Jonah 3

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Basic English Bible         

← Jonah 2   Jonah 4 →

1 And the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying,

2 Up! go to Nineveh, that great town, and give it the word which I have given you.

3 So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh as the Lord had said. Now Nineveh was a very great town, three days' journey from end to end.

4 And Jonah first of all went a day's journey into the town, and crying out said, In forty days destruction will overtake Nineveh.

5 And the people of Nineveh had belief in God; and a time was fixed for going without food, and they put on haircloth, from the greatest to the least.

6 And the word came to the king of Nineveh, and he got up from his seat of authority, and took off his robe, and covering himself with haircloth, took his seat in the dust.

7 And he had it given out in Nineveh, By the order of the king and his great men, no man or beast, herd or flock, is to have a taste of anything; let them have no food or water:

8 And let man and beast be covered with haircloth, and let them make strong prayers to God: and let everyone be turned from his evil way and the violent acts of their hands.

9 Who may say that God will not be turned, changing his purpose and turning away from his burning wrath, so that destruction may not overtake us?

10 And God saw what they did, how they were turned from their evil way; and God's purpose was changed as to the evil which he said he would do to them, and he did it not.

← Jonah 2   Jonah 4 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 213


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 588, 623, 4779, 7520, 7523, 9437, 9723, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 166, 337, 492, 567

Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 408, 637, 650

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 33:6

1 Samuel 6:5

2 Samuel 12:22

1 Kings 21:27, 29

2 Kings 19:1

2 Chronicles 20:3

Esther 4:1, 3

Proverbs 28:13

Isaiah 1:16, 58:6

Jeremiah 1:7, 17, 6:26, 18:7, 28:8, 42:10

Joel 2:13, 14

Amos 5:15, 7:3, 6

Jonah 1:1, 2, 15, 4:2

Zephaniah 2:3

Matthew 11:21, 12:41

Luke 11:32

Word/Phrase Explanations

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

Jonah
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

nineveh
'Nineveh' signifies the falsities of doctrinal matters, also the Gentiles, or the falsities originating in the fallacies of the senses, in the obscurity of an...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

a day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

forty
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

Overtake
'To overtake' denotes communication and influx.

Put on
'To put on' is communication and imbuement.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

seat
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

Great men
Great men, as in Revelation 6:15, signify those who are in good, and, in an opposite sense, those who are in evil. Great men, as...

beast
"Beasts" represent the affection for doing good things, a true desire to do them from the heart. In the negative sense, "beasts" stand for the...

herd
'A herd,' as mentioned in Genesis 32:7, denotes exterior or natural good, and also not good things.

Flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

taste
Our five senses correspond to spiritual affections, or the attraction we feel toward spiritual things. The sense of taste, according to the Writings, corresponds to...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

Way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

hands
'Washing of the hands' was an ancient declaration of innocence, and signifies purification from evils and falsities, as in Psalms 73:13 and Matthew 27:24.

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

turning
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

wrath
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

Us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

god's
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Beauty for Ashes
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 How the Lord Saved Jonah
A retelling of the story for young children with beautiful color illustrations. 
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Jonah
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Gourd
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Jonah and the Gourd (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah and the Gourd (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Gourd (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Jonah and the Great Fish
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah Goes to Nineveh
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: Divine Providence and Evil
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Prophet Jonah
This article shows how the Lord tried to teach Jonah to be merciful and kind when Jonah disobeyed the Lord because of his hatred toward the Assyrians. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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