A Deep Dive into Jonah: Part IV

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Translation of Jonah

1:1 Yahweh’s word came to Jonah, son of Amattai, as follows: 2 “Get up! Go to Nineveh, the great city, and cry out against her, for they’re evil has ascended before me. 

3 So Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish, away from Yahweh’s presence. He went down to Joppa, found a ship bound for Tarshish, paid the fare, and went down inside it to go with them to Tarshish away from Yahweh’s presence.

4 But Yahweh hurled a great wind upon the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break apart. 5 The sailers were afraid, and each cried out to his own god, and they threw the cargo that was on the ship into the sea to make it lighter for them. 

As for Jonah, he had gone down into the ship’s hold, lain down, and fallen into a deep sleep. 6 The captain approached him and said to him, “What are you doing in a deep sleep? Get up! Cry out to your god! Perhaps that god may consider us and we won’t perish!” 

7 Each man said to his mate, “Come! Let us cast lots that we may learn on whose account this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 They said to him, “Tell us on whose account this trouble has fallen upon us. What is your occupation? From where do you come? What is your country? From what people are you?”

9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew and I fear Yahweh, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men feared a great fear and said to him, “What have you done?” For the men knew he was fleeing from Yahweh’s presence because he told them.

11 They said to him, “What should we do to you so that the sea will become calm for us?” wince the sea was becoming even more stormy. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea, and the sea will become calm for you. I know that I am to blame for this great storm which has come to you.”

13 The men rowed hard to return to dry land but were unable because the sea was growing worse. 14 So they cried out to Yahweh and said, “O Yahweh, do not let us die on account of this man! Do not hold us responsible for his innocent blood. You, O Yahweh, have done as you have pleased.” 15 So they lifted Jonah up and threw him into the sea and the sea stopped raging. 16 Then the men feared Yahweh with great fear. They offered sacrifices to Yahweh and they vowed vows.

17 And Yahweh appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

2:1 From the belly of the fish, Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God, saying, 2 “Out of my distress I cried to Yahweh and he answered me, from the belly of Sheol I cried out and you heard my voice!

3 You threw me into the deep, into the heart of the seas and the river swirled around me. All Your breakers and waves passed over me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight. Nevertheless, I will again gaze upon your holy temple.’ 

5 The waters surrounded me up to my neck. The deep engulfed me. My head was being bound up with reeds. 6 To the roots of the mountains I went down. The bars of the earth were around me forever. 

But you lifted up my life from the pit, O Yahweh my God. 7 While my soul was fainting away from me, I remembered Yahweh and my prayer came to you in your holy temple.

8 Those who pay regard to useless idols forsake their faithfulness. 9 But I, with a voice of praise, will sacrifice to you. That which I vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to Yahweh!”

10 Then Yahweh spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah onto the dry land.

3:1 Yahweh’s word came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2 “Get up! Go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim to her the proclamation I am going to tell you.”

3 So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a great city to God, a journey of three days. 

4 And Jonah began to go into the city one day’s journey and he cried out and he said, “Still forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God, declared a fast, and dressed in sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, removed his robe from upon him, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and said, “In Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles, do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste anything. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 But let both man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry out to God with strength that each may turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in their hands. 9 Who knows, God may turn and relent and turn away his burning anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they had done, that they turned from their evil ways, then God relented concerning the calamity he had said he would bring upon them and he did not do it.

4:1 But this was extremely evil to Jonah and he became very angry. 2 He prayed to Yahweh, and he said, “Oh Yahweh, was this not my concern while I was yet in my country? Therefore, I hastened to flee to Tarshish, for I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and full of lovingkindness and one who relents from calamity. 3 Thus now, Oh Yahweh, take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”

4 Yahweh said, “Are you right to be angry?”

5 Jonah went out from the city, sat east of the city, and he made for himself there a shelter and sat underneath it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.

6 Yahweh God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely joyful about the plant. 7 But God appointed a worm to go up at dawn the next day and attack the plant and it withered.

8 When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and asked with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”

9 Then God said to Jonah, “Are you right to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is good for me to be angry, even to death.”

10 Then Yahweh said, “You had pity on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 Should I not have pity on Nineveh, the great city, in which there exist more than 120,000 persons who do not know between their right and left hand, as well as many beasts?”