WhenIonah had long prophecied in Israel and had litle profited, God gaue him expresse charge to goe, and denounce his iudgementes against Nineueh the chiefe citie of the Assyrians, because he had appoynted, that they which were of the heathen, should conuert by the mightie power of his word, and that within three dayes preaching, that Israel might see howe horribly they had prouoked Gods wrath, which for the space of so many yeeres, had not conuerted to the Lorde for so many Prophetes and so diligent preaching. He prophecied vnder Joash, and Ieroboam, as 2.King.14.25.
3 Ionah fled when he was sent to preach. 4 A tempest ariseth, and he is cast into the sea for his disobedience.
1 The worde of the Lorde came [Note: [a] After that he had preached a long time in Israel: and so Ezekiel, after that for a time he had prophecied in Iuda, hee had visions in Babylon, Ezek.1.1. ] also vnto Ionah the sonne of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, and goe to [Note: [b] For seeing the great obstination of the Israelites, he sent his Prophet to the Gentiles that they might prouoke them to repentance, or at least make them inexcusable: for Nineueh was the chiefe citie of the Assyrians. ] Nineueh, that [Note: [c] For as authors write, it conteined in circuit about eight and fourty mile, and had a thousand and fiue hundreth towers, and at this time there were an hundreth & twenty thousand children therin, Chap.4.11. ] great citie, and crye against it: for their wickednesse is come vp before mee.
3 But Ionah rose vp to [Note: [d] Whereby he declared his weakenesse, that woulde not promptly followe the Lords calling, but gaue place to his owne reason, which perswaded him that hee shoulde nothing at all profite there, seeing hee had done so small good among his owne people, Chap.4.2. ] flee into Tarshish fro the presence of the Lord, and went downe to [Note: [e] Which was the hauen, and porte to take shipping thyther, called also Ioppe. ] Iapho: and he founde a ship going to Tarshish: so he payed the fare thereof, and went downe into it, that he might go with them vnto Tarshish, from the [Note: [f] From that vocation whereunto God had called him, and wherein he would haue assisted him. ] presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lorde sent out a great winde into
[Casting of lottes. Ionahs prayer.]
the sea, and there was a mightie tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
5 Then the mariners were afraide, and cryed euery man vnto his God, and cast the wares that were in the ship, into the sea to lighten it of the: but Ionah was gone downe [Note: [g] As one that would haue cast off this care and sollicitude, by seeking rest and quietnes. ] into the sides of the ship, and he lay downe, and was fast a sleepe.
6 So the shipmaster came to him, and saide vnto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call vpon thy [Note: [h] As they had called on their idoles, which declareth that idolaters haue no stay not certeintie, but in their troubles seeke, they can not tell to whom. ] God, if so be that God wil thinke vpon vs, that we perish not.
7 And they saide euery one to his fellowe, Come, and let vs cast [Note: [i] Which declareth that the matter was in great extremitie, and doubt, which thing was Gods motion in them for the triall of the cause: and this may not be done but in matters of great importance. ] lottes, that we may know, for whose cause this euill is vpon vs. So they cast lottes, and the lot fell vpon Ionah.
8 Then said they vnto him, Tell vs for whose cause this euill is vpon vs? what is thine occupation? and whence commest thou? which is thy countrey? and of what people art thou?
9 And he answered them, I am an Ebrewe, and I feare the Lord God of heauen, which hath made the sea, and the dry lande.
10 Then were the men exceedingly afrayde, and said vnto him, Why hast thou done this? (for the men knewe, that he fled from the presence of the Lorde, because he had tolde them)
11 Then saide they vnto him, What shall we doe vnto thee, that the sea may be calme vnto vs? (for the sea wrought and was troublous)
12 And he said vnto them, Take me, and cast me into the sea: so shall the sea be calme vnto you: for I knowe that for my sake this great tempest is vpon you.
13 Neuerthelesse, the men rowed to bring it to the lande, but they coulde not: for the sea wrought, and was troublous against them.
