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10 When God saw that the people had stopped doing evil things, he had pity and did not destroy them as he had planned.

Jonah Gets Angry at the Lord

Jonah was really upset and angry. So he prayed:

Our Lord, I knew from the very beginning that you wouldn’t destroy Nineveh. That’s why I left my own country and headed for Spain. You are a kind and merciful God, and you are very patient. You always show love, and you don’t like to punish anyone, not even foreigners.

Now let me die! I’d be better off dead.

The Lord replied, “What right do you have to be angry?”

Jonah then left through the east gate of the city and made a shelter to protect himself from the sun. He sat under the shelter, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh.

The Lord made a vine grow up to shade Jonah’s head and protect him from the sun. Jonah was very happy to have the vine, but early the next morning the Lord sent a worm to chew on the vine, and the vine dried up. During the day the Lord sent a scorching wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head, making him feel faint. Jonah was ready to die, and he shouted, “I wish I were dead!”

But the Lord asked, “Jonah, do you have the right to be angry about the vine?”

“Yes, I do,” he answered, “and I’m angry enough to die.”

10 But the Lord said:

You are concerned about a vine that you did not plant or take care of, a vine that grew up in one night and died the next. 11 In that city of Nineveh there are more than a hundred twenty thousand people who cannot tell right from wrong, and many cattle are also there. Don’t you think I should be concerned about that big city?