The Book of Jonah is something like a novelette — not the report of an actual prophet but a parable about the power of God’s mercy. Written, perhaps in the fifth century B.C. it projects back to a time when Assyria was the great enemy. It was Assyria which had destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel, after all. That Jonah was sent to preach into their capital city of Nineveh is like sending an evangelist into an ISIS camp! As the story unfolds we find that God is willing to forgiven even when Jonah is not. He wanted punishment and God showed compassion.This book is read on the Day of Atonement among Jewish people to this day as a reminder of the possibility of forgiveness.