G‑d came to Jonah the son of Amitai saying: "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me."
The problem was Jonah didn't care about the people of Nineveh and didn't want the responsibility.
So, instead of obeying G-d, Jonah decided Tarshish was a way to escape and fled to the port city of Jaffa and found a ship going to Tarshish.
Soon after the boat left, a terrible storm suddenly aroused and tossed the boat around viciously.All the men threw their baggage overboard hoping they wouldn't drown, except Jonah who was peacefully napping below deck.
There's a missing passenger below deck! Let me fetch him!
When asked how he could sleep in such a tempest, Jonah confessed, "I am running away from something G-d asked me to do. It is my fault this is happening. If you throw me into the sea, the storm will stop."
The men were reluctant to throw Jonah overboard, but as the storm grew worse they did so. The storm stopped almost immediately.
G-d was not done with Jonah yet. He sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in his belly for 3 days.
In those 3 days of utter darkness and discomfort, Jonah had time to reflect. He prayed and prayed to G-d, begging G-d to forgive him and promising to do better.
The people, including the king of Nineveh, believed Jonah, repented, and fasted.
Once Jonah had truly repented, G-d ordered the giant fish to vomit Jonah out, on dry land.
When G-d asked Jonah to go to Nineveh a 2nd time, he agreed to go.
And G-d forgave all the citizens of Ninevehand spared the city!
Thank you for telling us. We will listen as He says.
In Nineveh, Jonah warned the people that if they continued their evil ways, G-d would destroy the city.
Jonah left the city furious with G-d's decision to not punish the people and stormed off to be alone.
He'll destroy everything in this city in 40 days time if you don't listen!
"Should I not be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, with its more than 120,000 persons?"
Jonah teaches us valuable lessons about compassion and repentance. It shows all people can connect with G-d if they do it with sincerity.
During Jonah's isolation, he mourns a dying plant to which G-d compares the people of Nineveh.