THE PROPHECY OF JONAS
JONAS prophesied in the reign of JEREBOAM the second: as we
learn from 4 Kings 14.25. To whom also he foretold his
success in restoring all the borders of Israel. He was of
GETH OPHER in the tribe of ZABULON, and consequently of
GALILEE: which confutes that assertion of the Pharisees,
John 7.52, that no prophet ever rose out of GALILEE. He
prophesied and prefigured in his own person the death and
resurrection of CHRIST: and was the only one among the
prophets that was sent to preach to the Gentiles.
Jonas Chapter 1
Jonas being sent to preach in Ninive, fleeth away by sea: a
tempest riseth: of which he being found, by lot, to be the
cause, is cast into the sea, which thereupon is calmed.
1:1. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonas, the son of
1:2. Arise and go to Ninive, the great city, and preach in
it: For the wickedness thereof is come up before me.
Nineve... The capital city of the Assyrian empire.
1:3. And Jonas rose up to flee into Tharsis from the face
of the Lord, and he went down to Joppe, and found a ship
going to Tharsis: and he paid the fare thereof, and went
down into it, to go with them to Tharsis from the face of
Tharsis... Which some take to be Tharsus of Cilicia,
others to be Tartessus of Spain, others to be Carthage.
1:4. But the Lord sent a great wind to the sea: and a great
tempest was raised in the sea, and the ship was in danger
to be broken.
1:5. And the mariners were afraid, and the men cried to
their god: and they cast forth the wares that were in the
ship, into the sea, to lighten it of them: and Jonas went
down into the inner part of the ship, and fell into a deep
A deep sleep... This is a lively image of the
insensibility of sinners, fleeing from God, and
threatened on every side with his judgments: and yet
sleeping as if they were secure.
1:6. And the ship master came to him and said to him: Why
art thou fast asleep? rise up call upon thy God, if so be
that God will think of us that we may not perish.
1:7. And they said every one to his fellow: Come and let us
cast lots, that we may know why this evil is upon us. And
they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonas.
1:8. And they said to him: Tell us for what cause this evil
is upon us, what is thy business? of what country art thou?
and whither goest thou? or of what people art thou?
1:9. And he said to them: I am a Hebrew, and I fear the
Lord, and the God of heaven, who made both the sea and the
1:10. And the men were greatly afraid, and they said to
him: Why hast thou done this? (For the men knew that he
fled from the face of the Lord: because he had told them.)
1:11. And they said to him: What shall we do with thee,
that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea flowed and
1:12. And he said to them: take me up, and cast me into the
sea, and the sea shall be calm to you: for I know for my
sake this great tempest is upon you.
1:13. And the men rowed hard to return the land, but they
were not able: because the sea tossed and swelled upon
1:14. And they cried to the Lord, and said: We beseech
thee, O Lord let us not perish for this man's life, and lay
not upon us innocent blood: for thou, oh Lord, hast done as
it pleased thee.
1:15. And they took Jonas, and cast him into the sea, and
the sea ceased from raging.
1:16. And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and
sacrificed victims to the Lord, and made vows.
Jonas Chapter 2
Jonas is swallowed up by a great fish: he prayeth with
confidence in God; and the fish casteth him out on the dry
2:1. Now the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up
Jonas: and Jonas was in the belly of a fish for three days
and three nights.
2:2. And Jonas prayed to the Lord, his God, out of the
belly of the fish.
2:3. And he said: I cried out of my affliction to the Lord,
and he heard me: I cried out of the belly of hell, and thou
hast heard my voice.
2:4. And thou hast cast me forth into the deep, in the
heart of the sea, and a flood hast compassed me: all thy
billows, and thy waves have passed over me.
2:5. And I said: I am cast away out of the sight of thy
eyes: but yet I shall see the holy temple again.
2:6. The waters compassed me about even to the soul: the
deep hath closed me round about, the sea hath covered my
2:7. I went down to the lowest parts of the mountains: the
bars of the earth have shut me up for ever: and thou wilt
bring up my life from corruption, O Lord, my God.
2:8. When my soul was in distress within me, I remembered
the Lord: that my prayer may come to thee, unto the holy
2:9. They that in vain observe vanities, forsake their own
2:10. But I with the voice of praise will sacrifice to
thee: I will pay whatsoever I have vowed for my salvation
to the Lord.
2:11. And the Lord spoke to the fish: and it vomited out
Jonas upon the dry land.
Spoke to the fish... God's speaking to the fish, was
nothing else but his will, which all things obey.
Jonas Chapter 3
Jonas is sent again to preach in Ninive. Upon their fasting
and repentance, God recalleth the sentence by which they
were to be destroyed.
3:1. And the word of the Lord came to Jonas the second time
3:2. Arise, and go to Ninive, the great city: and preach in
it the preaching that I bid thee.
3:3. And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the
word of the Lord: now Ninive was a great city of three
Of three days' journey... By the computation of some
ancient historians, Ninive was about fifty miles round:
so that to go through all the chief streets and public
places was three days' journey.
3:4. And Jonas began to enter into the city one day's
journey: and he cried and said: Yet forty days and Ninive
shall be destroyed.
3:5. And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they
proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest
to the least.
3:6. And the word came to the king of Ninive: and he rose
up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and
was clothed in sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
3:7. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in
Ninive, from the mouth of the king and of his princes,
saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen, nor sheep taste
anything: let them not feed, nor drink water.
3:8. And let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and
cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn
every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is
in their hands.
3:9. Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will
turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish?
3:10. And God saw their works, that they were turned from
their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil
which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it
Jonas Chapter 4
4:1. And Jonas was exceedingly troubled, and was angry:
Was exceedingly troubled, etc... His concern was lest he
should pass for a false prophet; or rather, lest God's
word, by this occasion, might come to be slighted and
4:2. And he prayed to the Lord, and said: I beseech thee, O
Lord, is not this what I said, when I was yet in my own
country? therefore I went before to flee into Tharsis: for
I know that thou art a gracious and merciful God, patient,
and of much compassion, and easy to forgive evil.
4:3. And now, O Lord, I beseech thee take my life from me:
for it is better for me to die than to live.
4:4. And the Lord said: Dost thou think thou hast reason to
4:5. Then Jonas went out of the city, and sat toward the
east side of the city: and he made himself a booth there,
and he sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what
would befall the city.
4:6. And the Lord God prepared an ivy, and it came up over
the head of Jonas, to be a shadow over his head, and to
cover him (for he was fatigued): and Jonas was exceeding
glad of the ivy.
The Lord God prepared an ivy... Hederam. In the Hebrew it
is Kikajon, which some render a gourd: others a palmerist,
or palma Christi.
4:7. But God prepared a worm, when the morning arose on the
following day: and it struck the ivy and it withered.
4:8. And when the sun was risen, the Lord commanded a hot
and burning wind: and the sun beat upon the head of Jonas,
and he broiled with the heat: and he desired for his soul
that he might die, and said: It is better for me to die
than to live.
4:9. And the Lord said to Jonas: Dost thou think thou hast
reason to be angry, for the ivy? And he said: I am angry
with reason even unto death.
4:10. And the Lord said: Thou art grieved for the ivy, for
which thou hast not laboured, nor made it to grow, which in
one night came up, and in one night perished.
4:11. And shall I not spare Ninive, that great city, in
which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand
persons, that know how to distinguish between their right
hand and their left, and many beasts?
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