Previous Chapter

4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
4:3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4:4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? 4:5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
4:6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.
4:7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
4:8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.
4:9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
4:10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 4:11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more then sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Previous Chapter
Everything King James Bible:Jonah
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Jonah
Book: Jonah
Chapter: 4

Overview:
Jonah repines at God's Mercy to Nineveh, and is reproved.
(1-4) He is taught By the withering of a Gourd, that he did
wrong. (5-11)

1-4 What all the saints make matter of joy and praise, Jonah
makes the subject of reflection upon God; as if showing Mercy
were an imperfection of the Divine nature, which is the greatest
Glory of it. It is to his sparing, pardoning Mercy, we all owe
it that we are out of Hell. He wishes for Death: this was the
language of folly, Passion, and strong corruption. There
appeared in Jonah remains of a proud, uncharitable Spirit; and
that he neither expected nor desired the welfare of the
Ninevites, but had only come to declare and Witness their
Destruction. He was not duly humbled for his own sins, and was
not willing to trust the Lord with his credit and safety. In
this frame of mind, he overlooked the good of which he had been
an instrument, and the Glory of the Divine Mercy. We should
often ask ourselves, Is it Well to say thus, to do thus? Can I
justify it? Do I Well to be So soon angry, So often angry, So
long angry, and to give others ill language in my Anger? Do I
Well to be angry at the Mercy of God to repenting sinners? That
was Jonah's crime. Do we do Well to be angry at that which is
for the Glory of God, and the advancement of his kingdom? Let
the Conversion of sinners, which is the joy of Heaven, be our
joy, and never our grief.

5-11 Jonah went out of the City, yet remained near at Hand, as
if he expected and desired its overthrow. Those who have
fretful, uneasy spirits, often make troubles for themselves,
that they may still have something to complain of. See how
tender God is of his people in their Afflictions, even though
they are foolish and froward. A thing small in itself, yet
coming seasonably, may be a valuable blessing. A Gourd in the
right place may do us more service than a Cedar. The least
creatures may be great plagues, or great comforts, as God is
pleased to make them. Persons of strong passions are apt to be
cast down with any trifle that crosses them, or to be lifted up
with a trifle that pleases them. See what our Creature-comforts
are, and what we may expect them to be; they are withering
things. A small Worm at the root destroys a large Gourd: our
gourds wither, and we know not what is the cause. Perhaps
Creature-comforts are continued to us, but are made Bitter; the
Creature is continued, but the comfort is gone. God prepared a
wind to make Jonah feel the want of the Gourd. It is just that
those who Love to complain, should never be left without
something to complain of. When afflicting providences take away
relations, possessions, and enjoyments, we must not be angry at
God. What should especially silence discontent, is, that when
our Gourd is gone, our God is not gone. Sin and Death are very
dreadful, yet Jonah, in his heat, makes Light of both. One soul
is of more value than the whole world; surely then one soul is
of more value than many gourds: we should have more concern for
our own and others' precious souls, than for the riches and
enjoyments of this world. It is a great encouragement to Hope we
shall find Mercy with the Lord, that he is ready to show Mercy.
And murmurers shall be made to understand, that how willing
soever they are to keep the Divine Grace to themselves and those
of their own way, there is one Lord over all, who is rich in
Mercy to all that Call upon him. Do we wonder at the forbearance
of God towards his perverse servant? Let us study our own hearts
and ways; let us not forget our own ingratitude and obstinacy;
and let us be astonished at God's patience towards us.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.