These small group studies of Jonah extensive cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, lessons to learn, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Jonah 1:10-17 Inductive Bible Study

Jonah 1:10-17

Consequences of Disobedience-

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Summary-After Jonah told the sailors about the God he served, and they put it together with what he had already told them of his flight from God’s presence, they became extremely afraid. They asked him how the sea could be made calm again, and he told them to throw himself into it. Fearful of exercising this solution, the men rowed for land using their own strength, but failed. The storm worsened. Left with no other option, they called to God not to hold them responsible for Jonah’s blood and threw him in. Instantly, the sea calmed. Seeing His power, the sailors feared God, offered Him sacrifices and made vows. Mercifully, God appointed a big fish to swallow Jonah and keep him safely in its stomach for three days and nights.

Central Teaching- God mercifully uses even his child’s disobedience to bring others to Himself and bring His child back to the right path.

Key Words- frightened, sea, calm, storm, great, Lord, fish, three

Key Verse- 1:15

Ten things this passage says-

  1. The sailors were extremely frightened when they heard who Jonah was and what God he served.
  2. Jonah had already told them that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord.
  3. The sailors asked Jonah what they could do to calm the increasingly stormy sea.
  4. Jonah said they must pick him up and throw him into the sea, and then it would be calm.
  5. Initially, the sailors were unwilling to do this, and rowed desperately for land.
  6. Their method caused the sea to become even stormier. Their own strength was insufficient.
  7. Finally, they decided to use God’s method, and prayed that God would not cause them to perish for what they had to do, and would not hold them accountable for Jonah’s blood.
  8. They picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and the sea calmed.
  9. The sailors feared the Lord greatly, and offered him sacrifices and made vows.
  10. The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah for 3 days and 3 nights.

Ten things this passage does NOT say-

  1. The sailors didn’t attach any more importance to Jonah’s God than to their own.
  2. Jonah had been dishonest about his reasons for being aboard the ship.
  3. After his revelation, the sailor’s did not know who to go to for a solution to their predicament.
  4. When Jonah told them the solution, they immediately embraced it.
  5. The sailor’s self-reliant methods were successful, and they rowed to safety.
  6. The sailors didn’t care anything about Jonah, but were only concerned with saving their own hides.
  7. Throwing Jonah into the sea had no effect on the storm.
  8. The sailors thanked their own gods for saving them, and never thought of Jonah’s God again.
  9. Jonah died in the raging sea.
  10. The “great fish” is just a metaphor for a period of 3 days and nights Jonah spent on his own, repenting before the Lord. There was really no great fish.

What did this passage teach me about God?

He, alone is God. There is no other.

He has power over wind, waves, fish, men’s hearts, and everything else.

He is omnipresent. Even in the belly of the fish, He was there.

His ways work, while man’s ways fail.

He can use even his child’s disobedience to turn man’s heart to Himself and accomplish His plan.

He hears even the prayers of the unbelieving, and sometimes has mercy on them.

He is meant to be feared.

How does this passage apply to my life?

God is not going to just “forget” about my disobedience and let me do my own thing. He will patiently and lovingly work on me until I agree with Him.

There is nowhere I can run from God.

My own methods are helpless in fixing problems, though they are quite effective in creating those problems.

God can use all things together for my good, and for the good of those I come into contact with.

My disobedience creates a bad testimony for those I am in contact with.


Why were the sailors so frightened at Jonah’s response? V10

What did the sailors say in response? V10

What did the sailors’ question convey about their understanding of the situation? V10

How had Jonah related to the sailors prior to the storm? V10

What did the sailor’s question reflect about their concern for themselves? V11

What did the sailor’s question reflect about their concern for Jonah and their attitude of fair play? V11

How was God increasing the pressure in order to force the action He desired? V11

What was Jonah’s answer to stopping the storm? V12

What did this say about Jonah’s attitude concerning obeying the Lord? V12

What did this say about Jonah’s knowledge of the cause of the storm? V12

Can you think of another solution which might have calmed the storm and avoided Jonah’s encounter with the fish? V12

Can you think of a verse that displays God’s attitude towards this kind of actions? V12 Proverbs 21:3

How did the sailors try to solve the problem in their own strength? V13

What was the result of the sailors’ efforts? V13

What can this teach us about seeking to make right a wrong using our own methods? V13

At last, what was the sailors’ response to the situation? V14

What did their prayer display about their attitude towards God? Towards life? V14

How did their attitude towards Jonah’s life compare with his attitude towards the lives of the Ninevites? V14

What did they do with Jonah next? V15

How did this action affect the storm? V15

What did this effect display about the power of God? V15

After the sailors saw the calmed sea, what was their reaction? V16

What specific events would have indicated to them that Jonah’s God was the true God, worthy of worship and praise? V16

How did the sailors’ responses differ from Jonah’s, though they were heathens, and he was God’s prophet? V16

How did God use Jonah’s disobedience to change the lives of the sailors? V16

How did God preserve the life of His prophet? V17

What aspects of this were miraculous? V17

How did this act display God’s mercy and grace in Jonah’s life and in the lives of the Ninevites? V17

Cross References-

Jonah 1:10-

Job 27:22

22 “For it will hurl at him without sparing;

He will surely try to flee from its power.

Jonah 1:3

3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Gen 3:8

8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Ps 139:7

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Prov 27:8

8 Like a bird that wanders from her nest,

So is a man who wanders from his home.

Hos 7:13

13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from Me!

Destruction is theirs, for they have rebelled against Me!

Jonah 1:16

16 Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

Mark 4:41

41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Jonah 1:11-

1 Sam 6:2-3

2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we shall send it to its place.” 3 They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but you shall surely return to Him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.

