The people of Nineveh (Lk 11:32-11:32)

“The people of Nineveh

Will rise up

At the judgment

Against this generation.

They will condemn it.

Because they repented

At the preaching

Of Jonah.

See!

Someone greater

Than Jonah

Is here.”

 

ἄνδρες Νινευεῖται ἀναστήσονται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν· ὅτι μετενόησαν εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε.

 

Luke also indicated that Jesus said that the people or men of Nineveh would rise up (ἄνδρες Νινευεῖται ἀναστήσονται) at the judgment time (ἐν τῇ κρίσει) against this generation (μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης).  They will condemn them (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν) because they had repented or had a change of heart (ὅτι μετενόησαν) because of the preaching of Jonah (εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ).  However, someone greater than Jonah is here (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε).  This saying about the positive response of repentance among the men of Nineveh, where the prophet Jonah had preached, can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:41, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  Once again, these gospel writers and Jesus went back to the story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 3:5.  However, this story came first in Matthew, preceding the story about the Queen of the South.  He said that those people of Nineveh, who were long dead, would rise up at the judgment time against this generation.  They would condemn these contemporary people because they had repented during the 40-day preaching of Jonah in Nineveh.  Matthew then reminded them that someone greater than Jonah was there among them, Jesus himself.  Both these stories were about gentiles who praised Jewish leaders.  Do you repent after listening to the preaching of Jesus?

 

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The Son of Man (Lk 11:30-11:30)

“Just as Jonah

Became a sign

To the people

Of Nineveh,

So,

The Son of Man

Will be a sign

To this generation.”

 

καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh (καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον), so, too, the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ).  This saying about the sign of Jonah can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:39-40.  Perhaps this was a Q source, going back to Hebrew scripture roots.  Jesus used this story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 1:17, where he was in the belly of the whale or the sea monster for 3 days and 3 nights.  The obvious comparison between the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.  Matthew was even more specific than Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that the only sign they were going to get was the sign of the prophet Jonah, who had been in the belly of the sea monster or whale that swallowed him for 3 days and 3 nights.  Thus, the Son of Man would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.  This was a clear allusion to the death of Jesus in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights before his resurrection.  Luke was not as clear or specific.  What do you know about Jonah and the whale?

The reaction of the men of Nineveh (Mt 12:41-12:41)

“The people of Nineveh

Will rise up

At the judgment

With this generation.

They will condemn it.

Because they repented

At the preaching of Jonah.

See!

Something greater

Than Jonah is here.”

 

ἄνδρες Νινευεῖται ἀναστήσονται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν· ὅτι μετενόησαν εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε.

 

This saying about the positive response of repentance among the men of Nineveh, where the prophet Jonah had preached, can also be found in Luke, chapter 11:32, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  Once again, Q and Matthew went back to their Old Testament roots, using the story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 3:5.  Those people of Nineveh, who were long dead, would rise up at the judgment time against this generation (ἄνδρες Νινευεῖται ἀναστήσονται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης).  They would condemn it (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτήν) because they had repented during the 40-day preaching of Jonah (ὅτι μετενόησαν εἰς τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰωνᾶ) in Nineveh.  Now, Matthew reminded them that something or someone greater than Jonah was there among them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ὧδε), Jesus himself.

The twelve Minor Prophets

The twelve minor writing prophets have shorter books than the major prophets.  These writing prophets range from the 8th to the 5th century BCE.  These include Hosea from the 8th century BCE, Joel from the 8th -5th century BCE, Amos from the 8th century BCE, Obadiah and Jonah from the 6th century BCE, Micah and Nahum from the 8th century BCE, Habakkuk and Zephaniah from the 7th century BCE, Haggai and Zechariah from the 6th century BCE, and Malachi from the 5th century BCE.  Some of these prophets had an influence on New Testament Christian writers.

Title (Nah 1:1-1:1)

“An oracle

Concerning Nineveh.

The book of the vision

of Nahum of Elkosh.”

The title of this work indicates that this is an oracle about Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrians, who had destroyed northern Israel, Samaria, in 723 BCE.  Nineveh, on the outskirts of modern day Mosul, Iraq, on the Tigris River, was itself destroyed around 612 BCE.  Nineveh was the same city that Jonah was sent to preach against.  He, however, was successful in that the leaders and inhabitants of Nineveh repented.  Thus, Yahweh did not destroy it then.  This oracle was once again the word of Yahweh.  This book also talked about a vision that Nahum had.  There is no mention of his father, but there is a mention of the place that he is from, Elkosh, a village in Galilee or southwest Judah.

Yahweh responds to Jonah (Jon 4:9-4:11)

“But God

Said to Jonah.

‘Is it right

For you

To be angry

About the bush?’

Jonah said.

‘Yes,

Angry enough to die.’

Yahweh said.

‘You are concerned

About the bush

For which you did not labor.

You did not grow it.

It came into being

In a night.

It perished

In a night.

Should I not be concerned

About Nineveh,

That great city,

In which there are more

Than a hundred

And twenty thousand persons,

Who do not know

Their right hand

From their left hand.

There are also many animals.”

Thus, the story of Jonah ends with a reprimand for Jonah.  Jonah continued to argue that he had the right to be mad.  At times, he sounded like Job and his complaints.  God, not Yahweh, asked him if he had a right to be angry.  Jonah insisted that he was so angry that he was willing to die.  Then Yahweh asked him about the bush.  It appeared one day and was gone the next day.  Jonah did nothing to make it grow, so why was he so angry about the dead bush.  On the other hand, Yahweh was concerned about the great city of Nineveh with 120,000 people and lots of animals.  Yet, there was a parting shot at the people of Nineveh.  Apparently, they were so dumb that they could not tell their right hand from their left hand.

The sun beats on Jonah (Jon 4:7-4:8)

“But when dawn came up,

The next day,

God appointed a worm

That attacked the bush.

Thus,

It withered.

When the sun rose,

God prepared

A sultry east wind.

The sun beat down

On the head of Jonah,

So that he was faint.

He asked

That he might die.

He said.

‘It is better for me

To die

Than to live.’”

Jonah still had the same death wish that he had expressed earlier.  When dawn came up, God sent a worm to attack Jonah’s shade bush, so that the bush withered.  In addition to that, God sent a sultry east wind, so that the sun beat down on Jonah’s head.  He then became faint.  As earlier in this chapter, Jonah thought that it was better that he died rather sit in the beating hot sun.  Obviously, Jonah was not a very strong individual.