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Jonah's fasting
Fast of Nineveh


A Fish Swallowing a Man Whole? | Jonah - "The Lord, his God" | How many days exactly did the people of Nineveh fast? Is this fast the same as Jonahs fast? | Readings Recommended during Jonah's Fast | Subtly, God Spoke to Jonah | The Sign of the Prophet Jonah | Jonah the Prophet and the Lord Christ | The Prophet Jonah, the Whale, and the Great City of Nineveh | Jonah and Jesus | The Mystery of Jonah | The Flight of Jonah                     Divider

The Sign of the Prophet Jonah


Some excerpts from the Commentary... Image: Coptic icon of Jonah the prophet and the whale صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية تمثل الحوت يبتلع يونان النبى Image: Coptic icon of Jonah the prophet and the whale

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية تمثل الحوت يبتلع يونان النبي

Although it is one of the shortest books of the Old Testament, the Book of Jonah has a very important place in the Churchs liturgical year. The Church sees within this books simple story an icon of Christ symbolically represented.

Unlike other prophetic books, the Book of Jonah does not contain words of prophecy, as such, but rather it tells a tale of Jonahs personal encounter with the Lord. Using a story motif, Jonahs prophecy speaks to us not with words but with symbols. Reading these symbols spiritually, we behold the mystery of salvation in Christ exemplified in imagistic types. Indeed, it is no wonder that this book also portrays a unique instance in the Old Testament of Gods love and concern not just for His own people, Israel, but for a nation of Gentiles who were actually Israels enemies. Here again we find an archetype of Christs mission of salvation extending beyond Israel to embrace the whole world, all the enemies of God.

On a scriptural canvas painted in symbolic imagery, God presents us with an icon of Christ in the Book of Jonah. But He also shows us ourselves in the people of Nineveh, the ships mariners, and even Jonah.

Whether in the world or the ark of the Church, whether abject evil-doer or blessed Saint, we are all of us sinners, perpetually in need of renewal in the Sign of Jonah, the glorious restorative power of the Resurrection in Baptism.

May God have mercy upon us, be gracious to us, and accept the fasts of the Holy Church, as He accepted the fast of the people of Nineveh and spared them. And may our dear Lord also bless us through the prayers of Jonah, the great prophet.

Fr. Antonious Henein

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