The word of Yhwh came to Jonah, son of Amittai, saying: [2] “Get up! Go to Nineveh the Great City and cry to her that their evil has come up before my face.” [3] So Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish, away from the face of Yhwh and he went down to Yafo and found a ship going to Tarshish and gave payment and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the face of Yhwh.

[4] And Yhwh hurled a Great Wind upon the sea, and there was a Great Storm upon the sea, and the ship thought about breaking up. [5] And the sailors were afraid and they cried out–each man to his god. And they hurled things that were on the ship into the sea, to lighten it up for them. And Jonah went down to the sides of the ship, lay down, and descended into sleep. [6] And the chief pilot came near to him and said, “What are you doing, descending into sleep? Get up! Cry to your god, perhaps the god will think of us and we won’t perish.”

[7] And they said—each one to his neighbor—“Let’s go and cast lots, and we’ll know who this evil upon us belongs to.” And they cast lots and the lot fell to Jonah. [8] And they said to him, “Tell us, to whom does this evil upon us belong? What is your work? Where have you come from? What land? What people are you from?” [9] And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yhwh, the God of the Heavens, who made the sea and the dry land.” [10] And the men were afraid with a Great Fear and they said to him, “What is this you have done?” For the men knew that he had fled from the face of Yhwh—because he’d told them. [11] And they said to him, “What should we do with you so that the sea might quiet down for us?”—for the sea was rocking and storming. [12] And he said to them, “Lift me up and hurl me into the sea and the sea will quiet down for you. For I know that it’s because of me that this Great Storm is upon you.” [13] But they dug in [with the oars] to return to dry land but they weren’t able, for the sea was rocking and storming upon them. [14] And they cried to Yhwh and said, “Please, Yhwh, please don’t let us perish because of this man’s life, and don’t bring innocent blood upon us! For you, Yhwh, as it pleases you—you do it.” [15] And they lifted Jonah up and hurled him into the sea and the sea stopped raging. [16] And the men feared Yhwh with a Great Fear and sacrificed a sacrifice to Yhwh and vowed vows.

[Chapter 2]

[1] And Yhwh appointed a Great Fish to swallow Jonah, and he was in the fish’s belly three days and three nights. [2] And Jonah prayed to Yhwh his God from the belly of the fish. [3] And he said,

I cried out in my distress to Yhwh and he answered me From the belly of Sheol I cried for help, and you heard my voice. [4] You cast me to the depths in the heart of the sea and the flood surrounded me, all the waves and billows covered me. [5] And I said ‘I am driven out from before your eyes, How will I ever again look upon your holy temple?’ [6] The waters close over my life, the deep surrounds me, The reed is bound to my head, [7] toward the base of the mountains. I went down to the soil, whose bars were against me forever; But you caused my life to go up from the pit, Yhwh my God. [8]When my life was fainting upon me, I remembered Yhwh, and my prayer came to you, to your holy temple. [9] The ones who keep vain idols, have forgotten their covenant-fidelity, [10] but I, with a voice of thanksgiving, will make sacrifice to you, which I have vowed to pay. Salvation is Yhwh’s!

[11] And Yhwh commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto the dry ground.

[Chapter 3]

[1] And the word of Yhwh came to Jonah a second time, saying, [2] “Get up! Go to Nineveh, the Great City, and proclaim to her the proclamation that I spoke to you.” [3] So Jonah got up and went to Nineveh, following the word of Yhwh. Now, Nineveh was a God-sized Great City—a walk across: three days. [4] And Jonah began to go into the city, a walk of one day. And he proclaimed and said, “Another forty days, and Nineveh will be thrown over.” [5] And the people of Nineveh trusted in God, and they proclaimed a fast and wore sackcloth, from the greatest to the smallest. [6] And the word reached the King of Nineveh and he got up from his throne and took off his mantle, and covered himself in sackcloth and sat in ashes. [7] And he cried out and said in Nineveh: “By decree of the King and his Great-Ones: ‘Human and beast, cattle and sheep, will not taste anything, nor feed, nor drink water. [8] Human and beast will cover themselves in sackcloth and they will call out to God with might. Every person shall turn from their evil way and from violence which is on their hands. [9] Who knows? God may turn and relent, turn from his fiery anger and we will not perish.” [10] And God saw their deeds, for they turned from their wicked ways and God relented from the evil he had planned to do to them. And he didn’t do it.

[Chapter 4]

[1] But this eviled a Great Evil to Jonah and he became angry. [2] And he prayed to Yhwh and said, “Please, Yhwh, is not this what I spoke while I was in my own country? Why I planned to flee to Tarshish? Because, I knew you are a God of mercy and compassion, slow to anger and great in covenant-fidelity, and relenting in bringing evil. [3] So, now, Yhwh, please take my life from me, for my death is better than my life.” [4] And Yhwh said, “Is it good for you to be angry?” [5] And Jonah went out from the city and sat to the west of the city, and built himself there a booth and sat under it in the shade, until he could see what would happen to the city. [6] And Yhwh God appointed a bush and it went up over Jonah to be shade over his head, and to deliver him from his evil mood. And Jonah rejoiced over the bush with a Great Joy. [7] Then God appointed a worm at the coming of dawn the next day and it struck the bush and it withered. [8] And when the sun rose, God appointed a sultry east wind and the sun struck Jonah’s head and he felt faint. And he asked for his life to die, and he said, “My death is better than my life.” [9] And God said to Jonah, “Is it good for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “It is good to be angry enough to die.” [10] And Yhwh said, “You have taken pity on a bush which you did not labor for, and which you did not cause to grow, that lived a night and perished in a night. [11] And I shouldn’t pity Nineveh, the Great City, in which there are greater than 120,000 people who don’t know their right from their left, and also many animals?”

translation by M. Schaefer

Back to the sermon on Jonah

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