By approaching the book of Jonah historical-critically, it has been indicated that the book of Jonah
likely dates to the Persian Period (more neutrally the post-exilic period), is a parody on the prophetic
traditions, and has a unified structure. It has been proposed by some that the book of Jonah was written
for the Yehudite elite, as a meant, by the author, for his audience to reflect critically on themselves.
When a literary-exegetical analysis was conducted of the book of Jonah, it was indicated that the
author of the book employed various literary and stylistic techniques that contributes to the unified
structure of the book of Jonah. It has also been indicated that all the prayers in the book is poetry, and
serves to pause the narration, and are employed to emphasise their content. The author also inverts the
typical Ancient Near Eastern values in his characterisation of the role players to thwart the reader's
typical expectations of each. The application of social-scientific criticism then supports the theory that
the book of Jonah is indeed a parody, and that its main theme in the book of Jonah relates to the
compassion and mercy of Yahweh/God which outweighs his desire to destroy the inhabitants of
Nineveh and their animals, and appears to be conditional, as repentence is a requirement.