The Bible

 

Jonah 3

Pyhä Raamattu (1933/1938)         

Study the Inner Meaning

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1 Joonalle tuli toistamiseen tämä Herran sana:

2 "Nouse ja mene Niiniveen, siihen suureen kaupunkiin, ja saarnaa sille se saarna, minkä minä sinulle puhun".

3 Niin Joona nousi ja meni Niiniveen Herran sanan mukaan. Ja Niinive oli suuri kaupunki Jumalan edessä: kolme päivänmatkaa.

4 Ja Joona käveli kaupungissa aluksi yhden päivänmatkan ja saarnasi sanoen: "Vielä neljäkymmentä päivää, ja Niinive hävitetään".

5 Niin Niiniven miehet uskoivat Jumalaan, kuuluttivat paaston ja pukeutuivat säkkeihin, niin suuret kuin pienet.

6 Ja kun tieto tästä tuli Niiniven kuninkaalle, nousi hän valtaistuimeltaan, riisui yltään vaippansa, verhoutui säkkiin ja istui tuhkaan.

7 Ja hän huudatti Niinivessä: "Kuninkaan ja hänen ylimystensä määräys kuuluu: Älkööt ihmiset älköötkä eläimet-raavaat ja lampaat-maistako mitään, käykö laitumella tai vettä juoko.

8 Verhoutukoot ihmiset ja eläimet säkkeihin, huutakoot väkevästi Jumalaa ja kääntykööt itsekukin pois pahalta tieltänsä sekä väkivallasta, mikä heidän käsiänsä tahraa.

9 Ehkäpä Jumala jälleen katuu ja kääntyy vihansa hehkusta, niin ettemme huku."

10 Kun Jumala näki heidän tekonsa, että he kääntyivät pois pahalta tieltänsä, niin Jumala katui sitä pahaa, minkä hän oli sanonut tekevänsä heille, eikä tehnyt sitä.

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   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 3      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

In the third chapter of the Book of Jonah, Jonah finally reaches Nineveh, and starts preaching repentance and reformation to the people there. And... they listen! Even the King of Assyria listens!

The inner meaning of the story is pretty close to the surface here, and there's important symbolism. Swedenborg summarizes the chapter's meaning in this one sentence:

"The nations, hearing from the Word of God about their sins, and that they would perish, were converted after repenting, and were heard by the Lord, and saved." (The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 213)

Rev. George McCurdy, in his exegesis of this chapter, offers this summary:

The great city of Nineveh has many spiritual representations. The world saw Nineveh as a mighty nation, but in the eyes of the Lord, it represented the shallowness and weakness (death) of false doctrines, contrived beliefs confirmed by the proprium (self love), the fallacies of the senses, and the unenlightened understanding that spawns spiritual ignorance.

The Lord’s mercy and love for all prompted Him not only to send His message to Nineveh, but to ensure that it would be preserved for eternity. Jonah’s call to "arise and go" preach to Nineveh is a call for spiritual renewal. It is a call for repentance. The fasting, sackcloth, and ashes symbolize a call to be aware that "where there is no truth, there is no church."

Where the Word is closed, and not loved, there is a loss of conjunction with the Divine resources. The fasting of man and beast symbolizes a need for the spiritual and natural appetites to come to the Lord for that "bread which comes down from heaven." The Ninevites giving up their natural food and drink represents their turning away from "as-of-self" concepts and reminds all who read and hear the Word of the Lord to rely on heavenly manna.

"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance…" (Isaiah 55:2)

The king sitting in ashes and mourning represents a sorrowful attitude toward "the remains of the fire of self-love." Repentance involves self-examination, making oneself guilty for the sins and evils committed, asking the Lord for His help, and desiring to attain a new life.

As we mull over this concept, think about the Lord’s preaching on earth. As He went about His mission, He often used these words: "You have heard it said of old… but I say unto you…" Putting aside human traditions and taking on the Lord’s teachings is an ongoing effort. Jonah was told to preach the words of the Lord. He was not to make things up from his memory. He was to be a true and faithful prophet of the Lord’s ways.

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

Rev. Martin Pennington suggests two explanatory passages from Swedenborg's theological writings:

"Forty days means a period of temptation combats or severe change." (Arcana Coelestia 730)

"A fast represents those who are in a state of unhappiness when good is no longer joined to the truths." (Arcana Coelestia 9182[10])

Other references of interest listed by Rev. McCurdy include:

"As ‘forty’ signified what is full or complete… forty signifies what is complete in respect to instruction and influx… for this reason it was said by Jonah to the Ninevites that ‘the city would be overthrown after forty days" (Jonah 3:4) (Arcana Coelestia 9437[2])

"By being clothed in sackcloth is signified mourning on account of the vastated truth in the church; for garments signify truths; and therefore, to be clothed in sackcloth, which is not a garment, signifies mourning that there is no truth; and where there is no truth, there is no church." Jonah 3:5-6 is cited. (Apocalypse Revealed 492)

"…the rite of putting sackcloth on the loins to testify…mourning may be seen from the historic and prophetic parts of the Word, as in… Jonah 3:5-8… for a sign representative of mourning over the evil on account of which Nineveh was to perish; thus over destroyed good." (Arcana Coelestia 4779[2])

"From the signification of garments it is also manifest why they rent their garments, when any one spoke against the Divine truth of the Word… and why, on account of transgressions against Divine truths, they put off their garments, and put on sackcloth." Jonah 3:5, 6, and 8 are cited. (Apocalypse Revealed 166)

