1[1-3] Now Yahweh spoke to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Get up, go to that big city Nineveh, and preach against it, for I’ve seen their evil.” But Jonah got up to run away to Tarshish away from Yahweh God. He went down to Joppa (Japho), and found a ship going to Tarshish and paid the fee, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish away from Yahweh.
[4-6] But Yahweh sent a strong wind on the sea; and a bad storm came up on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken in two. Then the mariners were very afraid, and everyone cried out to their gods. Then they threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the ship load. But Jonah had gone down into the middle of the ship, and was laying down in a deep sleep. So the captain of the ship came to him, and said, “What are you doing, sleepyhead? Get up, call on your God! Maybe your God will hear us, so that we won’t all die.”
[7-10] Then they all said to each other, “Come, let us find out why this evil is on us.” So they put it to chance, and Jonah was chosen. Then they asked him, “Tell us, please, why have you caused this evil to come to us. What’s your job? Where do you come from and what’s your country? What people are you from?” So he said to them, “I’m a Hebrew, and I worship Yahweh, the God of Heaven, who has made the sea and the earth.” Then they were very afraid, and said to him, “What have you done?” because they knew that he was running away from Yahweh, because he had told them so.
[11-13] Then they said to him, “What should we do to you, to calm the sea?” because the sea was growing very stormy. So he said to them, “Pick me up, and throw me into the sea and the sea will calm; it’s because of me this bad storm has come to you.” Then they rowed harder to try to get back to land; but they couldn’t, because the sea was growing very stormy against them.
[14-17] So they cried out to Yahweh, and said, “We beg you, Yahweh, we beg you, don’t let us die for this man’s life, and don’t let us be guilty of innocent blood; for you, Yahweh, have done what you wanted to.” So they picked up Jonah, and threw him into the sea; and the bad storm ended on the sea. Then they all worshiped Yahweh; and offered Yahweh their thanks and made promises to be good. But Yahweh made a big fish come and swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and nights.
2[1-4] Then Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God, in the fish’s belly. He said, “I called because of my trouble to Yahweh, who answered me. Out of the belly of Hell I cried and You heard my voice. You threw me into the depths of the sea and the water was all around me. All Your waves and breakers washed over me. I said, ‘I’ve been put out of your sight; yet I’ll look again toward your Place of Worship.’
[5-7] The waters surrounded me, even to my very soul. The deep water was around me and the weeds were wrapped around my head. I sank down to the bottoms of the mountains. Hell would have kept me forever yet You’ve brought my life up from the grave, Yahweh my God. But when my soul was dying, I remembered Yahweh. My prayer came to you, into your Place of Worship.
[8-10] Those who believe empty lies give up their own mercy. But I’ll give You thanks and do what I’ve promised You, because You, Yahweh have saved me.” Then Yahweh spoke to the fish, and it threw Jonah up on the beach.
3[1-3] The word of Yahweh came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that big city, and preach what I say to you.” So Jonah got up, and went to Nineveh, like Yahweh told him. Now Nineveh was a very big city, which took three days to walk across.
[4-5] Jonah had made a day’s walk into the city, and cried out, and said, “In forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!” Then the people of Nineveh believed what he said about God; and went without food, and put on mourning clothes, from the most important to the least important of them.
[6-8] Then the news reached the ruler of Nineveh, who got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on mourning clothes, and sat in ashes. He made a public statement and published it through Nineveh by the law of the ruler and his nobles, saying, “Let neither humans nor animals, herds nor flocks, taste anything; don’t let them eat, nor drink water; but let everything put on mourning clothes, both humans and animals, and let them cry out to God. Yes, let everyone turn from their evil ways, and from doing violence.
[9-10] Who knows whether God won’t turn and forgive us, and stop being angry, so that we might not die?” And God saw that they turned from their evil ways, and stopped the disaster which God had said was going to happen to them, and didn’t do it.
4[1-5] But Jonah was upset about it, and was very angry. He prayed to Yahweh, and said, “Please, Yahweh, isn’t this just what I said when I was still in my own country? So I ran away to Tarshish, because I knew that You are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to get angry, and have great compassion, and you stop punishing those who change their evil ways. So now, Yahweh, I beg you, kill me now; for it’s better for me to die than to live.” Then Yahweh said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of it, and made himself a hut, and sat in the shade under it, until he saw what would happen to the city.
[6-8] Then Yahweh God made a vine, and made it grow up over Jonah, so that it would be a shade over his head, to save him from suffering. So Jonah was happy about the vine. But then God made a cutworm at dawn the next day, and it chewed on the vine, so that it withered. So when the sun was up, God made a hot east wind; and the sun shined hot on Jonah’s head, so that he fainted from the heat, and begged God to let him die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
[9-11] Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the vine?” and he said, “I’m right to be angry, angry enough to die.” Then Yahweh said, “You’ve worried about this vine, for which you’ve not planted, nor made it grow; which came up overnight, and died overnight. Shouldn’t I have mercy for that great city Nineveh, in which are more than 120,000 people who don’t know right from wrong; and also many animals?”