Jonah Disobeys Yahweh

And the word of Yahweh came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Get up! Go to the great city Nineveh and cry out against her, because their evil has come up before me.”[a] But Jonah set out to flee toward Tarshish from the presence of[b] Yahweh. And he went down to Joppa and found a merchant ship going to Tarshish, and paid her fare, and went on board her to go with them toward Tarshish from the presence of[c] Yahweh.

And Yahweh hurled a great wind upon the sea, and it was a great storm on the sea, and the merchant ship was in danger of breaking up.[d] And the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they threw the contents[e] that were in the merchant ship into the sea to lighten it for them. And meanwhile Jonah went down into the hold of the vessel and lay down and fell asleep. And the captain[f] of the ship approached him and said to him, “Why are you sound asleep?[g] Get up! Call on your god! Perhaps your god[h] will take notice of us and we won’t perish!” And they said to one another,[i] “Come, let us cast lots so that we may know on whose account this disaster has come on us!” And they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. So they said to him, “Please tell us whoever is responsible that this disaster has come upon us! What is your occupation? And from where do you come? What is your country? And from which people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yahweh, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were greatly afraid,[j] and they said to him, “What is this you have done?” because they[k] knew that he was fleeing from the presence of[l] Yahweh (because he had told them). 11 So they said to him, “What shall we do to you so that the sea may quiet down for us?” because the sea was growing more and more tempestuous.[m] 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea so that the sea may quiet down for you, because I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you all.” 13 But the men rowed hard to bring the ship[n] back to the dry land, and they could not do so because the sea was growing more and more tempestuous[o] against them. 14 So they cried out to Yahweh, and they said, “O Yahweh! Please do not let us perish because of this man’s life, and do not make us guilty of innocent blood,[p] because you, O Yahweh, did what you wanted.” 15 And they picked Jonah up and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 So the men feared Yahweh greatly,[q] and they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made[r] vows.

Jonah Is Swallowed by a Fish and Prays to Yahweh

17 [s] And Yahweh provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.


  1. Jonah 1:2 Literally “to my face”
  2. Jonah 1:3 Literally “from to face of”
  3. Jonah 1:3 Literally “from to face of”
  4. Jonah 1:4 Literally “threatened to be broken up”
  5. Jonah 1:5 Literally “objects”
  6. Jonah 1:6 Or “commander”
  7. Jonah 1:6 Literally “in a deep sleep”
  8. Jonah 1:6 Literally “the god,” with the article indicating previous reference
  9. Jonah 1:7 Literally “each to his friend/companion”
  10. Jonah 1:10 Literally “were afraid with a great fear”
  11. Jonah 1:10 Literally “the men” but this is redundant in English
  12. Jonah 1:10 Literally “from before the face of”
  13. Jonah 1:11 Literally “going/growing and storming”
  14. Jonah 1:13 Here the direct object is supplied from context
  15. Jonah 1:13 Literally “going/growing and storming”
  16. Jonah 1:14 Literally “do not give innocent blood on us”
  17. Jonah 1:16 Literally “with a great fear”
  18. Jonah 1:16 Literally “vowed”
  19. Jonah 1:17 Jonah 1:17–2:10 in the English Bible is 2:1–11 in the Hebrew Bible