Wrestling With God. Commentary on the Book of Jonah. Published 2014.
Jonah is a fascinating book. It takes only ten minutes to read, but ten years of study cannot explain all of the questions it raises. The prophet is often criticised by preachers and scholars alike. They describe him as chauvinistic and narrow-minded. This commentary takes a much more positive view of the man. Jonah was probably the best man of his generation. His understanding of God is exceptional. If so, why did he travel in the opposite direction from his mission field? This commentary brings new insights into the conflict-laden relationship between God and his prophet.
Since actions speak louder than words, God and his prophet communicate non-verbally. Jonah is stubborn in his refusal to accomplish his mission, but God is resolute to extend his grace to bloodthirsty pagans, and he will use wind, whale, and worm to convince his reluctant prophet.
On a global level (intertextuality), the story of Jonah is an anti-flood story. God reverses the judgement that struck the ancient world. Through Jonah, God announces a salvation for all mankind that finds its full expression in Jesus-Christ.
Dr Arnold presents a thorough defence of the account’s historicity. He also draws attention to the many literary characteristics of the book. Jonah is a simple narrative, and yet a complex, dynamic, and intriguing story. Certain events are surrealistic and the book’s characters are atypical. The commentary is based on thorough research. It is written in a pleasant style and brings a fresh approach to the book of Jonah.