"That ‘ashes’ denote falsity, may be confirmed from passages where another word for ‘ashes (cinis)’ is used, for these ashes have a like origin…" Jonah 3:6 is cited. (Arcana Coelestia 7520)

"…by ‘ashes’ in the opposite sense, namely, what is condemned that remains after the burning from the fire of self love. This is signified by ‘the ashes’ which they carried on the head, and in which they rolled themselves when bewailing their sins." Jonah 3:6 is cited. (Arcana Coelestia 9723)

"In the spiritual sense by kings those who are in truths are signified, by the great ones those who are in goods, by the rich those that are in the knowledge of good, by the mighty they that are in erudition, by servants they that are in such things from others, and thus from memory, and by freemen they that are in such things from themselves…" Jonah 3:7 is cited. (Apocalypse Revealed 337)

"The interior good and also the interior evil…are signified by ‘man,’ are those which are of the intention or end, for the intention or end is the inmost of man; but the exterior good and also the exterior evil which are signified by ‘beast,’ are those which are of the thought, and of the consequent action when nothing stands in the way…By ‘beast,’…in respect to the external or natural man, a man is nothing else than a beast, for he takes delight in the like cupidities and pleasures, as also in the like appetites and sense…Therefore… from a holy rite it was commanded by the king of Nineveh, that both man and beast were to fast, and were to be covered with sackcloth (Jonah 3:7, 8)." (Arcana Coelestia 7523)

"… in the spiritual world a man’s affections appear at a distance like beasts… and beasts, viewed in themselves, are nothing but forms of natural affections… By man and beasts together is signified man as to spiritual and natural affection, in the following passages… Jonah 3:7, 8…" (Apocalypse Revealed 567)

"Here ‘webs’ and ‘garments’ are predicated of things of the understanding, that is, of the thought; ‘iniquity’ and ‘violence,’ of things of the will, that is, of works. In Jonah 3:8… the ‘evil way’ is predicated of falsities, which are of the understanding; and ‘violence,’ which are of the will." (Arcana Coelestia 623[2])

"…the ‘wrath of anger’ is attributed to Jehovah, and consequently ‘repentance.’" (Arcana Coelestia 588[2])

"…the Word is such in the sense of the letter, it may be evident that it cannot be understood without doctrine. But let examples illustrate this. It is said that Jehovah repenteth (Jonah 3:9; 4:2), and it is also said that Jehovah repenteth not (Num. 23:19…): without doctrine these statements do not agree." (Teachings Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51)

"In these passages (Jonah 3:9,10) Jehovah is said to have ‘repented,’ when yet it cannot be that He repents, because He knows all things before He does them; from which it is evident that by ‘repenting’ is signified mercy." (Arcana Coelestia 10441[2-4])

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.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 213


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 588, 623, 4779, 7520, 7523, 9437, 9723, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 166, 337, 492, 567

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 408, 637, 650

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

maastamuutto 33:6

1 Samuel 6:5

2 Samuel 12:22

1 Kings 21:27, 29

2 Kings 19:1

2 kronikot 20:3

Esther 4:1, 3

sananlaskuja 28:13

Jesajan 1:16, 58:6

Jeremiah 1:7, 17, 6:26, 18:7, 28:8, 42:10

Joel 2:13, 14

Amos 5:15, 7:3, 6

Jonah 1:1, 2, 15, 4:2

Zephaniah 2:3

Matteus 11:21, 12:41

Luukas 11:32

Bible Word Meanings

sana
'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...

Niiniveen
'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...

nousi
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...

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

jumalan
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

kolme
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...

sanoen
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...

neljäkymmentä
'Forty' means completeness because 'four' means what is complete, as does 'ten.' Forty is the product of four and ten. Compound numbers have a meaning...

päivää
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

eläimet
"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...

Jumala
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

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.


 Beauty for Ashes
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

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

 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

 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

The Bible

 

Jeremiah 6:26

Pyhä Raamattu (1933/1938)         

Study the Inner Meaning

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26 Tytär, minun kansani! Kääriydy säkkiin, vieriskele tuhassa; pidä itkiäiset, niinkuin ainokaista poikaa itketään, katkerat valittajaiset, sillä äkkiarvaamatta käy kimppuumme hävittäjä.

   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 72


Other references to this verse:

Arcana Coelestia 2799, 3024, 4779, 7520, 9723

Apocalypse Revealed 166, 492


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 195, 637, 1129

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 56

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 49

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Job 15:21

Jesajan 3:24

Jeremiah 15:8, 30:5

Hesekiel 7:18, 27:30

Amos 8:10

Jonah 3:6

Bible Word Meanings

tytär
Marriages among people – both in the Bible and in life – represent spiritual marriage. Women represent the desire to be good and to do...

The Bible

 

Jonah 1:2

Pyhä Raamattu (1933/1938)         

Study the Inner Meaning

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2 "Nouse, mene Niiniveen, siihen suureen kaupunkiin, ja saarnaa sitä vastaan; sillä heidän pahuutensa on noussut minun kasvojeni eteen".

   Study the Inner Meaning

Exploring the Meaning of Jonah 1      

By Rev. George McCurdy and Rev. Martin Pennington

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.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 211

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:  (see all)



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

synty 10:11, 18:21

2 kronikot 28:9

Jonah 3:2, 3, 4:11

Nahum 3:19

Paljastus 18:5

Bible Word Meanings

Niiniveen
'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...

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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