Jonah is read on Yom Kippur, teaching us about our spiritual voyage.
Jonah was a prophet who lived in the first Temple period. His first mission was given to him by the most famous of first Temple prophets, Elijah — he was to anoint Jehu as king in the year 705 BCE. His were stormy times; the Jewish people were trapped in a pattern of spiritual decline that ended with first the conquest and expulsion of the Ten Tribes by the Assyrians in 607 BCE, and finally with the destruction of Jerusalem, which was followed by 70 years of exile.
As a prophet, Jonah knew far better than we can imagine what the inevitable end would be if no transformation would take place.
After the failure of his second mission, to rebuke Jehu’s successor, Jeroboam the second, he was given his final mission.
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