The Old Testament in the News

The Destruction of Jonah’s Grave

According to a report published in Iraqi News, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have destroyed the grave of the prophet Jonah. The prophet Jonah, who preached in the city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, is known in Islam as the prophet Yunus. Ancient Assyria was located in what is Iraqi today.

The following is an excerpt of the news report:

On Friday a local Nineveh official, Zuhair al-Chalabi said that there is information that almost certainly confirms that members of the organization of the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant dug up the grave of the Prophet Yunus in the east of Mosul.

Al-Chalabi said in an interview for, that “The elements of ISIL controlled the mosque of the Prophet Yunus in Mosul since they invaded the city. It is still held by them until now,” pointing out that “elements of ISIL engaged in the process of tampering with the contents of the Mosque.”

Al-Chalabi added that “there is almost certain information stating the fact that the elements of ISIL dug up the grave of the Prophet Yunus.”

In just one day, ISIL members committed a series of horrific crimes which illustrate their hostile nature, said Iraqi police in Ninawa spokesman Maj. Ahmed al-Obaidi.

“They torched 11 churches and monasteries out of 35 scattered across the city of Mosul, and hours later destroyed statues of poets, literary and historical figures of which Mosul has long been proud,” he said.

The gunmen then demolished the historic grave of the prophet Yunus (Jonah) and the shrine of prophet Shayth (Seth), revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, which are located inside centuries-old mosques, he said.

Here is an unverified video of prophet Yunus (biblical Jonah) mosque and tomb destroyed by ISIL terrorists. The video of the desecration of Jonah’s tomb is part of the news report.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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