|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:4-7 God sent a pursuer after Jonah, even a mighty tempest. Sin brings storms and tempests into the soul, into the family, into churches and nations; it is a disquieting, disturbing thing. Having called upon their gods for help, the sailors did what they could to help themselves. Oh that men would be thus wise for their souls, and would be willing to part with that wealth, pleasure, and honour, which they cannot keep without making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, and ruining their souls for ever! Jonah was fast asleep. Sin is stupifying, and we are to take heed lest at any time our hearts are hardened by the deceitfulness of it. What do men mean by sleeping on in sin, when the word of God and the convictions of their own consciences, warn them to arise and call on the Lord, if they would escape everlasting misery? Should not we warn each other to awake, to arise, to call upon our God, if so be he will deliver us? The sailors concluded the storm was a messenger of Divine justice sent to some one in that ship. Whatever evil is upon us at any time, there is a cause for it; and each must pray, Lord, show me wherefore thou contendest with me. The lot fell upon Jonah. God has many ways of bringing to light hidden sins and sinners, and making manifest that folly which was thought to be hid from the eyes of all living.
Verses 4-10. -
2. Jonah's foolish flight is arrested. In the midst of his fancied security God sends a great storm, and the ship is placed in imminent jeopardy. The crew try all means to save the ship, and at length cast lots to discover by this means for whose sake the tempest has been sent. The lot points out Jonah as the guilty person. Verse 4. - Sent out; Septuagint, ἐξήγειρε, "raised;" literally, cast forth, or hurled, a great wind, like the Euroclydon of Acts 27:14, and what is called nowadays a Levanter. Pusey quotes Josephus's account of the harbour of Joppa and the neighbouring sea, which, he says, is rendered very dangerous by the sudden rise of "the black north wind" ('Bell. Jud.,' 3:09. 3). Here we see wind and storm fulfilling God's word (Psalm 148:8). As Tertullian says -
"Si Dominum in terris fugiens, invenit in undis."
"Flying the Lord on earth, he found him in the sea." Was like to be broken; literally, thought to be dashed in pieces. Wordsworth contrasts the living consciousness and apprehension of the ship with the lethargy of the prophet now lying fast asleep in the hold (ver. 5). Septuagint, ἐκινδύνευε τοῦ συντριβῆναι, "was in danger of being broken up."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea,.... He took a wind out of his treasures, and hurled it, as the word (w) signifies, into the sea: "into that sea" (x); that part of it where the ship was Jonah was in. Winds are at the command of God, which he raises at his pleasure, and fulfil his will, and are servants of his that obey his orders: this here was sent in pursuit of Jonah, to stop him in his voyage, when he thought he had got clear off, and was safe enough. The Jews say (y) this was done when he had been one day's voyage:
and there was a great tempest in the sea; which caused the waves to rise and roar, and become very tumultuous: this wind was an extraordinary one, like that "laelaps" or storm of wind which came down into the sea when the disciples of Christ were on it in a ship; or like the "Euroclydon", in which the Apostle Paul was, Acts 27:14;
so that the ship was like to be broken; it was in danger of it; it seemed as if it would, the waves of the sea were so strong, and beat so hard upon it. It is in the original text, "the ship thought it should be broken" (z); that is, the men in it; they that had the management of it thought nothing less but that it would be dashed to pieces, and all their goods and lives lost; so great was the hurricane occasioned by the wind the Lord sent. It may be rendered, "that ship (a) was like", &c. The Jews (b) have a notion that other ships passed to and fro in great tranquillity, and this only was in distress.
(w) "projecit", Mercerus, Drusius; "conjecit", Cocceius. (x) "in mare illud", Mercerus. (y) Pirke Eliezer, c. 10. fol. 10. 1.((z) "putabat", Montanus; "cogitavit", Vatablus, Burkius; "cogitabat", Drusius, Cocceius. (a) "navem iliam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (b) Pirke Eliezer, c. 10. fol. 10. 1. So Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abendana in loc.
Jonah 1:4 Parallel Commentaries
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