- Jonah 1:1 That Jonah was a historical character is evidenced beyond question by the reference to him in II Kings 14:25: “Jeroboam restored Israel’s border… according to the word of the Lord… which He spoke through His servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher.”
- Jonah 1:2 In spite of the fact that Nineveh is called a “great city” three times in the Old Testament (Gen. 10:11, 12; Jonah 1:2; 3:3) and once in the Apocrypha (Judith 1:1), skeptical Bible critics long believed the statement to be greatly exaggerated. When the walled city was first excavated, it was found to be less than nine miles in circumference. That sparked cynical claims that the author, Jonah, did not know what he was talking about. But the real author, the Holy Spirit, was being overlooked. Later excavations have revealed that Nineveh had many suburbs, three of which are mentioned along with Nineveh in Gen. 10:11, 12. One first-century writer (Diodorus of Sicily) justifiably says that Nineveh was a quadrangle measuring about sixty miles in circuit–a “great city” indeed.