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Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Jonah: Argument

3.  The great sins of Nineveh.  The Argument of the Prophecy.

In great cities great sins commonly run riot.  Power gives license:  examples make custom:  custom removes shame:  the multitude carries away after the likeness of a rushing river:  vanity and sins open the gate wide:  finally, truth and piety are oppressed.  The same happened at Nineveh, the sins of which are reviewed in Nahum 3.  With the wickedness of the city ascending before the Lord, Jonah is sent to them, whose twofold calling is narrated in this little book, that is, his calling to denounce destruction to the Ninevites, unless they repent; the first calling, which he contumaciously tried to evade, until God, pursuing him, overtook him with the jaws of a whale, and three days later cast him up again from the whale’s belly:  the second, to which Jonah yielded, and preached repentance to the Ninevites not without fruit.  Thinking the mercy of God unworthily bestowed upon them, he is informed by God of the sinfulness of his zeal, and of the equity and mercy of God towards the penitent.  This is a summary of the book.

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