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But this was very displeasing to Yonah, and he became angry. He prayed to Adonai, “Now, Adonai, didn’t I say this would happen, when I was still in my own country? That’s why I tried to get away to Tarshish ahead of time! I knew you were a God who is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in grace, and that you relent from inflicting punishment. Therefore, Adonai, please, just take my life away from me; it’s better for me to be dead than alive!” Adonai asked, “Is it right for you to be so angry?”

Yonah left the city and found a place east of the city, where he made himself a shelter and sat down under it, in its shade, to see what would happen to the city. Adonai, God, prepared a castor-bean plant and made it grow up over Yonah to shade his head and relieve his discomfort. So Yonah was delighted with the castor-bean plant. But at dawn the next day God prepared a worm, which attacked the castor-bean plant, so that it dried up. Then, when the sun rose, God prepared a scorching east wind; and the sun beat down on Yonah’s head so hard that he grew faint and begged that he could die, saying, “I would be better off dead than alive.”

God asked Yonah, “Is it right for you to be so angry about the castor-bean plant?” He answered, “Yes, it’s right for me to be so angry that I could die!” 10 Adonai said, “You’re concerned over the castor-bean plant, which cost you no effort; you didn’t make it grow; it came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 So shouldn’t I be concerned about the great city of Ninveh, in which there are more than 120,000 people who don’t know their right hand from their left — not to mention all the animals?”

Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.(A) He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew(B) that you are a gracious(C) and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love,(D) a God who relents(E) from sending calamity.(F) Now, Lord, take away my life,(G) for it is better for me to die(H) than to live.”(I)

But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”(J)

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided(K) a leafy plant[a] and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered.(L) When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die,(M) and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”

But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”(N)

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern(O) for the great city of Nineveh,(P) in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Footnotes

  1. Jonah 4:6 The precise identification of this plant is uncertain; also in verses 7, 9 and 10.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.

And the Lord God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

10 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

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