The entire book of Jonah (all forty-eight verses to be exact) is comprised of this one story. Though it involves the delivery of a message from God — through his spokesman — to the people of Nineveh, the account is not primarily about any of those subjects. The central theme of the narrative is the sovereignty of God.
Joppa is a famous Phoenician seaport, the best place to catch a ride out of town, so Jonah heads down there. Upon his arrival he scours the port, searching for a vessel with both a distant destination and an imminent departure. Nineveh is east. Jonah heads west.
“O Lord, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for this is of your doing.”
With that, several of the men take hold of the prophet and, after the briefest hesitation, throw him over the railing. And the sea grows calm.
As Jonah approaches the great walls of fortitude at the outskirts of the city, the sight is breathtaking. The walls are one hundred feet high and wide enough at the top to support a chariot race four across. With canals and moats, several other walls and impressively armed soldiers, the effect upon a visitor is what would be expected, and intended. His tour of the city requiring three days, he begins preaching on the first.