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Jonah 4 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Jonah Is Angry at Yahweh’s Compassion

And this[a] was greatly displeasing[b] to Jonah, and he became furious.[c] And he prayed to Yahweh and said, “O Yahweh, was this not what I said[d] while I was in my homeland? Therefore I originally fled[e] to Tarshish, because I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and having great steadfast love,[f] and one who relents concerning calamity.[g] And so then, Yahweh, please take my life from me, because for me death is better than life!” And Yahweh said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”[h]

And Jonah went out from the city and sat down east of the city, and he made for himself a shelter there. And he sat under it in the shade, waiting to see[i] what would happen with the city. And Yahweh God appointed a plant,[j] and he made it grow up over Jonah to be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. And Jonah was very glad[k] about the plant. So God appointed a worm at daybreak[l] the next day, and it attacked the plant, and it withered. And when the sun rose,[m] God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head and he grew faint. And he asked that he could die[n] and said, “My death is better than my life!” So God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry[o] about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry enough to die!”[p]

10 But Yahweh said, “You are troubled about the plant, for which you did not labor nor cause it to grow. It grew up in a night and it perished in a night![q] 11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, the great city, in which there are[r] more than one hundred and twenty thousand[s] people who do not know right from left,[t] plus many animals?”

Footnotes:

  1. Jonah 4:1 Hebrew “it”
  2. Jonah 4:1 Literally “was displeasing with great displeasure”
  3. Jonah 4:1 Literally “it was hot for him”
  4. Jonah 4:2 Literally “my word”
  5. Jonah 4:2 Literally “I did the first time to flee”
  6. Jonah 4:2 Literally “and great of steadfast love”
  7. Jonah 4:2 That is, calamity sent by God as judgment
  8. Jonah 4:4 Literally “Rightfully is it hot for you”; some take this to mean “Are you so very angry?” (Targum Jonah 4:4; see also JPS, NEB, NET)
  9. Jonah 4:5 Literally “until he would see”
  10. Jonah 4:6 Probably a castor oil plant, though some have suggested some type of gourd plant
  11. Jonah 4:6 Literally “was glad with great joy”
  12. Jonah 4:7 Literally “at the coming up of the dawn”
  13. Jonah 4:8 Literally “and it happened at the rising of the sun”
  14. Jonah 4:8 Literally “and he asked his soul to die”
  15. Jonah 4:9 Literally “rightfully is it hot for you”; some take this to mean “Are you so very angry?” (Targum Jonah 4:4; see also JPS, NEB, NET)
  16. Jonah 4:9 Literally “Rightfully it is hot for me until death”
  17. Jonah 4:10 Literally “Which was a son of a night and as a son of a night it perished”
  18. Jonah 4:11 Literally “which there are in it”
  19. Jonah 4:11 Literally “than two ten myriad” (12 x 10,000)
  20. Jonah 4:11 hand” is often supplied, but it is not clear just what deficiency is meant by this expression, which occurs only here in biblical Hebrew
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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Jonah 4 New International Version (NIV)

Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 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 that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

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

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 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. 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, 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?”

“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 for the great city of Nineveh, 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.
New International Version (NIV)

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