Translation of Jonah

Richard E. Young




Chapter 1

1:1 Now the word of Yahweh came to Jonah, the son of Amittai, saying:

1:2 "Get up1! Go2 to Nineveh, the great3 city, and cry out4 against it because its evil5 has risen6 before my presence7."

1:3 And Jonah got up1 to hurry away8 to Tarshish - away from the presence7 of Yahweh. He went down9 to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid10 the fare for it and went down9 into it to sail with them to Tarshish - away from the presence7 of Yahweh.

1:4 Yahweh then cast11 a strong3 wind12 onto the sea and there was a powerful3 storm on the sea so that the ship thought of breaking up.

1:5 The sailors13 were afraid14 and each man15 called out for help16 to his own god17 and cast11 things18 from the ship into the sea to lighten it. But Jonah went down9 into the inner recesses19 of the ship to lay down20 and went into a deep sleep21.

1:6 So the captain22 of the sailors23 came to him and said to him, "How is it that you are in a deep sleep20?!? Get up1! Cry out4 to your gods17 and perhaps the gods17 will consider24 us and not let us perish25."

1:7 Then each man15 said to the other, "Come on2! Let's have lots fall26 and reveal27 who is the cause28 of this calamity5 that is upon us." So they let lots fall26 and the lot fell26 upon Jonah.

1:8 And they asked him, "Please tell us now! As the one by whom this calamity5 has come upon us: what is your profession? where do you come from? what land are you from? what is your ethnicity?"

1:9 He answered them, "I am a Hebrew and I fear14 Yahweh, the God17 of the heavens29 who made30 the sea and the dry-ground31."

1:10 Then the men15 feared14 with a tremendous3 fear14. So they asked him, "Why have you done30 this?" for the men15 knew27 that he had hurried away8 from the presence7 of Yahweh because he had told them that this is what he had done.

1:11 So they asked him, "What should we do30 to you so that the sea will be calm towards us?" for the sea continued to rage even more violently3.

1:12 So he replied to them, "Lift me up32 and cast11 me into he sea and it will become calm towards you because I know27 that I am the cause28 of this violent3 storm that has come upon you."

1:13 But the men15 dug33 [with their oars] in order to turn away34 to the dry-ground31 but they could not prevail because the sea continued2 to rage even more violently3 against them.

1:14 Then the men15 cried out4 to Yahweh, "We plead, Yahweh! Please don't let us perish25 through the soul35 of this man15 and don't attribute10 against us innocent36 blood37 - for just as what has pleased38 You, Yahweh, You have done30."

1:15 So they lifted up32 Jonah and cast11 him into the sea and the sea ceased from it's raging and became calm.

1:16 The men15 then feared14 Yahweh with a tremendous3 fear14 and they made sacrifices and vows to Yahweh.

1:17 But Yahweh had appointed39 a large3 fish to swallow40 Jonah. And it came about that Jonah was inside the guts41 of the fish for three days and three nights.

Chapter 2

2:1 And Jonah prayed to his God17, Yahweh, from the guts41 of the fish.

2:2 And he said: "I cried out4 in my distress42 to Yahweh and He attended43 to me. From the womb44 of the world of the dead45 I called for help15 and You heard my voice.

2:3 "And You threw46 me deep48 into the heart47 of the seas where the currents turned around me and the breakers and waves49 passed over50 upon me.

2:4 "I said that I was banished51 from before Your eyes - yet I will look again with regard towards Your holy Temple.

2:5 "The waters engulfed my soul35; the abyss52 surrounded me; seaweed bound up my head53.

2:6 "I went down9 to the roots54 of the mountains where the bar of the gate55 of the earth confined me forever56. But You caused my life57 to ascend up6 from the pit58, Yahweh, my God17

2:7 "When my soul35 was faltering59 I remembered Yahweh and my prayer entered into Your holy Temple.

2:8 "Those that hold onto60 the breath61 of empty speech62 let go63 of their loving-kindness64.

2:9 "But I, with a voice of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You. What I vowed I will pay65. Salvation is from Yahweh."

2:10 Yahweh then spoke to the fish and it vomited66 Jonah onto the dry-ground31.

Chapter 3

3:1 Now the word of Yahweh came to Jonah a second time saying:

3:2 "Get up1! Go2 to Nineveh, the great3 city, and cry out4 to it the message4 I give you."

3:3 And Jonah got up1 and went2 to Nineveh according to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh, a city important3 to God17, required three days to visit it.

3:4 Jonah proceeded67 into the city the first day and cried out4 to them: "In forty more days Nineveh will be overturned68."

3:5 Now the men15 of Nineveh trusted69 in God17 and cried out4 for everyone - from the most important3 to the least significant70 - to fast and wear sackcloth.

3:6 When these words reached the king of Nineveh he arose1 from his throne, put away50 his robe of glory71, clothed72 himself with sackcloth, and sat down in the ashes73.

3:7 He called out for help16 and said that by decision74 of the king and the members of the ruling class3 that in Nineveh: "Each person is not to taste74 or drink anything and that each beast, herd, or flock is not to feed or be watered.

3:8 "Let each man15 and beast be clothed72 in sackcloth and let them all vehemently75 cry out4 to God17 and let all the men15 turn away34 from their evil5 ways76 and their violence77 that is in their hands78.

3:9 "Who knows27? God17 may turn away34 [from His intent] and relent79 and turn away34 from His furious80 anger81 so that we will not perish25."

3:10 When God17 saw from their actions30 that they had turned away34 from their evil5 ways76 God17 relented79 and did not bring30 the devastation5 upon them that He had spoken of.

Chapter 4

4:1 But it displeased5 Jonah very much3,5 and he became angry82.

4:2 So he prayed to Yahweh, "Please, Yahweh, isn't this what I said when I was still on my own soil83? Therefore, anticipating84 this I hurried away8 to Tarshish since I knew27 that you were a gracious and merciful God17, slow to anger81, abounding in loving-kindness64, and relenting79 concerning the destruction5 [of Nineveh].

4:3 "And now, Yahweh, please take away my soul35 from me! for it is better for me to die than for me to live57."

4:4 But Yahweh answered, "Is it appropriate85 for you to be angry82?"

4:5 So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. He made30 a crude shelter86 for himself and sat beneath it in its shade87 until he could see what would become of the city.

4:6 Then Yahweh God17 appointed39 a plant to rise up6 over Jonah so that it would become a shade87 for his head53 and deliver88 him from his displeasure5. And Jonah was extremely3 happy89 because of the plant.

4:7 Then God17 appointed39 a worm89 at the rise6 of the dawn91 on the next day and it struck92 the plant so that it withered93.

4:8 And it came about that when the sun rose94 God17 appointed39 a harsh-hot95 east wind13 and the sun struck92 on Jonah's head53 so that he became faint96 and sought97 in his soul35 to die, saying, "It is better for me to die than for me to live57."

4:9 But God17 said to Jonah, "Is it appropriate85 for you to be angry82 with the plant?" And he said, "It's appropriate85 for me to be angry82 - even unto death."

4:10 Then Yahweh said, "You had compassion98 upon the plant for which you did not toil99 nor did you cause it to grow100 - it came up in a night and it perished25 in a night.

4:11 "But shouldn't I have compassion98 upon Nineveh, the great3 city, where there are within it more than 120,000 people who don't know27 their right hand from their left hand and also many animals?"

Contents | Introduction| Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Glossary | Translation