Jonah 1

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1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonas the son of Amathi, saying:

2 Arise, and go to Ninive the great city, and preach in it: for the wickedness thereof is come up before me.

3 And Jonas rose up to flee into Tharsis from the face of the Lord, and he went down to Joppe, and found a ship going to Tharsis: and he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tharsis from the face of the Lord.

4 But the Lord sent a great wind into the sea: and a great tempest was raised in the sea, and the ship was in danger to be broken.

5 And the mariners were afraid, and the men cried to their god: and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship, into the sea, to lighten it of them: and Jones went down into the inner part of the ship, and fell into a deep sleep.

6 And the shipmaster came to him, and said to him: Why art thou fast asleep? rise up, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think of us, that we may not perish.

7 And they said every one to his fellow: Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know why this evil is upon us. And they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonas.

8 And they said to him: Tell us for what cause this evil is upon us, what is thy business? of what country art thou? and whither goest thou? or of what people art thou?

9 And he said to them: I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord the God of heaven, who made both the sea and the dry land.

10 And the men were greatly afraid, and they said to him: Why hast thou done this? (for the men knew that he fled from the face of the Lord: because he had told them.)

11 And they said to him: What shall we do to thee, that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea flowed and swelled.

12 And he said to them: Take me up, and cast me into the sea, and the sea shall be calm to you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

13 And the men rowed hard to return to land, but they were not able: because the sea tossed and swelled upon them.

14 And they cried to the Lord, and said: We beseech thee, O Lord, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.

15 And they took Jonas, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from raging.

16 And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and sacrificed victims to the Lord, and made vows.

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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:

Arcana Coelestia 1188, 1343, 1709, 2606, 10325

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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...

jonas
'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...

ninive
'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.

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

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...

rose up
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...

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,"...

found
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

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...

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.

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

cried
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...

said
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...

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

us
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,...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

lots
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...

tell
'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...

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...

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...

heaven
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...

fled
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...

return
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...

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

vows
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...

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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