Jonah 1

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

← Obadiah 1   Jonah 2 →

1 And there is a word of Jehovah unto Jonah son of Amittai, saying:

2 `Rise, go unto Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim against it that their wickedness hath come up before Me.'

3 And Jonah riseth to flee to Tarshish from the face of Jehovah, and goeth down [to] Joppa, and findeth a ship going [to] Tarshish, and he giveth its fare, and goeth down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the face of Jehovah.

4 And Jehovah hath cast a great wind on the sea, and there is a great tempest in the sea, and the ship hath reckoned to be broken;

5 and the mariners are afraid, and cry each unto his god, and cast the goods that [are] in the ship into the sea, to make [it] light of them; and Jonah hath gone down unto the sides of the vessel, and he lieth down, and is fast asleep.

6 And the chief of the company draweth near to him, and saith to him, `What -- to thee, O sleeper? rise, call unto thy God, it may be God doth bethink himself of us, and we do not perish.'

7 And they say each unto his neighbour, `Come, and we cast lots, and we know on whose account this evil [is] on us.' And they cast lots, and the lot falleth on Jonah.

8 And they say unto him, `Declare to us, we pray thee, on what account this evil [is] on us? what [is] thine occupation, and whence comest thou? what [is] thy country, seeing thou art not of this people?'

9 And he saith unto them, `A Hebrew I [am], and Jehovah, God of the heavens, I am reverencing, who made the sea and the dry land.'

10 And the men fear a great fear, and say unto him, `What [is] this thou hast done!' for the men have known that from the face of Jehovah he is fleeing, for he hath told them.

11 And they say unto him, `What do we do to thee that the sea may cease from us, for the sea is more and more tempestuous?'

12 And he saith unto them, `Lift me up, and cast me into the sea, and the sea doth cease from you; for I know that on my account this great tempest [is] upon you.'

13 And the men row to turn back unto the dry land, and are not able, for the sea is more and more tempestuous against them.

14 And they cry unto Jehovah, and say, `We pray Thee, O Jehovah, let us not, we pray Thee, perish for this man's life, and do not lay on us innocent blood, for Thou, Jehovah, as Thou hast pleased, Thou hast done.'

15 And they lift up Jonah, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceaseth from its raging;

16 and the men fear Jehovah -- a great fear, and sacrifice a sacrifice to Jehovah, and vow vows.

17 And Jehovah appointeth a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah is in the bowels of the fish three days and three nights.

← Obadiah 1   Jonah 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 211


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 901, 1188, 1343, 1709, 2606, 2788, 4495, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 505

Sacred Scripture 29

True Christian Religion 211


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 532, 622

Spiritual Experiences 1391

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 1:10, 3:13, 10:11, 14:13, 18:21, 24:7

Exodus 4:13

Deuteronomy 21:8

Joshua 7:19, 26

2 Samuel 21:3, 14, 24:17

2 Kings 14:25

2 Chronicles 2:15, 9:21, 28:9

Ezra 1:2

Job 37:24

Psalms 95:5, 107:25, 29, 148:8

Proverbs 16:33

Jeremiah 5:22

Ezekiel 2:8

Jonah 3:1, 2, 3, 9, 4:11

Nahum 3:19

Mark 4:41

Luke 22:46

Acts of the Apostles 27:18

Revelation 18:5

Word/Phrase Explanations

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...

jehovah
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.

son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

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;...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

Proclaim
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

riseth
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

flee
Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

Tarshish
Elishah, Tarshish, Kitthin, and Dodanium (Gen. 10:4) signify so many several doctrinals respecting ritual observances, and derived from external worship prevailing with Javan.

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

ship
Ships were used in the ancient world – as they generally are now – to carry freight from nation to nation for trade. The various...

going
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...

giveth
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

Wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

sea
'The sea and the waves roaring' means heresy and controversies in the church and individual.

broken
To “break” something creates an image that is much different from “attacking,” “destroying,” or “shattering.” It is less emotional, less violent in its intent; it...

afraid
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

Cry
As with most common verbs, the spiritual meaning of “crying” or “crying out” (meaning a shout or wail, not weeping) is highly dependent on context....

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

Sides
'Sides' signify the interior or middle between the inmost and the extremes. The word 'rib' is used to mean sides, they denote truths, but sides...

near
'Near,' in the Word, signifies presence and conjunction. 'To be near' signifies being on internal levels. Near,' as in Genesis 19:20, signifies truth bordering upon...

Call
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

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...

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...

neighbour
In the Bible, there is a careful distinction between the word “brother” and the word “companion” or “friend.” That’s partly because the people of Israel...

lot
On the most internal level, the stories of Abraham tell us about the Lord's development in his own childhood, with Abraham representing the Lord's spiritual...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

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

declare
To "declare" something means to say it formally, publicly and with emphasis; you might say what you think, but you only declare things you're sure...

comest
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

seeing
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...

Hebrew
The term 'Hebrew' is used in the Word to signify anything relating to service, whatever its nature may be. Hence Abraham, in one passage only...

heavens
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

fear
Fear has various significations according to the thing which causes it. Fear signifies love. Fear, as in Gen 28:17, signifies a holy change.

lift
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

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

blood
Bloods signify evil, in Ezek. 16:9.

Vow
In Genesis 28:20, 'he vowed a vow' denotes, in the internal sense, willing that the Lord will provide. In the highest sense, where the Lord...

swallow
To 'swallow' signifies natural truth.

Swallow up
To 'swallow up,' as in Genesis 41:21, signifies extermination.

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...

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.


 Casting Lots
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Jonah and the Stormy Sea
Color the drawings and then follow the directions to make a 3 dimensional picture. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Jonah Disobeys the Lord
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Jonah in the Great Fish
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Another way to make a 3 dimensional fish that can swallow Noah. 
Project | Ages up to 6

 Jonah Thrown Overboard
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Mighty Tempest on the Sea
Coloring Page | 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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