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1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
1:5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
1:7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
1:8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 1:9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.
1:10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
1:11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.
1:12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.
1:14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.
1:15 So they look up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
1:16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.
1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


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Everything King James Bible:Jonah
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jonah
Book: Jonah
Chapter: 1

Overview:
Jonah, sent to Nineveh, flees to Tarshish. (1-3) He is stayed
By a tempest. (4-7) His discourse with the mariners. (8-12) He
is cast into The Sea, and miraculously preserved. (13-17)

1-3. It is sad to think how much Sin is committed in great
cities. Their wickedness, as that of Nineveh, is a bold and open
affront to God. Jonah must go at once to Nineveh, and there, On
the spot, cry against the wickedness of it. Jonah would not go.
Probably there are few among us who would not have tried to
decline such a mission. Providence seemed to give him an
opportunity to escape; we may be out of the way of duty, and yet
may meet with a favourable gale. The ready way is not always the
right way. See what the best of men are, when God leaves them to
themselves; and what need we have, when the Word of the Lord
comes to us, to have the Spirit of the Lord to bring every
thought within us into obedience.

4-7 God sent a pursuer after Jonah, even a mighty tempest. Sin
brings storms and tempests into the soul, into the family, into
churches and nations; it is a disquieting, disturbing thing.
Having called upon their gods for help, the sailors did what
they could to help themselves. Oh that men would be thus Wise
for their souls, and would be willing to part with that wealth,
pleasure, and honour, which they cannot keep without making
shipwreck of Faith and a good Conscience, and ruining their
souls for ever! Jonah was Fast asleep. Sin is stupefying, and we
are to take heed lest at any time our hearts are hardened By the
deceitfulness of it. What do men mean By sleeping On in Sin,
when the Word of God and the convictions of their own
consciences, warn them to arise and Call On the Lord, if they
would escape Everlasting misery? Should not we warn each other
to awake, to arise, to Call upon our God, if So be he will
deliver us? The sailors concluded the storm was a Messenger of
Divine Justice sent to some one in that ship. Whatever evil is
upon us at any time, there is a cause for it; and each must
pray, Lord, show me wherefore thou contendest with me. The Lot
fell upon Jonah. God has many ways of bringing to Light hidden
sins and sinners, and making manifest that folly which was
thought to be hid from the eyes of all living.

8-12 Jonah gave an account of his religion, for that was his
business. We may Hope that he told with sorrow and shame,
justifying God, condemning himself, and explaining to the
mariners what a great God Jehovah is. They said to him, Why hast
thou done this? If thou fearest the God that made The Sea and
the dry land, why wast thou such a fool as to think thou couldst
flee from his presence? If the professors of religion do wrong,
they will hear it from those who make No such profession. When
Sin has raised a storm, and laid us under the tokens of God's
displeasure, we must consider what is to be done to the Sin that
raised the storm. Jonah uses the language of true penitents, who
desire that none but themselves may fare the worse for their
sins and follies. Jonah sees this to be the Punishment of his
iniquity, he accepts it, and justifies God in it. When
Conscience is awakened, and a storm raised, nothing will turn it
into a calm but parting with the Sin that caused the
disturbance. Parting with our Money will not pacify the
Conscience, the Jonah must be thrown overboard.

13-17 The mariners rowed against wind and tide, the wind of
God's displeasure, the tide of his counsel; but it is in vain to
think of saving ourselves any other way than By destroying our
sins. Even natural Conscience cannot but dread Blood-guiltiness.
And when we are led By Providence God does what he pleases, and
we ought to be satisfied, though it may not please us. Throwing
Jonah into The Sea Put an End to the storm. God will not afflict
for ever, He will only contend till we submit and turn from our
sins. Surely these Heathen mariners will rise up in Judgment
against many called Christians, who neither offer prayers when
in distress, nor thanksgiving for signal deliverances. The Lord
commands all creatures, and can make any of them serve his
designs of Mercy to his people. Let us see this Salvation of the
Lord, and admire his power, that he could thus save a drowning
Man, and his pity, that he would thus save one who was running
from him, and had offended him. It was of the Lord's mercies
that Jonah was not consumed. Jonah was alive in the Fish three
days and nights: to nature this was impossible, but to the God
of nature all things are possible. Jonah, By this miraculous
preservation, was made a Type of Christ; as our blessed Lord
himself declared, Mt 12:40.

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