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Chapter 1

1 The word of Yahweh came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Get up, go to Nineveh, the great city, and call out against it, because their evil has risen up before my face.” 3 But Jonah got up to run away to Tarshish from before the face of Yahweh. And he went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, away from before the face of Yahweh.

4 But Yahweh sent out a great wind on the sea and a great storm happened on the sea, so that the ship was thinking to be broken apart. 5 Then the sailors were frightened, and each man cried out to his own god. And they threw the things that were in the ship into the sea to lighten it from upon them. But Jonah had gone down into the innermost parts of the ship, and had lain down, and was deeply asleep.

6 Then the captain of the crew came to him and said to him, “What are you doing sleeping? Get up! Cry out to your god! Maybe that god will notice us, and we will not perish.”

7 Then every man said to his friend, “Come, and let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this evil is happening to us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Please tell us on whose account this evil is happening to us. What is your occupation, and where do you come from? What is your country, and from which people are you?”

9 So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yahweh, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.”

10 Then the men were afraid with great fear, and they said to him, “What is this that you have done?” For the men knew that he was running away from before the face of Yahweh, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What should we do to you so that the sea will calm down from upon us?” For the sea was going forward and storming.

12 And he said to them, “Lift me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will calm down from upon you, for I know that this great storm is upon you because of me.”

13 But the men rowed hard to return themselves to the land, but they could not, because the sea was going forward and storming over them. 14 So they cried out to Yahweh and said, “Ah! Yahweh, please do not let us perish on account of the life of this man, and do not put innocent blood upon us, because you, Yahweh, have done just as you desired.” 15 So they lifted up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared Yahweh with great fear, and they sacrificed a sacrifice to Yahweh and vowed vows.


17 Now Yahweh appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the abdomen of the fish three days and three nights. [1]

1:17 [1] Now Yahweh appointed … and three nights Some versions place this text at the beginning of verse 1 in chapter 2.

Chapter 2

1 And Jonah prayed to Yahweh his God from the abdomen of the fish. 2 And he said,

     “I cried out to Yahweh from my distress, and he answered me.

         From the belly of Sheol I cried out; you heard my voice.

     3 Now you had cast me deep into the heart of the seas, and a current surrounded me;

         all your billows and your waves passed over me.

     4 But I, I said, ‘I have been driven out from before your eyes;

         yet I might again look toward your holy temple.’

     5 Water had closed around me even as far as life, the deep was surrounding me;

         seaweed was wrapped around my head.

     6 I had gone down to the bases of the mountains. The earth with its bars were around me forever,

         but you brought up my life from the pit, Yahweh, my God!

     7 When my life fainted upon me, I remembered Yahweh

         and my prayer came to you, to your holy temple.

     8 Those who give attention to empty vanities

         forsake their covenant faithfulness.

     9 But I, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of thanksgiving;

         I will fulfill what I have vowed.

     Salvation belongs to Yahweh!”

10 And Yahweh spoke to the fish, and it vomited up Jonah onto the dry land.


Chapter 3

1 Then the word of Yahweh came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2 “Get up, go to Nineveh, the great city, and call out to it the proclamation that I tell to you.” 3 So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, according to the word of Yahweh.

Now Nineveh was a city great to God, a journey of three days. 4 So Jonah began to go into the city a journey of one day, and he called out and said, “Still 40 days, then Nineveh will be overthrown.”

5 And the men of Nineveh believed God. And they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 Then the word came to the king of Nineveh, and he rose up from his throne, and he took off his robe from being on him, and he covered himself with sackcloth and sat down on the ash heap.

7 And he proclaimed and spoke within Nineveh from a decree of the king and his nobles, saying: “No person or animal, herd or flock, may taste anything; they must not graze, and they must not drink water. 8 But let the man and the beast be covered with sackcloth, and they must cry out to God with strength, and each man must turn back from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows? This god might turn back and have compassion and relent from the burning of his nose so that we will not perish.”

10 And God saw their deeds, that they turned away from their evil ways. And God relented in regard to the evil that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do {it}.


Chapter 4

1 But this was evil to Jonah, a great evil, and it burned to him. 2 So he prayed to Yahweh and said, “Ah! Yahweh, was this not my word while I was in my country? Because of this I acted beforehand to flee to Tarshish, because I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, long of nostrils and abundant in covenant faithfulness, and one who relents from evil. 3 So now, Yahweh, I beg you, take my life from me, for my death is better than my life.”

4 And Yahweh said, “Is it right that it burns to you?”

5 Then Jonah went out from the city and sat down facing the city from the east. And there he made a shelter for himself, and he sat under it in the shade until he might see what would be within the city.

6 Then Yahweh God appointed a plant and caused it to grow up from over Jonah to be a shade over his head in order to rescue him from his evil. And Jonah rejoiced with great rejoicing because of the plant. 7 Then God appointed a worm at the rising of the dawn of the next day; and it attacked the plant, and it withered. 8 And as soon as the rising of the sun happened, then God appointed a hot east wind; and the sun beat on the head of Jonah, and he became faint. Then he asked his spirit to die and said, “My death is better than my life.”

9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right that it burns to you about the plant?” And he said, “It is right that it burns to me, even as far as death.”

10 Then Yahweh said, “You, you feel troubled about the plant, for which you did no work, nor did you make it grow; it came as a son of a night, and it perished as a son of a night. 11 So I, should I not feel troubled about Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than 120, 000 people who cannot distinguish between their right hand and their left hand, and many animals?”