The First Mission. 1This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, a 2 Kgs 14, 25 . son of Amittai:* 2“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me.” b Jon 3, 3; 4, 11 . 3But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish* away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD.
4The LORD, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea, and in the furious tempest that arose the ship was on the point of breaking up. 5Then the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god. To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship, and lay there fast asleep. 6The captain came to him and said, “What are you doing asleep? Rise up, call upon your God! Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish.”
7Then they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune.” So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah. 8“Tell us,” they said, “what is your business? Where do you come from? What is your country, and to what people do you belong?” 9“I am a Hebrew,” Jonah answered them; “I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him, “How could you do such a thing!”—They knew that he was fleeing from the LORD, because he had told them.— 11“What shall we do with you,” they asked, “that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea was growing more and more turbulent. 12Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.”
13Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not, for the sea grew ever more turbulent. 14Then they cried to the LORD: “We beseech you, O LORD, let us not perish for taking this man's life; do not charge us with shedding innocent blood, for you, LORD, have done as you saw fit.”* 15Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea's raging abated. 16Struck with great fear of the LORD, the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him.