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In this abode he enjoys for a time the refreshing shade of a gourd which the Lord prepares for him.Shortly, however, the gourd is stricken by a worm and the Prophet is exposed to the burning rays of the sun, whereupon he again murmurs and wishes to die.To the Rationalist and to the advanced Protestant Biblical scholar these arguments are of no worth whatsoever.They find error not only in Jewish and Christian tradition but in Christ Himself.Then the Lord rebukes him for his selfish grief over the withering of a gourd, while still desiring that God should not be touched by the repentance of a city in which "there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons that know not how to distinguish between their right hand and their left, and many beasts." Apart from the hymn ascribed to Jonah (ii, 2-11) the contents of the book are prose.
This last is but a paraphrastic rendering of the name Gath-Hepher, a town in the territory of Zabulon (Josephus, "Antiq.", XIX, xiii), which was probably the birthplace of the Prophet, and where his grave was still pointed out in the time of St. The chief interest in the Prophet Jonah centres around two remarkable incidents narrated in the book which bears his name.A general repentance is immediately commanded by the authorities, in view of which God relents and spares the wicked city. He expostulates with the Lord, and declares that it was in anticipation of this result that on the former occasion he had wished to flee to Tharsis.He withdraws from Ninive and, under a booth which he has erected, he awaits the destiny of the city.If, then, the stay of Jonah in the belly of the fish be only a fiction, the stay of Christ's body in the heart of the earth is only a fiction.If the men of Ninive will really not rise in judgment, neither will the Jews really rise.