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Jonah 1 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Jonah Runs Away From the Lord

A message from the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai. The Lord said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh. Preach against it. The sins of its people have come to my attention.”

But Jonah ran away from the Lord. He headed for Tarshish. So he went down to the port of Joppa. There he found a ship that was going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board. Then he sailed for Tarshish. He was running away from the Lord.

But the Lord sent a strong wind over the Mediterranean Sea. A wild storm came up. It was so wild that the ship was in danger of breaking apart. All the sailors were afraid. Each one cried out to his own god for help. They threw the ship’s contents into the sea. They were trying to make the ship lighter.

But Jonah had gone below deck. There he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went down to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call out to your god for help! Maybe he’ll pay attention to what’s happening to us. Then we won’t die.”

Here is what the sailors said to one another. “Someone is to blame for getting us into all this trouble. Come. Let’s cast lots to find out who it is.” So they did. And Jonah was picked. They asked him, “What terrible thing have you done to bring all this trouble on us? Tell us. What do you do for a living? Where do you come from? What is your country? What people do you belong to?”

He answered, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship the Lord. He is the God of heaven. He made the sea and the dry land.”

10 They found out he was running away from the Lord. That’s because he had told them. Then they became terrified. So they asked him, “How could you do a thing like that?”

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down?”

12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied. “Then it will become calm. I know it’s my fault that this terrible storm has come on you.”

13 But the men didn’t do what he said. Instead, they did their best to row back to land. But they couldn’t. The sea got even rougher than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord. They prayed, “Please, Lord, don’t let us die for taking this man’s life. After all, he might not be guilty of doing anything wrong. So don’t hold us responsible for killing him. Lord, you always do what you want to.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard. And the stormy sea became calm. 16 The men saw what had happened. Then they began to have great respect for the Lord. They offered a sacrifice to him. And they made promises to him.

Jonah Prays to the Lord

17 Now the Lord sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Jonah 1 New International Version (NIV)

Jonah Flees From the Lord

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.

But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.

10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.

Jonah’s Prayer

17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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