Jonah 4:2

4:2 you are a gracious . . . relenting from disaster. The reason for Jonah’s initial flight to Tarshish is revealed. Despite his blatant disobedience and narrow-mindedness, Jonah understood the character of God. Here he echoes a liturgical formula describing God’s mercy to an undeserving Israel (e.g., Ex. 34:6; Num. 14:18; Neh. 9:17; Ps. 103:8; Joel 2:13). Only here and in Joel 2:13 does the reference to divine repentance (“he relents over disaster”) conclude the formula (3:10 note), an inclusion appropriate to the context of Nineveh’s repentance and deliverance.