The Books of the Bible The Prophets - Page 6

5 | Jonah Jonah | 5 What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ ” And the Lord com­mand­ed the fish, and it vom­it­ed Jo­nah onto dry land. T hen the word of the Lord came to Jo­nah a sec­ond time: “Go to the ­great city of Nin­e­veh and pro­claim to it the mes­sage I give you.” Jo­nah ­obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nin­e­veh. Now Nin­e­veh was a very ­large city; it took ­three days to go ­through it. Jo­nah be­gan by go­ing a ­day’s jour­ney into the city, pro­claim­ing, “For­ty more days and Nin­e­veh will be over­thrown.” The Nin­e­vites be­lieved God. A fast was pro­claimed, and all of them, from the great­est to the l ­ east, put on sack­cloth. When Jo­nah’s warn­ing ­reached the king of Nin­e­veh, he rose from his t ­ hrone, took off his roy­al ­robes, cov­ered him­self with sack­ cloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proc­la­ma­tion he is­sued in Nin­e­veh: “By the de­cree of the king and his no­bles: Do not let peo­ple or an­i­mals, ­herds or f ­ locks, ­taste any­thing; do not let them eat or d ­ rink. But let peo­ple and an­i­mals be cov­ ered with sack­cloth. Let ev­ery­one call ur­gent­ly on God. Let them give up ­their evil ways and t ­ heir vi­o­lence. Who ­knows? God may yet re­lent and with com­pas­sion turn from his f ­ ierce an­ger so that we will not per­ish.” When God saw what they did and how they t ­ urned from t ­ heir evil ways, he re­lent­ed and did not b ­ ring on them the de­struc­tion he had threat­ened. But to Jo­nah this ­seemed very ­w rong, and he be­came an­g ry. He ­ rayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was s ­ till at p 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 ­r ight for you to be an­gry?” Jo­nah had gone out and sat down at a ­place east of the city. T here he made him­self a shel­ter, sat in its ­shade and wait­ed to see what w ­ ould hap­pen to the city. Then the Lord God pro­vid­ed a l ­ eafy 2:10–4:6 2:10–4:6