Rhetorical Reading Redundant: A Response to Ehud Ben Zvi
Ehud Ben Zvi's claim, in the preceding article, that the final verse of Jonah must be read both as a question and an affirmation is welcomed. Yet, it is argued here that reading a rhetorical question contributes little to the metaprophetic character of Jonah. In fact, a final rhetorical question destroys the open-endedness of the book while YHWH's unambiguous affirmation that he will show no pity for Nineveh faces readers with a deeper meaning of prophecy. Like the Elohim in chapter 3, Jonah in chapter 4 is invited to come out of the circle of anger. Destructions and reversals of fortune occur, but humans are not privy to the divine council.