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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 4

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1This greatly displeased Jonah. In anger 2he prayed to the LORD: ‘It is just as I feared, LORD, when I was still in my own country, and it was to forestall this that I tried to escape to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, long-suffering, ever constant, always ready to relent and not inflict punishment. 3Now take away my life, LORD: I should be better dead than alive.’ 4‘Are you right to be angry?’ said the LORD.

5Jonah went out and sat down to the east of Nineveh, where he made himself a shelter and sat in its shade, waiting to see what would happen in the city. 6The LORD God ordained that a climbing gourd a 4:6 a climbing gourd: or a castor-oil plant. should grow up above Jonah's head to throw its shade over him and relieve his discomfort, and he was very glad of it. 7But at dawn the next day God ordained that a worm should attack the gourd, and it withered; 8and when the sun came up God ordained that a scorching wind should blow from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah's head till he grew faint, and he prayed for death; ‘I should be better dead than alive,’ he said. 9At this God asked, ‘Are you right to be angry over the gourd?’ ‘Yes,’ Jonah replied, ‘mortally angry!’ 10But the LORD said, ‘You are sorry about the gourd, though you did not have the trouble of growing it, a plant which came up one night and died the next. 11And should not I be sorry about the great city of Nineveh, with its hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, as well as cattle without number?’

Notes:

a 4:6 a climbing gourd: or a castor-oil plant.

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