2 Sam 24:11-13

11 When David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and speak to David, “Thus the LORD says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.” So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.”

Mic 6:6-7

6 With what shall I come to the LORD

And bow myself before the God on high?

Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,

With yearling calves?

7 Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams,

In ten thousand rivers of oil?

Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts,

The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

Ps 37:7

7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

Acts 27:20

20 Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned.

Jonah 1:12-

2 Sam 24:17

17 Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

John 11:50

50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”

Josh 7:12

12 “Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.

Josh 7:20-21

20 So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them; and behold, they are concealed in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath it.”

1 Chron 21:17

17 David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”

Eccl 9:18

18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.

Acts 27:24

24 saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’

Josh 6:18

18 “But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it.

Job 35:8

8 “Your wickedness is for a man like yourself,

And your righteousness is for a son of man.

Ps 106:30

30 Then Phinehas stood up and interposed,

And so the plague was stayed.

Jonah 2:3

3 “For You had cast me into the deep,

Into the heart of the seas,

And the current engulfed me.

All Your breakers and billows passed over me.

Jonah 1:13-

Job 34:29

29 When He keeps quiet, who then can condemn?

And when He hides His face, who then can behold Him,

That is, in regard to both nation and man? –

Prov 21:30

30 There is no wisdom and no understanding

And no counsel against the LORD.

John 6:19

19 Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.

Jonah 1:14-

Ps 107:28

28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

And He brought them out of their distresses.

Isa 26:16

16 O LORD, they sought You in distress;

They could only whisper a prayer,

Your chastening was upon them.

Jonah 1:5

5 Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.

Jonah 1:16

16 Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

Gen 9:6

6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood,

By man his blood shall be shed,

For in the image of God

He made man.

Deut 21:8

8 “Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them.

Ps 115:3

3 But our God is in the heavens;

He does whatever He pleases.

Ps 135:6

6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,

In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

Dan 4:34-35

34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

But He does according to His will in the host of heaven

And among the inhabitants of earth;

And no one can ward off His hand

Or say to Him, “What have You done?’

Matt 11:26

26 “Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

Eph 1:9

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him

Eph 1:11

11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Deut 19:10

10 “So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and bloodguiltiness be on you.

Isa 46:7

7 “They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it;

They set it in its place and it stands there.

It does not move from its place.

Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer;

It cannot deliver him from his distress.

Jonah 3:8

8 “But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands.

Matt 27:4

4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”

1 Cor 12:18

18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

Jonah 1:15-

Josh 7:24-26

24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day.” And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. 26 They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day.

2 Sam 21:8-9

8 So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.

9 Then he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before the LORD, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at the beginning of barley harvest.

Ps 89:9

9 You rule the swelling of the sea;

When its waves rise, You still them.

Ps 93:3-4

3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4 More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

Ps 107:29

29 He caused the storm to be still,

So that the waves of the sea were hushed.

Matt 8:26

26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

Luke 8:24

24 They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.

2 Sam 21:14

14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the grave of Kish his father; thus they did all that the king commanded, and after that God was moved by prayer for the land.

Ps 65:7

7 Who stills the roaring of the seas,

The roaring of their waves,

And the tumult of the peoples.

Mark 4:41

41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Jonah 1:16-

2 Kings 5:17

17 Naaman said, “If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules’ load of earth; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.

Ps 107:22

22 Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,

And tell of His works with joyful singing.

Isa 26:9

9 At night my soul longs for You,

Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently;

For when the earth experiences Your judgments

The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

Isa 60:5-7

5 “Then you will see and be radiant,

And your heart will thrill and rejoice;

Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you,

The wealth of the nations will come to you.

6 “A multitude of camels will cover you,

The young camels of Midian and Ephah;

All those from Sheba will come;

They will bring gold and frankincense,

And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.

7 “All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you,

The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you;

They will go up with acceptance on My altar,

And I shall glorify My glorious house.

Dan 4:34-37

34 “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.

35 “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,

But He does according to His will in the host of heaven

And among the inhabitants of earth;

And no one can ward off His hand

Or say to Him, “What have You done?’

36 “At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.

37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

Dan 6:26

26 “I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel;

For He is the living God and enduring forever,

And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,

And His dominion will be forever.

Jonah 1:10

10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, “How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

Acts 5:11

11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.

Gen 28:20

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,

Ps 50:14

14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving

And pay your vows to the Most High;

Ps 50:14

14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving

And pay your vows to the Most High;

Ps 66:13-16

13 I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings;

I shall pay You my vows,

14 Which my lips uttered

And my mouth spoke when I was in distress.

15 I shall offer to You burnt offerings of fat beasts,

With the smoke of rams;

I shall make an offering of bulls with male goats.


16 Come and hear, all who fear God,

And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.

Ps 116:14

14 I shall pay my vows to the LORD,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

Eccl 5:4

4 When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow!

Ps 107:31

31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,

And for His wonders to the sons of men!

Rom 11:17

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,

Jonah 1:17-

Gen 1:21

21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

Ps 104:25-26

25 There is the sea, great and broad,

In which are swarms without number,

Animals both small and great.

26 There the ships move along,

And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.

Jonah 4:6

6 So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.

Hab 3:2

2 LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear.

O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years,

In the midst of the years make it known;

In wrath remember mercy.

Matt 12:40

40 for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matt 16:4

4 “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

Luke 11:30

30 “For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.

Jonah 2:10

10 Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.

Matt 17:27

27 “However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”

Mark 8:31

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

1 Cor 15:4

4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Study Jonah 2
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