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English Standard Version

Jonah 1:1–4:3

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Jonah Flees the Presence of the Lord

Now the word of the Lord came to aJonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to bNineveh, that cgreat city, and call out against it, dfor their evil1 has come up before me.” But Jonah erose to flee to fTarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to gJoppa and found a ship going to fTarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to fTarshish, haway from the presence of the Lord.

But ithe Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened jto break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and keach cried out to his god. And lthey 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, kcall out to your god! mPerhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

Jonah Is Thrown into the Sea

And they said to one another, “Come, let us ncast 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 othe Lord, the God of heaven, pwho 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 hhe 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, qfor I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard2 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 rlay not on us innocent blood, sfor you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, tand the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, uand they offered a sacrifice to the Lord vand made vows.

A Great Fish Swallows Jonah

17 3 And the Lord appointed4 a great fish to swallow up Jonah. wAnd Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah’s Prayer

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

x“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,

and he answered me;

yout of the belly of Sheol I cried,

zand you heard my voice.

aFor you cast me into the deep,

into the heart of the seas,

and the flood surrounded me;

ball your waves and your billows

passed over me.

cThen I said, ‘I am driven away

from your sight;

dyet I shall again look

upon your holy temple.’

eThe waters closed in over me fto 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,

gand my prayer came to you,

into your holy temple.

hThose who pay regard to vain idols

iforsake their hope of steadfast love.

jBut I with the voice of thanksgiving

will sacrifice to you;

what I have vowed I will pay.

kSalvation belongs to the Lord!”

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

Jonah Goes to Nineveh

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to lNineveh, 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 lNineveh was an exceedingly great city,1 three days’ journey in breadth.2 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” mAnd the people of Nineveh believed God. nThey called for a fast and oput on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

The People of Nineveh Repent

The word reached3 the king of Nineveh, and phe arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, qand sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, r“By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor sbeast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and sbeast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. tLet everyone turn from his evil way and from uthe violence that is in his hands. vWho knows? God may turn and relent wand turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

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

Jonah’s Anger and the Lord’s Compassion

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly,1 and yhe 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? zThat is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a agracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and arelenting from disaster. bTherefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, cfor it is better for me to die than to live.”

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