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Chapter 2

Jonah’s Prayer. But the Lord sent a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.(A) Jonah prayed to the Lord, his God, from the belly of the fish:

[a]Out of my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me;
From the womb of Sheol[b] I cried for help,
    and you heard my voice.(B)
You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea,
    and the flood enveloped me;
All your breakers and your billows
    passed over me.(C)
Then I said, “I am banished from your sight!
    How will I again look upon your holy temple?”(D)
The waters surged around me up to my neck;
    the deep enveloped me;
    seaweed wrapped around my head.(E)
I went down to the roots of the mountains;
    to the land whose bars closed behind me forever,
But you brought my life up from the pit,
    O Lord, my God.(F)

When I became faint,
    I remembered the Lord;
My prayer came to you
    in your holy temple.(G)
Those who worship worthless idols
abandon their hope for mercy.(H)
10 But I, with thankful voice,
    will sacrifice to you;
What I have vowed I will pay:
    deliverance is from the Lord.(I)

11 Then the Lord commanded the fish to vomit Jonah upon dry land.

Footnotes

  1. 2:3–10 These verses, which may have originally been an independent composition, are a typical example of a song of thanksgiving, a common psalm genre (e.g., Ps 116; Is 38:9–20). Such a song is relevant here, since Jonah has not drowned, and the imagery of vv. 4, 6 is appropriate.
  2. 2:3 Sheol: cf. note on Ps 6:6.

[a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:

“In my distress I called(A) to the Lord,(B)
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead(C) I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,(D)
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves(E) and breakers
    swept over me.(F)
I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;(G)
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’(H)
The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.(I)
To the roots of the mountains(J) I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.(K)

“When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered(L) you, Lord,
and my prayer(M) rose to you,
    to your holy temple.(N)

“Those who cling to worthless idols(O)
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,(P)
    will sacrifice(Q) to you.
What I have vowed(R) I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation(S) comes from the Lord.’”

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Footnotes

  1. Jonah 2:1 In Hebrew texts 2:1 is numbered 1:17, and 2:1-10 is numbered 2:2-11.
  2. Jonah 2:5 Or waters were at my throat

Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,

And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

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