Jonah 1 describes God’s prophet Jonah’s disobedience to the LORD and the consequences of his disobedience. The LORD commissions Jonah to preach a message of repentance to the city of Nineveh, the capital city of Israel’s arch-enemy, Assyria. Instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah boards a ship bound for Tarshish to escape his mission.
The LORD intervenes with chastisement. He throws a powerful storm into the sea, causing great fear and terror among the sailors. As the storm increases, each man aboard prays to his god and casts lots to determine the guilty party. The lot falls on Jonah, and he requests that they throw him into the sea.
After the sailors try to get to dry land unsuccessfully, they cast Jonah overboard, and the sea suddenly stops raging. Amazed at the LORD’s power, the sailors worship Him and make vows. The LORD saves Jonah from drowning by appointing a great fish to swallow him. Jonah spends three days and three nights in the belly of the fish. The chapter’s outline is as follows: