—Jonahesque, adj./joh"neuh/, n.1. a Minor Prophet who, for his impiety, was thrown overboard from his ship and swallowed by a large fish, remaining in its belly for three days before being cast up onto the shore unharmed.2. a book of the Bible bearing his name.3. any person or thing regarded as bringing bad luck.4. Also, Jonas /joh"neuhs/. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning "dove."
* * *(fl. с 785 BC) One of the 12 Minor Prophets in the Old Testament, whose story is told in the book of Jonah.(His narrative is part of a larger book, The Twelve, in the Jewish canon, and he is first mentioned in the book of Kings.) God orders Jonah to prophesy against the wickedness of Nineveh, but Jonah refuses to believe that the people of this hated foreign city deserve salvation, and he sails away on a ship in the opposite direction. When a great storm threatens to destroy the ship, he confesses his fault and asks the crew to throw him overboard. A great fish swallows him, but he prays for deliverance and the fish spews him out on dry ground. He goes on to Nineveh and preaches God's message; its sinful people repent and are saved by God. Jonah is angered over the salvation of the Ninevites and hopes that the city will be destroyed, for which God rebukes him. The book, which opposes the narrow Jewish nationalism of the time, was probably written in the 5th or 4th century BC.
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