Bible: Jonah 1:1-4:11

Jonah Tries to Run from the Lord

1:1 The Lord said 1  to Jonah son of Amittai, 2  1:2 Go immediately 3  to Nineveh, 4  that 5  large capital 6  city, 7  and announce judgment against 8  its people 9  because their wickedness 10  has come to my attention.” 11  1:3 Instead, Jonah immediately 12  headed off to Tarshish 13  to escape 14  from the commission of the Lord. 15  He traveled 16  to Joppa 17  and found a merchant ship heading 18  to Tarshish. 19  So he paid the fare 20  and went aboard 21  it to go with them 22  to Tarshish 23  far away from the Lord. 24  1:4 But 25  the Lord hurled 26  a powerful 27  wind on the sea. Such a violent 28  tempest arose on the sea that 29  the ship threatened to break up! 30  1:5 The sailors were so afraid that each cried out 31  to his own god 32  and they flung 33  the ship’s cargo 34  overboard 35  to make the ship lighter. 36  Jonah, meanwhile, 37  had gone down 38  into the hold 39  below deck, 40  had lain down, and was sound asleep. 41  1:6 The ship’s captain approached him and said, “What are you doing asleep? 42  Get up! Cry out 43  to your god! Perhaps your god 44  might take notice of us 45  so that we might not die! 1:7 The sailors said to one another, 46 Come on, let’s cast lots 47  to find out 48  whose fault it is that this disaster has overtaken us. 49 ” So they cast lots, and Jonah was singled out. 50  1:8 They said to him, “Tell us, whose fault is it that this disaster has overtaken us? 51  What’s your occupation? Where do you come from? What’s your country? And who are your people? 52  1:9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew! And I worship 53  the Lord, 54  the God of heaven, 55  who made the sea and the dry land.” 1:10 Hearing this, 56  the men became even more afraid 57  and said to him, “What have you done?” (The men said this because they knew that he was trying to escape 58  from the Lord, 59  because he had previously told them. 60 ) 1:11 Because the storm was growing worse and worse, 61  they said to him, “What should we do to you to make 62  the sea calm down 63  for us? 1:12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea to make the sea quiet down, 64  because I know it’s my fault you are in this severe storm.” 1:13 Instead, they tried to row 65  back to land, 66  but they were not able to do so 67  because the storm kept growing worse and worse. 68  1:14 So they cried out to the Lord, “Oh, please, Lord, don’t let us die on account of this man! Don’t hold us guilty of shedding innocent blood. 69  After all, you, Lord, have done just as you pleased.” 70  1:15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped raging. 1:16 The men feared the Lord 71  greatly, 72  and earnestly vowed 73  to offer lavish sacrifices 74  to the Lord. 75 


Jonah Prays


The Lord sent 77  a huge 78  fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. 2:1 Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish 2:2 and said,

I 79  called out to the Lord from my distress,

and he answered me; 80 

from the belly of Sheol 81  I cried out for help,

and you heard my prayer. 82 

2:3 You threw me 83  into the deep waters, 84 

into the middle 85  of the sea; 86 

the ocean current 87  engulfed 88  me;

all the mighty waves 89  you sent 90  swept 91  over me. 92 

2:4 I thought 93  I had been banished from your sight, 94 

that I would never again 95  see your holy temple! 96 

2:5 Water engulfed me up to my neck; 97 

the deep ocean 98  surrounded me;

seaweed 99  was wrapped around my head.

2:6 I went down 100  to the very bottoms 101  of the mountains; 102 

the gates 103  of the netherworld 104  barred me in 105  forever; 106 

but you brought me 107  up from the Pit, 108  O Lord, my God.

2:7 When my life 109  was ebbing away, 110  I called out to 111  the Lord,

and my prayer came to your holy temple. 112 

2:8 Those who worship 113  worthless idols 114  forfeit the mercy that could be theirs. 115 

2:9 But as for me, I promise to offer a sacrifice to you with a public declaration 116  of praise; 117 

I will surely do 118  what I have promised. 119 

Salvation 120  belongs to the Lord! 121 

2:10 Then the Lord commanded 122  the fish and it disgorged Jonah on dry land.

The People of Nineveh Respond to Jonah’s Warning

3:1 The Lord said to Jonah 123  a second time, 3:2 Go immediately 124  to Nineveh, that large city, 125  and proclaim to 126  it the message that I tell you.” 3:3 So Jonah went immediately to Nineveh, as the Lord had said. (Now Nineveh was an enormous city 127 it required three days to walk through it!) 128  3:4 When Jonah began to enter the city one day’s walk, he announced, “At the end of forty days, 129  Nineveh will be overthrown! 130 

3:5 The people 131  of Nineveh believed in God, 132  and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 133  3:6 When the news 134  reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes. 3:7 He issued a proclamation and said, 135  “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: No human or animal, cattle or sheep, is to taste anything; they must not eat and they must not drink water. 3:8 Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly 136  to God, and everyone 137  must turn from their 138  evil way of living 139  and from the violence that they do. 140  3:9 Who knows? 141  Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent 142  and turn from his fierce anger 143  so that we might not die.” 144  3:10 When God saw their actions – they turned 145  from their evil way of living! 146  – God relented concerning the judgment 147  he had threatened them with 148  and he did not destroy them. 149 

Jonah Responds to God’s Kindness

4:1 This displeased Jonah terribly 150  and he became very angry. 151  4:2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “Oh, Lord, this is just what I thought 152  would happen 153  when I was in my own country. 154  This is what I tried to prevent 155  by attempting to escape to Tarshish! 156  – because I knew 157  that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger 158  and abounding 159  in mercy, and one who relents concerning threatened judgment. 160  4:3 So now, Lord, kill me instead, 161  because I would rather die than live! 162  4:4 The Lord said, “Are you really so very 163  angry? 164 

4:5 Jonah left the city and sat down east 165  of it. 166  He made a shelter for himself there and sat down under it in the shade to see what would happen to the city. 167  4:6 The Lord God appointed 168  a little plant 169  and caused it to grow up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to rescue 170  him from his misery. 171  Now Jonah was very delighted 172  about the little plant.

4:7 So God sent 173  a worm at dawn the next day, and it attacked the little plant so that it dried up. 4:8 When the sun began to shine, God sent 174  a hot 175  east wind. So the sun beat down 176  on Jonah’s head, and he grew faint. So he despaired of life, 177  and said, “I would rather die than live! 178  4:9 God said to Jonah, “Are you really so very angry 179  about the little plant?” And he said, “I am as angry 180  as I could possibly be! 181  4:10 The Lord said, “You were upset 182  about this little 183  plant, something for which you have not worked nor did you do anything to make it grow. It grew up overnight and died the next day. 184  4:11 Should I 185  not be even more 186  concerned 187  about Nineveh, this enormous city? 188  There are more than one hundred twenty thousand people in it who do not know right from wrong, 189  as well as many animals! 190 

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