Bible: Jonah 3-4

The People of Nineveh Respond to Jonah’s Warning

3:1 The Lord said to Jonah 1  a second time, 3:2 Go immediately 2  to Nineveh, that large city, 3  and proclaim to 4  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 5 it required three days to walk through it!) 6  3:4 When Jonah began to enter the city one day’s walk, he announced, “At the end of forty days, 7  Nineveh will be overthrown! 8 

3:5 The people 9  of Nineveh believed in God, 10  and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 11  3:6 When the news 12  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, 13  “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 14  to God, and everyone 15  must turn from their 16  evil way of living 17  and from the violence that they do. 18  3:9 Who knows? 19  Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent 20  and turn from his fierce anger 21  so that we might not die.” 22  3:10 When God saw their actions – they turned 23  from their evil way of living! 24  – God relented concerning the judgment 25  he had threatened them with 26  and he did not destroy them. 27 

Jonah Responds to God’s Kindness

4:1 This displeased Jonah terribly 28  and he became very angry. 29  4:2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “Oh, Lord, this is just what I thought 30  would happen 31  when I was in my own country. 32  This is what I tried to prevent 33  by attempting to escape to Tarshish! 34  – because I knew 35  that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger 36  and abounding 37  in mercy, and one who relents concerning threatened judgment. 38  4:3 So now, Lord, kill me instead, 39  because I would rather die than live! 40  4:4 The Lord said, “Are you really so very 41  angry? 42 

4:5 Jonah left the city and sat down east 43  of it. 44  He made a shelter for himself there and sat down under it in the shade to see what would happen to the city. 45  4:6 The Lord God appointed 46  a little plant 47  and caused it to grow up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to rescue 48  him from his misery. 49  Now Jonah was very delighted 50  about the little plant.

4:7 So God sent 51  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 52  a hot 53  east wind. So the sun beat down 54  on Jonah’s head, and he grew faint. So he despaired of life, 55  and said, “I would rather die than live! 56  4:9 God said to Jonah, “Are you really so very angry 57  about the little plant?” And he said, “I am as angry 58  as I could possibly be! 59  4:10 The Lord said, “You were upset 60  about this little 61  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. 62  4:11 Should I 63  not be even more 64  concerned 65  about Nineveh, this enormous city? 66  There are more than one hundred twenty thousand people in it who do not know right from wrong, 67  as well as many animals! 68 

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