Does Jonah sin?

George Athas gathas at
Tue Aug 29 11:08:34 EDT 2000

| You asked what sin is. That is a huge question,
| one which I think has been discussed on B-Hebrew.
| To the *Hebrew*, *Oriental* mind, sin is something
| which defiles the altar. This has been discussed in
| the writings of Jacob Milgrom, which I urge you to
| read. Disobeying God is not necessarily a sin. Is
| Jonah regarded as "sinning" when he runs away from
| God? No. Does he sever his relationship with God
| as a result? No. God pursues him.

I'd disagree. Yahweh doesn't pursue Jonah -- he merely toys with Jonah. He doesn't react
to Jonah -- rather Yahweh already has everything set out before Jonah sets off for
Tarshish. Yahweh initiates rather than reacts. The stormy wind is already in the sea and
Yahweh is already a compassionate deity who reconsiders disasters. By the end of the book,
we find out that Jonah has no right to be outraged by Yahweh's compassionate character.
The whole idea that Yahweh has compassion on Jonah by lifting him out of Sheol and
allowing him to live, implies that Yahweh had every right to be angered and offended by
what Jonah was doing and so kill him. Yet, Yahweh displays compassion to Jonah, as to
others in the storyline.

Best regards,
- Anglican Chaplaincy, UNSW;
- Southern Cross College,
Sydney, Australia
Tel Dan Inscription Website

| Liz
| >
| > Liz wrote:-
| >
| > >God didn't kick them out because they sinned, there is no
| > >mention of sin at all, the word never occurs. God kicked them
| > >out for one reason only, to keep them from becoming gods.
| >
| > I don't find this convincing. Could you explain what you think
| > sin is, at least in this context. It appears to me God gave a
| > clear instruction not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of
| > good and bad. Both Adam and Eve disobeyed and did eat from it.
| > If that's not sin what is it?
| >
| > Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_
| > E-Mail b dot rea at it dot canterbury dot ac dot nz             </   New
| > Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                   /)
| >  Zealand
| > Unix Systems Administrator                                    (/'
| >
| >
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