Biblical Hebrew for All




Genesis 8:8

וַיְשַׁלַּח         אֶת־     הַיּוֹנָה      מֵאִתּוֹ

from him    the dove   (marker)    and he sent out

Songs 4:1b

עֵינַיִךְ       יוֹנִים     מִבַּעַד          לְצַמָּתֵךְ

behind your woman's veil      inside      doves      your eyes

"The Hebrew word  יוֹנָה  ( plural  יוֹנִים ) is a generic term usually translated as “dove.” It is derived from the stem  אָ֥נָה  which means “to mourn,” probably applied to the dove because of the call of some species like the Laughing / Mourning Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), for example."(1)
(1) Hattingh, Tian (2012), Birds and Bibles in History. London Press, p. 158.

Used with permission. ©2021 United Church of God, an International Association.


The Book of Jonah is a book of the Nevi'im ("Prophets") in the Hebrew Bible.  It tells of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah son of Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh but tries to escape the divine mission. The story has a long interpretive history and has become well known through popular children's stories.
In Judaism, it is the Haftarah portion read during the afternoon of Yom Kippur to instill reflection on God's willingness to forgive those who repent; it remains a popular story among Christians. It is also retold in the Quran.


The book is set in the reign of Jeroboam II (786–746 BC) but written in the post-exilic some time between the late 5th to early 4th century BC.


Jonah Flees His Mission (chapters 1–2)
  1. Jonah's Commission and Flight (1:1–3)
  2. The Endangered Sailors Cry to Their gods (1:4–6)
  3. Jonah's Disobedience Exposed (1:7–10)
  4. Jonah's punishment and Deliverance (1:11–2:1;2:10)
  5. His Prayer of Thanksgiving (2:2–9)
Jonah Reluctantly fulfills His Mission (chapters 3–4)
  1. 1. Jonah's Renewed Commission and Obedience (3:1–4)
  2. 2. Endangered Ninevites' Repentant Appeal to Lord (3:4–9)
  3. 3. The Ninevites' Repentance Acknowledged (3:10–4:4)
  4. 4. Jonah's Deliverance and Rebuke (4:5–11).
The rest of this comprehensive Wikipedia article on the book can be read here.
An extract from BHFA Volume 5

Jonah 3:3c

 מַהֲלַךְ     שְׁלֹשֶׁת        יָמִים׃

days         three     a journey

  • KJB of three days' journey.
  • NASB a three days' walk.
  • ESV three days’ journey in breadth.
  • NLT it took three days to see it all.
  • NIV it took three days to go through it.
We simply do not know what the author meant with "a walk" or "a journey," and it would therefore be unwise to assume that it literally means, "the distance that a person could walk in three days."