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A Narrative Reading of the Open Ending in Jonah 4:10-11

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2022, 28(1), pp.93-123
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2022.28.1.93
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : January 31, 2022
  • Accepted : February 17, 2022

kyung-Sik Park 1

1목원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article identifies and examines the prophetic rhetoric in Jonah 3-4 in an attempt to assess their significance. It argues that the point of view in Jonah 3-4 works as a rhetorical device to situate readers in the narrative plot. Verbal parallels in chapters 1 and 3 forge symmetrical structure, make tones, and interact one another to convey meaning. Characters of the story such as the saliors, Jonah, and the Ninevites also depict corresponding points showing a symmetrical structure. The narrative comprises two different sets of the scenes (Jonah 1-2 and Jonah 3-4), pointing symmetrical characters to allude its purpose and focus. Some scholars aver that the intention of the final form of chapters 3-4 is to convince its Judean audience to adhere to the covenant with God, promoted by the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah. Other scholars assert that based on the last question of Jonah, this is relevant to the postexilic community of Jerusalem where they were agonizing about the nonfulfillment of solemn prophecies concerning the advent of eschatological conditions with the restoration. Based on the analysis of narrative devices of Jonah 3-4, the intention of the open ending question clearly connects with Jonah 3:9-10 as my narrative analysis shows the plots of Jonah 3-4. In particular, the last question from God is not aimed to Jonah, but to readers along with the need of the statement of Jonah 3:9-10. Rhetorical devices in the text lead the readers to the final question directly addressed to them. The intention of the book seems simple enough in a certain way and it is all in the final question, “what are you going to do now, be faithful or not?”

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.