|Then the sailors were frightened, and every man
prayed; they threw the cargo that was in the ship into
the sea in order to lighten it for them.
But Jonah had gone down
into the hold of the ship; and was lying fast asleep.
captain came and said to him, "What are you doing at a time
sleeping like this? Get up and pray to HaShem and maybe he will
they said to one another, "Let's cast lots. That might tell
us who brought the evil storm."
They cast lots,
and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, "Tell us, now,
on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your
occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? To what
people do you belong?"
He said to them, "I am a Hebrew; and I fear HaShem, the Lord of
heaven, who made the sea and the dry land."
Then the men were terribly frightened, and said to him, "What have
you done?" For the men knew that he had fled from HaShem's presence,
because he had told them.
Then they said to him, "What shall we do to you, so that the sea
may calm down for us."
He replied, "Pick me up, and throw me into the sea; so that the
sea will calm down for you; for I know that this great storm is
upon you because of me."
Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land;
but they could not; for the sea grew more and more stormy against
Therefore they cried to HaShem, and said, "We beg You,
HaShem, don't let us perish because of this man, and do not let us
be guilty of shedding innocent blood."
So they picked up Jonah, and threw him into the
sea; and the sea ceased its raging.
Now HaShem had prepared a big fish to swallow up Jonah. Jonah was
in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Then Jonah prayed to HaShem from the fish's belly. And said,
"I cried to You out of my distress, and You answered me; from
inside the grave I cried, and You heard my voice.
For you cast me into the deep, into the midst of the seas; and the
flood rolled around me; all Your billows and Your waves swept over
me. I am cast from Your presence; yet I will look
again upon Your holy Temple.
The waters surrounded me, even to the soul; the depth rolled
around me, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to
the roots of the mountains; the earth with its bars was about me
forever; yet You have brought up my life from the grave. When I fainted I remembered
You; and my prayer reached You, in
Your Holy Temple. Those who revere vain idols forsake their own mercy.
But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will
pay what I have vowed."
Then HaShem spoke to the fish, and it spit out Jonah out upon the dry
land. Then HaShem's word came to Jonah the second time, "
Go to the great city of Nineveh, and proclaim to it the
message that I tell you."
So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to
HaShem's word. Now
Nineveh was an exceedingly great city of three days' journey.
Jonah began to enter the city one day's journey, proclaiming,
"Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be
So the people of Nineveh believed HaShem; they proclaimed a fast, and
put on sackcloth, great and small alike. When word came to the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne,
removed his robe, dressed in sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he issued a proclamation and published it throughout Nineveh
by a decree of the king and his nobles, saying, "Let neither man
nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed or
But let man and beast put on sackcloth, and cry mightily to
HaShem. Let everyone turn from his evil way, and from the violence
that is in his hands. Who knows, HaShem may repent, and turn away from His fierce anger,
and we will not perish."
When HaShem saw their deeds, how they turned from their evil ways,
HaShem repented of the evil that He had said He would do to them, and
He did not do it.
But Jonah was very angry about this.
He prayed to HaShem, "Please HaShem was this not what I said, when I
was yet in my country? This is why I fled to Tarshish; for I knew
that You are a gracious and merciful G-d, slow to anger, of great
kindness, and relenting of evil. I beg You, take my life from me for it is
better for me to die than to live."
Then HaShem said, "Do you have good reason to be angry?"
went out of the city, and sat to its east side waiting to see what
would become of the city.
Then HaShem prepared a gourd, and made grow up over Jonah,
so that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his
discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly pleased with the gourd.
But when dawn came the next day, HaShem prepared a worm, and it
struck the gourd so that it withered. Then at sunrise, HaShem prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat
down on Jonah's head, so that he fainted, and wished to die,
saying, "It is better for me to die than to live."
Then HaShem said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry over
the gourd?" He said, "I am very angry, even to
Then HaShem said: "You had pity on the gourd, for which you did not
labor, or make grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a
night. Why shouldn't I have pity on the Nineveh where there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand
people who need guidance from me?"
Who is a G-d like
You, who pardons iniquity, and passes over the transgression of
the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger
forever, because He delights in mercy.
He will again have compassion on us; He will subdue our
iniquities; and You will cast all their sins into the depths of
You will show faithfulness to Jacob, and mercy to Abraham, which
you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.