Plants or people? What is more important to Jonah - who seems more concerned about a plant that dies than a people facing destruction? Jonah is unusual in the minor prophets as, rather than focussing on the prophesies of God, it focuses on the life of the prophet. The story is set in the time before the prophet Amos when Assyria, whose capital was Nineveh, was Israel’s feared enemy. To this vast city Jonah brings a call to repentance. Jesus uses the story of Jonah’s three days in the belly of the big fish, as an illustration of his death and resurrection, which he calls the sign of Jonah. Nineveh’s repentance appears to have been short lived, as the city was destroyed in 612 BC. You can take a virtual tour of some of the archaeology of Nineveh in the British Museum here


Micah lived around the time of Hosea and Isaiah. His message, warning of judgement and offering forgiveness for those who repent, was to the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. His writing is poetic and encourages the listeners (1:2; 3:1; 6:1) to listen, to hear. The book closes with these words ‘Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.’