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Jonah

written by Jonah (a prophet)* in Jonah 1:1-4:11
written by Jonah (a prophet)* in Jonah 1:1-4:11
written by Jonah (a prophet)* in Jonah 1:1-4:11
written by Jonah (a prophet)* in Jonah 1:1-4:11

Jonah 1-4

1:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

17  And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
For you cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I am driven away
from your sight;
yet I shall again look
upon your holy temple.’
The waters closed in over me to take my life;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord my God.
When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

3:1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days' journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” 10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

Jonah Runs from the Lord

1 One day the Lord told Jonah, the son of Amittai, 2 to go to the great city of Nineveh and say to the people, “The Lord has seen your terrible sins. You are doomed!”

3 Instead, Jonah ran from the Lord. He went to the seaport of Joppa and found a ship that was going to Spain. So he paid his fare, then got on the ship and sailed away to escape.

4 But the Lord made a strong wind blow, and such a bad storm came up that the ship was about to be broken to pieces. 5 The sailors were frightened, and they all started praying to their gods. They even threw the ship's cargo overboard to make the ship lighter.

All this time, Jonah was down below deck, sound asleep. 6 The ship's captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep at a time like this? Get up and pray to your God! Maybe he will have pity on us and keep us from drowning.”

7 Finally, the sailors got together and said, “Let's ask our gods to show us who caused all this trouble.” It turned out to be Jonah.

8 They started asking him, “Are you the one who brought all this trouble on us? What business are you in? Where do you come from? What is your country? Who are your people?”

9 Jonah answered, “I'm a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

10 When the sailors heard this, they were frightened, because Jonah had already told them he was running from the Lord. Then they said, “Do you know what you have done?”

11 The storm kept getting worse, until finally the sailors asked him, “What should we do with you to make the sea calm down?”

12 Jonah told them, “Throw me into the sea, and it will calm down. I'm the cause of this terrible storm.”

13 The sailors tried their best to row to the shore. But they could not do it, and the storm kept getting worse every minute. 14 So they prayed to the Lord, “Please don't let us drown for taking this man's life. Don't hold us guilty for killing an innocent man. All of this happened because you wanted it to.” 15 Then they threw Jonah overboard, and the sea calmed down. 16 The sailors were so terrified that they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made all kinds of promises.

17 The Lord sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

Jonah's Prayer

1 From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God:

2 When I was in trouble, Lord,

I prayed to you,

and you listened to me.

From deep in the world

of the dead,

I begged for your help,

and you answered my prayer.

3 You threw me down

to the bottom of the sea.

The water was churning

all around;

I was completely covered

by your mighty waves.

4 I thought I was swept away

from your sight,

never again to see

your holy temple.

5 I was almost drowned

by the swirling waters

that surrounded me.

Seaweed had wrapped

around my head.

6 I had sunk down deep

below the mountains

beneath the sea.

I knew that forever,

I would be a prisoner there.

But, you, Lord God,

rescued me from that pit.

7 When my life was slipping away,

I remembered you—

and in your holy temple

you heard my prayer.

8 All who worship worthless idols

turn from the God

who offers them mercy.

9 But with shouts of praise,

I will offer a sacrifice

to you, my Lord.

I will keep my promise,

because you are the one

with power to save.

10 The Lord commanded the fish to vomit up Jonah on the shore. And it did.

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

1 Once again the Lord told Jonah 2 to go to that great city of Nineveh and preach his message of doom.

3 Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh. The city was so big that it took three days just to walk through it. 4 After walking for a day, Jonah warned the people, “Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed!”

5 They believed God's message and set a time when they would go without eating to show their sorrow. Then everyone in the city, no matter who they were, dressed in sackcloth.

6 When the king of Nineveh heard what was happening, he also dressed in sackcloth; he left the royal palace and sat in dust. 7-9 Then he and his officials sent out an order for everyone in the city to obey. It said:

None of you or your animals may eat or drink a thing. Each of you must wear sackcloth, and you must even put sackcloth on your animals.

You must also pray to the Lord God with all your heart and stop being sinful and cruel. Maybe God will change his mind and have mercy on us, so we won't be destroyed.

10 When God saw that the people had stopped doing evil things, he had pity and did not destroy them as he had planned.

Jonah Gets Angry with the Lord

1 Jonah was really upset and angry. 2 So he prayed:

Our Lord, I knew from the very beginning that you wouldn't destroy Nineveh. That's why I left my own country and headed for Spain. You are a kind and merciful God, and you are very patient. You always show love, and you don't like to punish anyone.

