約拿書 1

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1 耶和華的臨到亞米太的兒子約拿,說:

2 起來尼尼微城去,向其中的居民呼喊,因為他們的惡達到我面前。

3 約拿起來,逃往他施去躲避耶和華到約帕,遇見一隻,要往他施去。他就價,上了,要與上的人同往他施去躲避耶和華

4 然而耶和華使中起就狂作,甚至幾乎壞。

5 水手便懼怕,各哀求自己的。他們將上的貨物拋在中,為要使輕些。約拿到底艙,躺臥沉睡。

6 船主到他那裡對他:你這沉睡的人哪,為何這樣呢?起來,求告你的,或者顧念我們,使我們不致滅亡。

7 船上的彼此:來吧,我們掣籤,看看這災臨到我們是因誰的緣故。於是他們掣籤,掣出約拿來。

8 眾人對他:請你告訴我們,這災臨到我們是因誰的緣故?你以何事為業?你從哪裡?你是哪一國?屬哪一族的人?

9 :我是希伯來人。我敬畏耶和華─那創造滄旱地之上的

10 他們就懼怕,對他:你做的是甚麼事呢?他們已經知道他躲避耶和華,因為他告訴了他們。

11 他們問他我們當向你怎樣行,使浪平靜呢?這話是因浪越發翻騰。

12 他對他們:你們將我抬起來,拋在中,就平靜了;我知道你們遭這風是因我的緣故。

13 然而那些人竭力盪槳,要把船攏岸,卻是不能,因為浪越發向他們翻騰。

14 他們便求告耶和華耶和華啊,我們懇求你,不要因這的性命使我們死亡,不要使流無辜血的罪歸與我們;因為你─耶和華是隨自己的意旨行事。

15 他們遂將約拿抬起,拋在中,的狂浪就平息了。

16 那些人便敬畏耶和華,向耶和華獻祭,並且許願。

17 耶和華安排一條約拿,他在魚腹中夜。

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Shrnutí kapitoly

Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 1      

By Rev. Martin Pennington and Rev. George McCurdy

Billy Graham once said that the whole of Jesus' ministry could be summed up in two words; Come and Go.

COME to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

GO and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19)

In the beginning of the Book of Jonah, chapter 1, we have a story about what happens when you do the first step, but not the second. Jonah was supposed to go preach the gospel -- the monotheistic worship of Jehovah -- to the people of Ninevah. Swedenborg tells us that the verses in Jonah 1:1-2 are about the people of Israel, who had received the Word - but wouldn't go out and share it amongst the nations.

In Jonah 1:4-6, peoples' spiritual knowledge declines, and begins to perish. It happens both in the land of Israel, and in the wider world.

Here are some key symbolic elements in this account:

- A ship represents the knowledge of good and truth useful for life (a church). (Apocalypse Revealed 406)

- A sea, storm and wind represents Hell and its influence. (Apocalypse Revealed 343[4])

- To be asleep means to be deluded by our own glory. (Arcana Coelestia 147)

In Jonah 1:7-9, the people who lived outside the land of Israel had some perception that their own spiritual knowledge was lacking, and they it had led to a collapse of their spiritual state. As Swedenborg puts it, "the state of the church was perverted among themselves".

When they perceived this, they also came to understand that they needed to reject falsified truths that they were getting from the Jewish church at that time, and pray to the Lord for salvation, to try to restore real worship, real spiritual love and wisdom.

Drawing lots, or playing a game of chance, represents pulling truths apart. (Arcana Coelestia 9942.13)

In Jonah 1:10-13, throwing Jonah into the sea represents the rejection of that hollowed-out church, to make way for a new church. Then, in Jonah 1:14-16, when the people in the boat pray unto the Lord for salvation -- it works! They are saved from foundering and drowning.

What's the takeaway for us? If we're getting false ideas from our neighbors, we need to perceive it, and stop. We need to identify our false beliefs, and reject them -- throw them into the sea. Then, we need to pray for salvation -- and then a new "church" can start in us, too, personally, with renewed spiritual life. And, when we come to the Lord, and experience spiritual "rest", then we can also go share our new true ideas and good loves with our neighbors -- coming, and going.

Here's a link to an interesting (audio) sermon on this chapter, by Rev. Todd Beiswenger.

Finally, here's a link to Rev. McCurdy's Study Guide for the Book of Jonah, which is available for free as a .pdf, for your use.

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 211


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

天堂的奥秘 901, 1188, 1343, 1709, 2606, 2788, 4495, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 505

Sacred Scripture 29

真實的基督徒信仰 211


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 532, 622

Spiritual Experiences 1391

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Word/Phrase Explanations

耶和華的
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...


'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...

兒子
'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...

約拿
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

起來
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...

尼尼微
'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...


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;...


Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.


"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,"...


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


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...


Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...


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...


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...


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


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


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...

我們
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

告訴
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

希伯來人
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 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...

知道
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...


To 'swallow' signifies natural truth.


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...

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 by following this link.


 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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