14 Wherefore they cryed vnto the Lord, and said, [Note: [k] This declareth that the very wicked in their necessities flee vnto God for succour, and also that they are touched with a certaine feare to shead mans blood, whereas they knowe no manifest signe of wickednes. ] We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let vs not perish for this mans life, and lay not vpon vs innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done, as it pleased thee.
15 So they tooke vp Ionah, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging.
16 Then the men [Note: [l] They were touched with a certaine repentance of their life past, and began to worship the true God, by whome they sawe them selues so wonderfully deliuered: but this was done for feare and not of a pure heart and affection, neither according to Gods worde. ] feared the Lorde exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice vnto the Lorde, and made vowes.
17 Nowe the Lorde had prepared a great fish to swallowe vp Ionah: and Ionah was in the [Note: [m] Thus the Lord would chastise his Prophet with a most terrible spectacle of death, and hereby also confirmed him of his fauour and support in this his charge which was inioyned him. ] belly of the fish three dayes, and three nightes.
1 Ionah is in the fishes bellie. 2 His prayer. 10 He is deliuered.
1 Then Ionah prayed vnto the Lorde his God [Note: [a] Being nowe swallowed vp of death, and seeing no remedie to escape, his faith brast out vnto the Lorde, knowing that out of the very hell he was able to deliuer him. ] out of the fishes belly,
2 And said, I cryed in mine affliction vnto the Lorde, and he heard me: out of the bellie [Note: [b] For he was nowe in the fishes bellie as in a graue or place of darknes ] of hell cryed I, and thou heardest my voyce.
3 For thou haddest cast me into the bottome in the middes of the sea, and the floods compassed me about: all thy surges, and all thy waues passed ouer me.
4 Then I saide, I am [Note: [c] This declared what his prayer was, and howe he laboured betweene hope and despaire, considering the neglect of his vocation and Gods iudgements for the same: but yet in the ende faith gate the victorie. ] cast away out of thy sight: yet will I looke againe towarde thine holy Temple.
5 The waters compassed me about vnto the soule: the depth closed me rounde about, and
[Ionahs prayer. A proclamation.]
the weedes were wrapt about mine head.
6 I went downe to the bottome of the moutaines: the earth with her barres was about me for euer, yet hast thou brought vp my [Note: [d] Thou hast deliuered me from the belly of the fish and all these dangers, as it were raising me from death to life. ] life from the pit, O Lorde my God.
7 When my soule fainted within me, I remembred the Lorde: and my prayer came vnto thee, into thine holy Temple.
8 They that waite vpon lying [Note: [e] They that depende vpon any thing saue on God alone. ] vanities, forsake their owne [Note: [f] They refuse their owne felicitie, and that goodnes which they should els receiue of God. ] mercie.
9 But I will sacrifice vnto thee with the voice of thankesgiuing, and will pay that that I haue vowed: saluation is of the Lorde.
10 And the Lorde spake vnto the fish, and it cast out Ionah vpon the dry lande.
1 Ionah is sent againe to Nineueh. 5 The repentance of the King of Nineuch.
1 And the worde of the Lorde came vnto [Note: [a] This is a great declaration of Gods mercie, that he receiueth him againe and sendeth him forth as his Prophet, which had before shewed so great infirmitie. ] Ionah the seconde time, saying,
2 Arise, goe vnto Nineueh that great citie, & preach vnto it the preaching, which I bid thee.
3 So Ionah arose & went to Nineueh according to ye word of the Lord: now Nineueh was a [Note: [b] Reade Chap. 1.2. ] great & excellent citie of three dayes iourney.
4 And Ionah began to enter into the citie a dayes [Note: [c] He went forwarde one day in the citie, and preached, and so he continued till the citie was conuerted. ] iourney, and he cryed, and said, Yet fourtie dayes, and Nineueh shalbe ouerthrowen.
5 So the people of Nineueh [Note: [d] For he declared that he was a Prophet sent to them from God to denounce his iudgements against them. ] beleeued God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from ye greatest of the euen to the least of them.
