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Jonah Chapter 1

1 Now the LORD's word came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before me."

3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid its fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

4 But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty storm on the sea, so that the ship was likely to break up.

5 Then the mariners were afraid, and every man cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone down into the innermost parts of the ship, and he was laying down, and was fast asleep.

6 So the ship master came to him, and said to him, "What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God! Maybe your God will notice us, so that we won't perish."

7 They all said to each other, "Come! Let's cast lots, that we may know who is responsible for this evil that is on us." So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.

8 Then they asked him, "Tell us, please, for whose cause this evil is on us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? Of what people are you?"

9 He said to them, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land."

10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, "What have you done?" For the men knew that he 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 be calm to us?" For the sea grew more and more stormy.

12 He said to them, "Take me up, and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will be calm for you; for I know that because of me this great storm is on you."

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them.

14 Therefore they cried to the LORD, and said, "We beg you, LORD, we beg you, don't let us die for this man's life, and don't lay on us innocent blood; for you, LORD, have done as it pleased you."

15 So they took up Jonah, and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased its raging.

16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD, and made vows.

17 The LORD prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


Verse 1 (LORD)
When rendered in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, "LORD" or "GOD" is the translation of God's Proper Name.
Verse 6 (your God)
or, gods
Verse 6 (your God)
or, gods
Verse 9 (God)
The Hebrew word rendered "God" is Elohim.

Version: World English Bible

Jonah Chapter 1 Guide

In narrating his own experience on his mission to Nineveh, Jonah intended to teach his people the lesson of the inclusiveness of the divine government, and thus to rebuke their exclusive attitude toward surrounding peoples. The Book naturally falls into two parts. In this first division we have the prophet's account of Jehovah's command, his disobedience, and the divine interposition. Evidently he had no doubt that the command was from Jehovah. The charge to deliver a message to a city outside the covenant, and one, moreover, which was the centre of a power which had been oppressive and cruel, must have been startling to Jonah. His attempt to escape was an act of wilful disobedience. Outside the path of duty he recognized that he was chargeable to himself, and with a touch of fine, if mistaken, independence, he paid his fare to Tarshish.

His going out from the presence of the Lord did not, however, ensure his escape from the Lord's control. Jehovah sent out a wind which endangered the ship in which Jonah was a passenger. The incidents of the storm are full of interest. Terrified by the storm, and at their wits' end, the crew made every effort to save Jonah's life. However, God, who had sent out the wind, presided over the casting of the lots, and at last Jonah was cast into the deep. There he was received by the fish, prepared.

From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.