name that… you!

In honor to my son Jonah Jari Senna, a short history on his name. My son Jonah was born on Saint Joseph’s day in the year 2012 AD.

about Jari and Senna I will write later on.


Jonah, also written as  יוֹנָה, is the Hebrew word for dove, bringer of peace, symbol of love, of the holy spirit and of the soul.

Jonah was the boy who was brought back to life by Elijah, and one of the twelve so called minor prophets. He lived in the kingdom of Israel in the 8th century before Christ, and was born as son of Attamai, in Gath-hepher (2 kings 14:25), which was a few kilometers north of Nazareth. As a prophet he is active during the reign of Jeroboam II.

The story of Jonah is described in the book Jonah, where the word of the Lord comes to Jonah saying: Arise and go to the city of Nineveh and make an appeal to them to leave the evil before I (the Lord) will come to punish them. But Jonah flees to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord, away from his mission because of its overwhelming difficulty. He runs to Jaffa, where he finds a ship sailing to Tarshish, the opposite direction of Nineveh.

A huge storm arises and the sailors, realizing this is no ordinary storm, cast lots and discover that Jonah is to blame. Jonah admits this and states that if he is thrown overboard, the storm will cease. The sailors try to dump as much cargo as possible before giving up, but feel forced to throw him overboard, at which point the sea calms. The sailors then offer sacrifices to God. Jonah is miraculously saved by being swallowed by a large fish where he spends three days and three nights praying.

After those three days he arises from the fish and the Lord asks him again to go to Nineveh, and this time he goes. The people of Nineveh listen to Jonah and show remorse. Jonah does not like this and is angry with the Lord. Jonah leaves the city and makes himself a shelter, waiting to see whether or not the city will be destroyed. God causes a plant (Kikayon) to grow over Jonah’s shelter to give him some shade from the sun. Later, the Lord causes a worm to bite the plant’s root and it withers. Jonah, now being exposed to the full force of the sun, becomes faint and desires that the Lord takes him out of the world, which the Lord denies.

jonah and the gourd vine

The book of Jonah is read every year, in its original Hebrew and in its entirety on Yom-kippur. The story of Jonah can by the way also be read in the Qur’an, chapter 37 (As-Saaffat), verse 139–144.

In the New Testament, Gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes a reference to Jonah when he is asked for a miraculous sign by the Pharisees and teachers of the Law. Jesus says that the sign will be the sign of Jonah. Jesus implies that Jonah’s restoration after three days inside the great whale prefigures His own resurrection.


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