Jonah 4

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1 Men det tog Jonas såre fortrydeligt op, og han blev vred.

2 Så bad han til HE EN og sagde: "Ak, HE E! Var det ikke det, jeg tænkte, da jeg endnu var hjemme i mit Land? Derfor vilde jeg også før fly til Tarsis; jeg vidste jo, at du er en nådig og barmhjertig Gud, langmodig og rig på Miskundhed, og at du angrer det onde.

3 Så tag nu, HE E, mit Liv; thi jeg vil hellere dø end leve."

4 Men HE EN sagde: "Er det med ette; du er vred?"

5 Så gik Jonas ud og slog sig ned østen for Byen; der byggede han sig en Løvhytte og satte sig i Skygge under den for at se, hvorledes det gik Byen.

6 Da bød Gud HE EN en Olieplante skyde op over Jonas og skygge over hans Hoved for at tage hans Mismod, og Jonas glædede sig højligen over den.

7 Men ved Morgengry næste Dag bød Gud en Orm stikke Olieplanten, så den visnede;

8 og da Solen stod op, rejste Gud en glødende Østenstorm, og Solen stak Jonas i Hovedet, så han vansmægtede og ønskede sig Døden, idet han tænkte: "Jeg vil hellere end leve."

9 Men Gud sagde til Jonas: "Er det med ette, du er vred for Olieplantens Skyld?" Han svarede: "Ja, med ette er jeg så vred, at jeg kunde tage min Død derover,"

10 Da sagde HE EN: "Du ynkes over Olieplanten, som du ingen Møje har haft med eller opelsket, som blev til på een Nat og gik ud på een Nat.

11 Og jeg skulde ikke ynkes over Nineve, den store Stad med mer end tolv Gange 10000 Mennesker, som ikke kan skelne højre fra venstre, og meget Kvæg."

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Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 4      

By Joe David and Steve David

In this fourth chapter of the Book of Jonah, (Jonah 4), the prophet Jonah has a strange reaction to his success. He's angry, and sulky. He thinks he knows better than God does. What is this story about?

Rev. George McCurdy, in his exegesis of this chapter, offers a summary in his Study Guide for the Book of Jonah, which is available for free as a .pdf, for your use. Below, we've excerpted part of his summary, and edited it for use in this context.

The people of the Jewish church in Jonah's time didn't want to reconsider their belief in their "most-favored-nation status." They challenged the Lord. They couldn't understand why He wanted to save their enemies in Nineveh.

Despite the hard lessons in chapters 1 and 2, and his success as described in chapter 3, Jonah still thought he knew better than the Lord. He thought that God was being too soft and loving -- too forgiving -- and that He needed to come around to Jonah’s tougher view.

Jonah got so angry and vengeful that he preferred to die rather than approve of the Lord’s way to save the Ninevites. His self-love wanted shade -- protection for its concepts. The Lord needed to bring such thinking to an end; the worm brought about death to the gourd from within. The Lord then sent a vehement east wind, that represents a blowing away of the stagnant thinking of the church.

The Lord's heavenly sun shone upon Jonah, but he felt faint. Here, Jonah's insistence on his own troubling view of things made him uncomfortable with the Lord’s view. The Divine guidance offered him a way to learn to enjoy the success of his neighbors as his own, but he wouldn't take it.

For us, then -- what? This story is telling us that we can't just keep the truths of the Word for ourselves; we have to go to Nineveh and share them. And then, if people start to hear them, and use them to turn their lives around, we can't allow ourselves to get resentful that the Lord accepts their repentance and forgives them. It's a very human reaction; think of the disciples vying to be first in the Lord's command structure (Luke 9:46), or the brother of the prodigal son (Luke 15:28-29), or the workers in the vineyard who had worked all day for a denarius (Matthew 20:10-12). But... it's not a good reaction. The Lord doesn't admire it in Jonah, and doesn't admire it when it crops up in our minds, either.

Rev. Martin Pennington recommends several explanatory passages from Swedenborg's theological writings:

"Shade or shadow means the perception of good and truth lies in obscurity." (Arcana Coelestia 2367)

"A vine is spiritual good (the spiritual church)". (Arcana Coelestia 217)

"A worm represents falsity gnawing away and tormenting one." (Arcana Coelestia 8481)

"'And the sun grew hot' in the contrary sense means self-love and love of the world." (Arcana Coelestia 8487)

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

Swedenborg

Hlavní výklad ze Swedenborgových prací:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 214


Další odkazy Swedenborga k této kapitole:

Arcana Coelestia 10441

Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 401, 419

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Genesis 4:6, 41:6

1 Kings 19:4, 21:4

Job 7:2, 15, 16

Psalms 86:15, 145:9

Ecclesiastes 7:9

Hosea 13:15

Jonah 1:2, 3:9

Matthew 2:10, 20:15

Luke 15:28

Word/Phrase Explanations

Jonas
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

sagde
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...

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

barmhjertig
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

liv
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

skygge
'The shadow is good' of the oak, poplar and elm means complacence.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

at se
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...

se
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

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

hoved
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

orm
'A worm' denotes falsity of evil in the good derived from the proprium or selfhood. 'That dies not,' denotes infernal torment related to falsity. 'Worm'...


Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

til
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

store
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;...

meget
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

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.


 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

 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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