1:1 Now the word of the LORD came a unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
The Argument - When Jonah had long prophesied in Israel and had little
profited, God gave him specific charge to go and denounce his judgments
against Nineveh, the chief city of the Assyrians, because he had appointed
that those who were of the heathen, should convert by the mighty power of his
word. And this was so that within three day's preaching, Israel might see
how horribly they had provoked God's wrath, who for the space of so many
years, had not converted to the Lord, for so many prophets and such diligent
preaching. He prophesied under Jonah, and Jeroboam; (2 Kings
(a) After he had preached a long time in Israel:
and so Ezekiel, after he had prophesied in Judah for a time, had visions in
1:2 Arise, go to b
Nineveh, that c great city, and cry
against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
(b) For seeing the great obstipation of the
Israelites, he sent his Prophet to the Gentiles, that they might provoke them
to repentance, or at least make them inexcusable: for Nineveh was the chief
city of the Assyrians.
(c) For as authors write, it contained in circuit
about forty-eight miles, and had 1500 towers, and at this time there were
120,000 children in it; (Jonah
1:3 But Jonah rose up to d
flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to e
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 f
presence of the LORD.
(d) By which he declares his weakness, that would
not promptly follow the Lord's calling, but gave place to his own reason,
which persuaded him that he would not profit these people at all, seeing he
had done such little good among his own people; (Jonah
(e) Which was the haven, and port to take
shipping there, also called Joppa.
(f) From that vocation to which God had called
him, and in which he would have assisted him.
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 g
into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
(g) As one that would have cast off this care and
concern by seeking rest and quietness.
1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto
him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy h
God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
(h) As they had called on their idols, which
declares that idolaters have no rest nor certainty, but in their troubles seek
what they do not even know.
1:7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and
let us cast i lots, that we may know for
whose cause this evil [is] upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon
(i) Which declares that the matter was very
extreme and in doubt, which was God's way of getting them to test for the
cause: and this may not be done except in matters of great importance.
Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, k
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
(k) This declares that the very wicked in their
time of need flee to God for help, and also that they are touched with a
certain fear of shedding man's blood, whereas they know no manifest sign of
1:16 Then the men l
feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made
(l) They were touched with a certain repentance
of their past life, and began to worship the true God by whom they saw
themselves as wonderfully delivered. But this was done for fear, and not from
a pure heart and affection, neither according to God's word.
1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to
swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the m
belly of the fish three days and three nights.
(m) Thus the Lord would chastise his Prophet with
a most terrible spectacle of death, and by this also strengthened and
encouraged him of his favour and support in this duty which was commanded him.