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Jonah 3:1–4:11

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.” And the Lord said, d“Do you do well to be angry?”

Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and emade 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 plant2 and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort.3 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 feast wind, gand the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he hwas faint. And he asked that he might die and said, c“It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, i“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 jNineveh, 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 kcattle?”

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