Narrative :: Jonah: Introduction Notes on ch:  3  4  

Study Notes on Jonah (including Hebrew narrative) by Tim Bulkeley


Characters: Mariners

In terms of the dominant action of the story the mariners and their captain are hardly required. Their only contribution to the plot is to throw Jonah overboard. The captain is hardly distinguished from the others.

However by their actions they make a strong contrast to Jonah:

Sailors: 

Jonah: 

do their job as best they can (1:5) flees, and hides in the bottom of the boat (1:5)
call on their gods (1:5) despite their invitation Jonah apparently does NOT call on his
are foreigners and pagans "a Hebrew" (1:9) who "fears" Adonai God of heaven
act on what they know knows God is "maker of sea and dry land" yet does not "fear" him enough to obey
pray to God for pardon in advance (1:14) even by chapter two still does not acknowledge to God the fault he declares to the sailors (1:10)
offer Adonai "a sacrifice and vows" (1:16) castigates those who "forsake their true loyalty" (2:8) yet requires ordering a second time to go to Nineveh

 

 

© Tim Bulkeley, 2003