Micah to  Jonah

Sins and Jonah cast into the sea.

Mercy In The Seas

18There is no god like you who pardons iniquity and removes the sins of the remnant of his inheritance. You do not retain your anger forever because you delight in mercy. 19He will turn again and have mercy on us. He will sweep away our iniquity and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20You will grant truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old. (Micah 7:18-20 BRB)
15They took up Jonah and cast him forth into the sea and the sea ceased from its raging. (Jonah 1:15 BRB)

Micah's last paragraph is heavy on the theme of mercy. Arguably, the mercy God shows to Nineveh in the book of Jonah is the foremost example in scripture.

Micah also deals with "tossing into the seas," which is practically Jonah's brand.

Three Clues

There's more going on in Micah's lead-in to Jonah then a simple nod to the basic theme of mercy and tossing sins into the seas. Micah provides three important clues about the identity of Jonah's Nineveh that ultimately explains why God would send a prophet their way to extend mercy to them.

The first clue Micah gives to identify Nineveh is the way Micah says God is going to show mercy to a "remnant" of "Jacob." That's odd. God shows mercy to Nineveh in the next book, not Israel. Or does he?

The Book Chain assumes Nineveh is a part of Jacob. How could this be? Easy. Israel was hauled to Nineveh by the Assyrians. By the time Jonah gets to Nineveh the Israelites are assimilated. God deals with "Nineveh," not "Israel," because the Israelites that had settled in Nineveh are mostly indistinguishable from Ninevites by this time, and likely taking over leadership in Nineveh.

The second clue Micah gives to establish Nineveh's identity is the reference to God casting all our sins into the seas. In Jonah what goes into the sea is the prophet. How do these relate?

Jonah is thrown into the seas as a parable. His audience had been cast into the sea. "Seas" represent "nations." Israel was tossed into the seas when they were forcibly taken to Nineveh. So Jonah goes for a dip on his way to Nineveh to illustrate what had happened to his audience.

To be sure, Israel's sins were cast into the seas, it's just that the Israelites went into the seas with them. It might have worked differently if they had been willing to part with their sins.

The third clue Micah gives about Nineveh's identity is the reference to God's sworn promises to Abraham. Here's one of those promises.

15A king of the Master K Genesis 5:29 called to Abraham from the skies M Matthew 3:17 M Mark 1:11 M Luke 3:22 a 2nd time. 16He said, I have sworn by myself, says the Master, because you have done this thing, and have not kept your only son from me: 17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your seed, Q Hebrews 6:14 as the stars of the skies, and as the sand on the shore of the sea. Your seed will inherit the lands of their enemies, 18and in your seed all the peoples of the land will be blessed, because you listened to my voice. Genesis 22:15-18 (Genesis 22:15-18 BRB)

Verse 17 says God swore that Abraham's descendants would inherit the lands of their enemies. How would they do that? Is there a story in the Bible where Israel did this? They took the Promised Land from the Canaanites. Does the promise end there? Clearly the scope is much wider, it mentions all nations being blessed by Abraham's descendants. How about Assyria? Sure, Assyria is inside the scope of "all nations" and they were a brutal "enemy" of Israel.

Ultimately the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham by scattering Jacob into the nations of the world sets up the great commission given by Jesus later and explains why Jesus could say things like you won't finish going through the cities of Israel before I come again. It's clear too, from the book of Jacob, late in the New Testament, that the tribes of Israel are still in the nations of the world, but that God has not forgotten them or lost track of their identity even if they have forgotten who they are.

1Jacob, a servant of god FA and of our master Joshua the anointed, Jacob 1:1aTo the 12 tribes which are scattered among the peoples: H 2 Kings 18:11-12 Jacob 1:1bGreetings. Jacob 1:1c (Jacob 1:1 BRB)

Jonah is just one chapter in the Bible's story of how the tribes went into the world. Micah prepares his readers to not miss what was really happening when God sent a prophet to Nineveh.