Eternal Delight and Deliciousness: The Book of Jonah After Ten Years

  • Thomas M. Bolin


The first part of this article reviews significant scholarly contributions on the Book of Jonah for the last ten years. Looking specifically at the work of Serge Frolov, Yvonne Sherwood, Ehud Ben Zvi, Lowell Handy and T.A. Perry demonstrates that exegesis of Jonah has entered a very fruitful period, free of the anti-Jewish biases characteristic of earlier readings and armed with more information about post-exilic Judah than ever before. Next, the article looks at God’s reference to the animals in Jon 4:11 and reads it as an expression of God’s desire for the newly submissive Ninevites to offer sacrifice to him, as the sailors do in 1:16 and Jonah vows in 2:10. Thus God is portrayed, like many ancient Near Eastern potentates, as extending his rule over peoples and exacting tribute.