1Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me. 3But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid his fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. 5Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten it for them. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the ship and had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6The captain came and said to him, What are you doing sound asleep? Get up, call on your god! Perhaps the god will spare us a thought so that we do not perish.
7 The sailors* said to one another, Come, let us cast lots, so that we may know on whose account this calamity has come upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8Then they said to him, Tell us why this calamity has come upon us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you? 9I am a Hebrew, he replied. I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land. 10Then the men were even more afraid, and said to him, What is this that you have done! For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.
11 Then they said to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may quieten down for us? For the sea was growing more and more tempestuous. 12He said to them, Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quieten down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great storm has come upon you. 13Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring the ship back to land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. 14Then they cried out to the Lord, Please, O Lord, we pray, do not let us perish on account of this mans life. Do not make us guilty of innocent blood; for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you. 15So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16Then the men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
2Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish,
I called to the Lord out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
3 You cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
4 Then I said, I am driven away
from your sight;
how* shall I look again
upon your holy temple?
5 The waters closed in over me;
the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped around my head
6 at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me for ever;
yet you brought up my life from the Pit,
O Lord my God.
7 As my life was ebbing away,
I remembered the Lord;
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011