Background of Jonah
The story is set at the height of the power of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. “Jonah son of Amittai” is mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25, a prophet of the The Northern Kingdom consisted of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel and lasted for 200 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 721 B.C.E. In the northern kingdom the kings were evil. Prophets like Elijah and Amos railed against them and their evildoing.... More Israel during the reign of The king of Israel (786-746) during a time when Israel increased in prosperity and power. Although Jeroboam's policies brought prosperity to some in Israel, especially those who dwelt in the cities, the suffering of the poor also increased. Tthe prophet Amos criticized Jeroboam for lack... More. Assuming both Jonahs are the same man, the story then takes place sometime between 785-740 B.C.E. The story deals with Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The cruelty of the Assyrians and especially of Nineveh was legendary, as the prophetic speech against it in Nahum 3 indicates. About the time when the story is set, the Assyrian Empire began to be more of a threat to Israel. Assyria brought its army and tyranny to the region. On several occasions Israel had to submit to Assyria, and in 722, Assyria overthrew Israel and dispersed its people.