The Holy Prophet Jonah
Commemorated on September 22
The Holy Prophet Jonah lived in the VIII Century before the Birth of Christ and was a successor of the Prophet Elisha. The Book of the Prophet Jonah is included in the compilation of the Bible and has prophecies about the judgements on the Israelite nation, the sufferings of the Saviour, the downfall of Jerusalem, and the end of the world. Besides the prophecies, in the Book of Jonah is related, how he was sent to the Ninevites with a preaching of repentance (Jon. 3: 3-10).
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in conversation with the Scribes and the Pharisees demanding a sign from Him, said that no sign would be given, save for the sign of the Prophet Jonah: "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so also shalt the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights (Mt. 12: 40). From these words the Lord shows clearly the symbolic meaning of the Book of the Prophet Jonah in relation to the Death on the Cross, the Descent into Hell, and the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Reproaching the lack of penitence and recalcitrance of the Jews, the Lord said: "The Ninevites shalt rise up to judgement with this generation and wilt condemn it – wherein that they had repented themselves from the preaching of Jonah; and here, is He greater than Jonah" (Mt. 12: 41).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.