The idea of being eternally and abundantly thankful seems unpleasant and ridiculous to non-believers; though sometimes they can’t formulate the reason clearly, this idea “creates problems” to them. The need to thank our neighbors here on earth often bothers us as well. Why?
Every person has an instinctive need to belong to a nationality, and this is natural—we were not created as dry sand, but as a body, an organism; and each of us needs to find his place in the family of man. There is no such thing as abstract people; people always belong to some form of social group, like a family or a nation, and losing this belonging deprives a person of something very important.
The prophet does not at all want them to repent. God’s wrath has already been way too slow in coming. Nineveh will be destroyed? Good! The sooner the better! Finally! Let them reap what they have sown, let the same horror reign in their streets as what they brought to other cities! No one will have any regrets over this—least of all Jonah!So, when God sent Jonah to give the Ninevites their last chance, the prophet did not even want to go.
First of all, what does the word “brethren” mean? In the Bible it can signify various degrees of relation: blood brother, half-brother, or cousin. Some Protestant Bible scholars consider that after giving birth to Jesus, Mary had children by Joseph, and it is these children who are mentioned here.