6 For worde came vnto the King of Nineueh, and he rose from his throne, and he layed his robe from him, and couered him with sackecloth, and sate in ashes.
7 And he proclaimed & said through Nineueh, (by the counsell of ye king & his nobles) saying, Let neither ma, nor [Note: [e] Not that the dumme beastes had sinned or coulde repent, but that by their example man might be astonished, considering that for his sinne the anger of God hanged ouer all creatures. ] beast, bullock nor sheep taste any thing, neither feed nor drinke water.
8 But let man and beast put on sackecloth, and [Note: [f] He willed, that ye men should earnestly call vnto God for mercie. ] crie mightily vnto God: yea, let euery man turne from his euill way, and from the wickednesse that is in their handes.
9 [Note: [g] For partly by the threatning of the Prophet, and partly by the motion of his owne conscience he doubted whether God woulde shewe them mercie. ] Who can tell if God will turne, and repent and turne away from his fierce wrath, that we perish not?
10 And God sawe their [Note: [h] That is, the fruites of their repentance, which did proceede of faith which God had planted by the ministerie of his Prophet. ] workes that they turned from their euill wayes: and [Note: [i] Reade Ierem.18.8. ] God repented of the euill that he had said that he woulde doe vnto them, and he did it not.
The great goodnes of God towarde his creatures.
1 Therefore it displeased [Note: [a] Because hereby he shoulde be taken as a false prophet, and so the Name of God, which he preached, shoulde be blasphemed. ] Ionah exceedingly, and he was angry.
2 And he prayed vnto the Lord, and saide, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my countrey? therefore I preuented it to flee vnto [Note: [b] Reade Chap. 1.3. ] Tarshish: for I knewe that thou art a gratious God, & merciful, slow to anger, & of great kindnes, and repentest thee of the euill.
3 Therefore nowe O Lorde, take, I beseech thee, my life [Note: [c] Thus he prayed of griefe searing least Gods Name by this forgiuenesse might be blasphemed as though he sent his Prophets foorth to denounce his iudgements in vaine. ] from me: for it is better for me to die then to liue.
4 Then saide the Lorde, Doest thou well to [Page]
[Israels, and Iudahs plagues.]
be [Note: [d] Wilt thou be iudge when I doe things for my glory, and when I doe not? ] angry?
5 So Ionah went out of the citie and sate on the East side of the citie, and there made him a boothe, and sate vnder it in the shadowe [Note: [e] For he douted as yet whether God woulde shewe them mercie or no: and therefore after fourtie dayes he departed out of the citie, looking what issue God woulde sende. ] till he might see what should be done in the citie.
6 And the Lorde God prepared a [Note: [f] Which was a further meanes, to couer him from the heate of the sunne, as he remained in his boothe. ] gourde, and made it to come vp ouer Ionah, that it might be a shadowe ouer his head and deliuer him from his griefe. So Ionah was exceeding glad of the gourde.
7 But God prepared a worme when the morning rose the next day, & it smote the gourd, that it withered.
8 And when the sunne did arise, God prepared also a feruent East winde: and the sunne
[Israels, and Iudahs plagues.]
beat vpon the head of Ionah, that he fainted, and wished in his heart to die, and said, It is better for me to dye, then to liue.
9 And God said vnto Ionah, Doest thou wel to be angrie for the gourde? And he said, I doe well to be [Note: [g] This declareth the great inconueniences whereinto Gods seruants do fall when they giue place to their owne affections, and doe not in all things willingly submit them selues to God. ] angrie vnto the death.
10 Then said the Lorde, Thou hast had pitie on the gourde for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it growe, which came vp in a night, and perished in a night,
11 And shoulde [Note: [h] Thus God mercifully reproueth him, which would pitie him selfe, and this gourde, and yet would restraine God to shewe his compassion to so many thousande people. ] not I spare Nineueh that great citie, wherein are sixe score thousande persons, that [Note: [i] Meaning, that they were children and infants. ] cannot discerne betweene their right hand, and their left hand, and also much cattell?