Scripture from the ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”
The writer of Jonah will thematically link his story to that of creation and redemption.
When God created the heavens and the earth, it was by the power of his Word. But his Word is always accompanied by the Holy Spirit. This is signified in Genesis by the Spirit or Breath of God fluttering over the face of the deep.
Prophecy and mission are not inborn qualities, but created by the work of God’s Word and Spirit. The book of Jonah begins with the fact of God as first mover, as creator of Jonah’s office and mission.
In the story of Noah, there is again the theme of hovering over the face of the waters. A dove is sent out on mission. The dove brings back an olive branch. The flight of the dove echoes back to Genesis. In the Noah story, God does not create, but renews His creation. The dove also is that sign by which God manifests the Holy Spirit during Christ’s baptism. This is fitting in as much as it is through Christ, whose baptism we share in, that God inaugurates a new creation.
The name ‘Jonah’ means dove. But this dove which God has sent out to save the people of Nineveh flew off in the opposite direction. The Jewish people who were called to be a priestly nation unto the world have also gone astray.
It is Christ who will finally universalize the mission of God and His people