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The word of YEHOWAH came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,
2 “Rise up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of YEHOWAH, and he went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare of it, and went down into it; to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of YEHOWAH.
4 But YEHOWAH sent out a great wind upon the sea and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was likely to be broken up.
5 And the sailors were fearful, and every man cried out to his elohim, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship, into the sea, to lighten it. But Jonah had gone into the recesses of the ship, lay down and was sound asleep.
6 So the shipmaster approached him, and said, “How can you sleep? Rise up! Call upon your elohim; it may be that your elohim will be mindful of us, so that we will not perish.”
7 And they said, each man to his companion, “Come, let us cast lots, so we may know for whose sake this evil is upon us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account has this evil struck? What is your occupation? From where do you come? What is your country? From what people are you?”
9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear YEHOWAH, the Elohim of heaven Who made the sea and the dry land.”
10 Then the men became extremely fearful and asked him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of YEHOWAH, because he had told them.
11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm for us?” For the sea grew increasingly tempestuous.
12 And he answered, saying, “Take me up and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea become calm for you. For I know that because of me this great tempest has come upon you.”
13 And even though the men rowed hard to bring it to land, they could not, for the sea became increasingly tempestuous against them.
14 Then they called upon YEHOWAH, saying, “We beseech You, O YEHOWAH, we beseech You; let us not perish on account of this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood, for You, O YEHOWAH, have done as You have pleased.”
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea, and the sea ceased raging.
16 Then the men feared YEHOWAH greatly, and they offered a sacrifice unto YEHOWAH and made vows.
17 And YEHOWAH appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Then Jonah prayed unto YEHOWAH his Elohim from the belly of the fish,
2 and he said, “In my anguish I cried unto YEHOWAH, and He answered me. From the belly of hell I shouted for help, and You heard my voice.
3 For You did cast me into the deep; into the heart of the sea, and the flood encompassed me. All Your billows and waves passed over me.”
4 And I said, “I have been cast out from Your eyes, yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.
5 The waters encompassed me to the depth of my soul; the great deep closed in on me; reeds wrapped around my head.
6 I descended to the base of the mountains. The earth and its bars were over me continually, but You have brought up my life from the pit, O YEHOWAH my Elohim.
7 As my soul fainted within me, I remembered YEHOWAH, and my prayer came to You; in to Your holy temple.
8 Those who attend to false idols forsake their own piety,
9 but I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving, and that which I have vowed I will pay. Deliverance is from YEHOWAH.”
10 And YEHOWAH commanded the fish, and it spewed Jonah up onto the dry land.
And the word of YEHOWAH came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 “Rise up, go to Nineveh the great city, and preach to it the proclamation which I tell you.”
3 So Jonah rose up and went to Nineveh, according to the command of YEHOWAH. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city of three days’ journey.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city one day’s journey, and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overturned.”
5 And the people of Nineveh believed Elohim, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth; from the greatest of them, even to the least of them.
6 And when the report reached the king of Nineveh, he rose up from his throne, laid aside his robe, clothed himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published that, “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not eat nor drink water.
8 But let man and beast both be covered with sackcloth, and cry out mightily unto Elohim, and let them turn every one from their evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who knows, Elohim may turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not.”
10 And Elohim saw their works; that they turned from their evil way. And Elohim repented from the evil that He said He would do to them, and He did not.
But it greatly displeased Jonah and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto YEHOWAH and said, “Please, O YEHOWAH, was this not what I said while I was yet in my country? Therefore, in order to prevent this, I fled to Tarshish. For I know that You are a gracious and compassionate El; slow to anger, great in loving-kindness, and One who relents concerning calamity.
3 Therefore now, O YEHOWAH, I beseech You, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life.”
4 Then YEHOWAH asked, “Do you have reason to be angry?”
5 So Jonah went out from the city, and sat east of it. And there he made a booth for himself, and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city.
6 And YEHOWAH Elohim appointed a castor-oil plant to grow up over Jonah, to be a shade over his head; to deliver him from his misery. And Jonah was extremely joyful about the plant.
7 But Elohim appointed a worm, when dawn came the next day, and it attacked the plant and it withered.
8 And it came to pass when the sun did rise up, Elohim appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down upon Jonah’s head, so that he became faint and begged in his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than to live.”
9 And Elohim said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.”
10 Then YEHOWAH said, “You had pity on the plant for which you did not work, nor did you cause to grow, which came up in one night and perished in one night.
11 And should I not spare Nineveh, the great city wherein are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also many animals?
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Lawrence T. Vosen, PhD.