Jonah 4

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1 MA ciò dispiacque forte a Giona, ed egli se ne sdegnò; e fece orazione al Signore, e disse:

2 Ahi! Signore, non è questo ciò che io diceva, mentre era ancora nel mio paese? perciò, anticipai di fuggirmene in Tarsis; conciossiachè io sapessi che tu sei un Dio misericordioso, e pietoso, lento all’ira, e di gran benignità; e che ti penti del male.

3 Ora dunque, Signore, togli da me, ti prego, l’anima mia; perciocchè meglio è per me di morire che di vivere.

4 Ma il Signore gli disse: È egli ben fatto di sdegnarti in questa maniera?

5 E Giona uscì della città, e si pose a sedere dal levante della città; e si fece quivi un frascato, e sedette sotto esso all’ombra, finchè vedesse ciò che avverrebbe nella città.

6 E il Signore Iddio preparò una pianta di ricino, e la fece salire di sopra a Giona, per fargli ombra sopra il capo, per trarlo della sua noia. E Giona si rallegrò di grande allegrezza per quel ricino.

7 Ma il giorno seguente, all’apparir dell’alba, Iddio preparò un verme, il qual percosse il ricino, ed esso si seccò.

8 E quando il sole fu levato, Iddio preparò un vento orientale sottile; e il sole ferì sopra il capo di Giona, ed egli si veniva meno, e richiese fra sè stesso di morire, e disse: Meglio è per me di morire che di vivere.

9 E Iddio disse a Giona: È egli ben fatto, di sdegnarti in questa maniera per lo ricino? Ed egli disse: Sì, egli è ben fatto, di essermi sdegnato fino alla morte.

10 E il Signore gli disse: Tu hai voluto risparmiare il ricino, intorno al quale tu non ti sei affaticato, e il quale tu non hai cresciuto; che è nato in una notte, e in una notte altresì è perito.

11 E non risparmierei io Ninive, quella gran città, nella quale sono oltre a dodici decine di migliaia di creature umane, che non sanno discernere fra la lor man destra, e la sinistra; e molte bestie?



Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 4      

Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff

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.

   Studovat vnitřní smysl

Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 4      

Napsal(a) New Christian Bible Study Staff

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

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 401, 419

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Významy biblických slov

Giona
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

signore
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...

misericordioso
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...

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

benignità
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...

male
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

anima
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

disse
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...

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

sotto
In the Bible, things that are lower down, or under, physically, generally represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases, the...

ombra
In Psalm 121:6, 'be a shade on the right hand' means being a defense against the evil and falsity.

Iddio
Il Signore è l'amore stesso, espresso sotto forma di saggezza. L'amore, quindi, è la sua essenza, il suo intimo. La saggezza - la comprensione amorosa...

grande
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;...

verme
'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'...

sole
The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

vento
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...

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

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...

migliaia
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

bestie
"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...

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