This commentary interprets the narrative of Jonah as true history that reveals the God of Israel as gracious toward all who repent and believe in him. The introduction discusses the historical setting, archaeological evidence, and themes in the book. An original translation is based on the textual notes, which explain all the grammatical features of the Hebrew, revealing the literary artistry of Jonah’s author. The commentary clearly expounds the book’s message in harmony with the rest of the Scriptures. Ironically, Jonah the Israelite begrudges God’s abundant grace, while Gentiles are converted to saving faith through the power of the preached Word. Excursuses cover evangelism in the Old Testament, “The Sign of Jonah” in the Gospels, death and resurrection motifs from Jonah 2 in Christian baptism, and God changing his verdict from judgment to salvation. The commentary’s focus is on the “one greater than Jonah”: Jesus Christ, the Savior of all peoples.
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R. Reed Lessing was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry on June 29, 1986 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, West Monroe, Los Angeles. Reed served as the church’s pastor until March of 1990. From March, 1990 to August, 1999 he was the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. In September of 1999 he was installed as Assistant Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary. In May of 2005 he was advanced to the rank of associate professor. In August of 2007 he became the Director of the seminary’s Graduate School.