.
Closely read! Jonah was angry before gourd existence! (Jon. 4:1). Jonah was angry because particular people were to be spared! Thus, angriness for the gourd (Jon. 4:9 referenced back to 4:1) caused anxiety to come up over Jonah (4:6), and must be paralleled with the sixscore thousand (4:11) who have come to their senses (3:10), and who suffer from inheritance features found in the Four (Beasts) Great Kingdoms On Earth (Dan. 7:17 and :23), representative of Daniel’s Fourth Beast (Dan. 7:7). This Fourth Beast of the Four Beasts in Daniel is the Eighth Beast in Ten Ages declension to Eight in Daniel 7:7 and in the Revelation 17:11 symbolical whole.
Eight-point leaves, ‘hovering’ over Jonah, represent the condensed Eight Ages envisioned by both Daniel and John; consistently, Castor Plant pods average about Four seeds, commensurate with the ‘Four Great Kingdoms On Earth,’ declared in Daniel 7:17 and :23. No other explanation for the ‘gourd’ plant is reasonable: to hover over Jonah’s mission, to be scorched by ‘vehement’ East winds (accusatory spirit voices), all Hebrew God provided and Hebrew God withered.
This author offers an alternative to conventional rendering; for in its King James translation, one would be hard put to make any Assyrian salvation mission sense, to endure three days and nights in a whale’s stomach, or to connect the Jonah story with known chronologies. Here, word substitutions from Strong’s Hebrew Thesaurus are applicative to time, space, and biblical theme. Is this author correct? Exegetes will have to study long and hard to prove or disprove the notions here exposited. I think these deductions are very near to correct. For the first time, Jonah’s story parallels the prophetic theme (fulfillment of Ten Ages): that is, to fulfill the Bible story, to restore Israel house constituents to Covenant status, to effect Twelve Tribes reunion, to bring righteousness restoration (lost in Adam), to accomplish judgment and resurrection, and to conclude Messianic rule. (I Cor. 15:24-:26)