Author: Unclear; the story is Jonah’s but is written in the third person.
Date: Approximately 760 BC. Jonah prophesied during the reign of Israel’s King Jeroboam II (see 2 Kings 14:23-25), who ruled from about 793 to 753 BC.
In Ten Words or Less: Reluctant prophet, running from God, is swallowed by giant fish.
Details: God tells Jonah to preach repentance in Nineveh, capital of the brutal Assyrian Empire. Jonah disobeys, sailing in the opposite direction - toward a rendezvous with literary immortality. A storm rocks Jonah’s ship, and he spends three days in a giant fish’s belly before deciding to obey God after all. When Jonah preaches, Nineveh repents - and God spares the city from the destruction He’d threatened. But the prejudiced Jonah pouts. The story ends with God proclaiming his concern even for vicious pagans.
From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.