3 Now let me die! I'd be better off dead.

4 The Lord replied, “What right do you have to be angry?”

5 Jonah then left through the east gate of the city and made a shelter to protect himself from the sun. He sat under the shelter, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh.

6 The Lord made a vine grow up to shade Jonah's head and protect him from the sun. Jonah was very happy to have the vine, 7 but early the next morning the Lord sent a worm to chew on the vine, and the vine dried up. 8 During the day the Lord sent a scorching wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head, making him feel faint. Jonah was ready to die, and he shouted, “I wish I were dead!”

9 But the Lord asked, “Jonah, do you have the right to be angry about the vine?”

“Yes, I do,” he answered, “and I'm angry enough to die.”

10 But the Lord said:

You are concerned about a vine that you did not plant or take care of, a vine that grew up in one night and died the next. 11 In that city of Nineveh there are more than 120,000 people who cannot tell right from wrong, and many cattle are also there. Don't you think I should be concerned about that big city?

Jonah Disobeys the Lord

1 One day the Lord spoke to Jonah son of Amittai. 2 He said, “Go to Nineveh, that great city, and speak out against it; I am aware of how wicked its people are.” 3 Jonah, however, set out in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went to Joppa, where he found a ship about to go to Spain. He paid his fare and went aboard with the crew to sail to Spain, where he would be away from the Lord.

4 But the Lord sent a strong wind on the sea, and the storm was so violent that the ship was in danger of breaking up. 5 The sailors were terrified and cried out for help, each one to his own god. Then, in order to lessen the danger, they threw the cargo overboard. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone below and was lying in the ship's hold, sound asleep.

6 The captain found him there and said to him, “What are you doing asleep? Get up and pray to your god for help. Maybe he will feel sorry for us and spare our lives.”

7 The sailors said to each other, “Let's draw lots and find out who is to blame for getting us into this danger.” They did so, and Jonah's name was drawn. 8 So they said to him, “Now, then, tell us! Who is to blame for this? What are you doing here? What country do you come from? What is your nationality?”

9 “I am a Hebrew,” Jonah answered. “I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made land and sea.” 10 Jonah went on to tell them that he was running away from the Lord.

The sailors were terrified, and said to him, “That was an awful thing to do!” 11 The storm was getting worse all the time, so the sailors asked him, “What should we do to you to stop the storm?”

12 Jonah answered, “Throw me into the sea, and it will calm down. I know it is my fault that you are caught in this violent storm.”

13 Instead, the sailors tried to get the ship to shore, rowing with all their might. But the storm was becoming worse and worse, and they got nowhere. 14 So they cried out to the Lord, “O Lord, we pray, don't punish us with death for taking this man's life! You, O Lord, are responsible for all this; it is your doing.” 15 Then they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and it calmed down at once. 16 This made the sailors so afraid of the Lord that they offered a sacrifice and promised to serve him.

17 At the Lord's command a large fish swallowed Jonah, and he was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

Jonah's Prayer

1 From deep inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God:

2 “In my distress, O Lord, I called to you,

and you answered me.

From deep in the world of the dead

I cried for help, and you heard me.

3 You threw me down into the depths,

to the very bottom of the sea,

where the waters were all around me,

and all your mighty waves rolled over me.

4 I thought I had been banished from your presence

and would never see your holy Temple again.

5 The water came over me and choked me;

the sea covered me completely,

and seaweed wrapped around my head.

6 I went down to the very roots of the mountains,

into the land whose gates lock shut forever.

But you, O Lord my God,

brought me back from the depths alive.

7 When I felt my life slipping away,

then, O Lord, I prayed to you,

and in your holy Temple you heard me.

8 Those who worship worthless idols

have abandoned their loyalty to you.

9 But I will sing praises to you;

I will offer you a sacrifice

and do what I have promised.

Salvation comes from the Lord!”

10 Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah up on the beach, and it did.

Jonah Obeys the Lord

1 Once again the Lord spoke to Jonah. 2 He said, “Go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to the people the message I have given you.” 3 So Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to walk through it. 4 Jonah started through the city, and after walking a whole day, he proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!”

5 The people of Nineveh believed God's message. So they decided that everyone should fast, and all the people, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth to show that they had repented.

6 When the king of Nineveh heard about it, he got up from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth, and sat down in ashes. 7 He sent out a proclamation to the people of Nineveh: “This is an order from the king and his officials: No one is to eat anything; all persons, cattle, and sheep are forbidden to eat or drink. 8 All persons and animals must wear sackcloth. Everyone must pray earnestly to God and must give up their wicked behavior and their evil actions. 9 Perhaps God will change his mind; perhaps he will stop being angry, and we will not die!”

10 God saw what they did; he saw that they had given up their wicked behavior. So he changed his mind and did not punish them as he had said he would.

Jonah's Anger and God's Mercy

1 Jonah was very unhappy about this and became angry. 2 So he prayed, “Lord, didn't I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That's why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish. 3 Now then, Lord, let me die. I am better off dead than alive.”

4 The Lord answered, “What right do you have to be angry?”

5 Jonah went out east of the city and sat down. He made a shelter for himself and sat in its shade, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh. 6 Then the Lord God made a plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day, at God's command, a worm attacked the plant, and it died. 8 After the sun had risen, God sent a hot east wind, and Jonah was about to faint from the heat of the sun beating down on his head. So he wished he were dead. “I am better off dead than alive,” he said.

9 But God said to him, “What right do you have to be angry about the plant?”

Jonah replied, “I have every right to be angry—angry enough to die!”

10 The Lord said to him, “This plant grew up in one night and disappeared the next; you didn't do anything for it and you didn't make it grow—yet you feel sorry for it! 11 How much more, then, should I have pity on Nineveh, that great city. After all, it has more than 120,000 innocent children in it, as well as many animals!”

Jonah Tries to Run from the Lord

1:1 The Lord said to Jonah son of Amittai, 2 “Go immediately to Nineveh, that large capital city, and announce judgment against its people because their wickedness has come to my attention.” 3 Instead, Jonah immediately headed off to Tarshish to escape from the commission of the Lord. He traveled to Joppa and found a merchant ship heading to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went aboard it to go with them to Tarshish far away from the Lord. 4 But the Lord hurled a powerful wind on the sea. Such a violent tempest arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break up! 5 The sailors were so afraid that each cried out to his own god and they flung the ship’s cargo overboard to make the ship lighter. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold below deck, had lain down, and was sound asleep. 6 The ship’s captain approached him and said, “What are you doing asleep? Get up! Cry out to your god! Perhaps your god might take notice of us so that we might not die!” 7 The sailors said to one another, “Come on, let’s cast lots to find out whose fault it is that this disaster has overtaken us.” So they cast lots, and Jonah was singled out. 8 They said to him, “Tell us, whose fault is it that this disaster has overtaken us? What’s your occupation? Where do you come from? What’s your country? And who are your people?” 9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew! And I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Hearing this, the men became even more afraid and said to him, “What have you done?” (The men said this because they knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had previously told them.) 11 Because the storm was growing worse and worse, they said to him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea to make the sea quiet down, because I know it’s my fault you are in this severe storm.” 13 Instead, they tried to row back to land, but they were not able to do so because the storm kept growing worse and worse. 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. After all, you, Lord, have done just as you pleased.” 15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped raging. 16 The men feared the Lord greatly, and earnestly vowed to offer lavish sacrifices to the Lord.

17

Jonah Prays

The Lord sent a huge 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 and said,

“I called out to the Lord from my distress,

and he answered me;

from the belly of Sheol I cried out for help,

and you heard my prayer.

3 You threw me into the deep waters,

into the middle of the sea;

the ocean current engulfed me;

all the mighty waves you sent swept over me.

4 I thought I had been banished from your sight,

that I would never again see your holy temple!

5 Water engulfed me up to my neck;

the deep ocean surrounded me;

seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 I went down to the very bottoms of the mountains;

the gates of the netherworld barred me in forever;

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

7 When my life was ebbing away, I called out to the Lord,

and my prayer came to your holy temple.

8 Those who worship worthless idols forfeit the mercy that could be theirs.

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

I will surely do what I have promised.

Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

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

5 The people of Nineveh believed in God, and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and said, “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. 8 Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly to God, and everyone must turn from their evil way of living and from the violence that they do. 9 Who knows? Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent and turn from his fierce anger so that we might not die.” 10 When God saw their actions – they turned from their evil way of living! – God relented concerning the judgment he had threatened them with and he did not destroy them.

Jonah Responds to God’s Kindness

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

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

7 So God sent a worm at dawn the next day, and it attacked the little plant so that it dried up. 8 When the sun began to shine, God sent a hot east wind. So the sun beat down on Jonah’s head, and he grew faint. So he despaired of life, and said, “I would rather die than live!” 9 God said to Jonah, “Are you really so very angry about the little plant?” And he said, “I am as angry as I could possibly be!” 10 The Lord said, “You were upset about this little 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. 11 Should I not be even more concerned about Nineveh, this enormous city? There are more than one hundred twenty thousand people in it who do not know right from wrong, as well as many animals!”

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome