|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-9 Observe when Jonah prayed. When he was in trouble, under the tokens of God's displeasure against him for sin: when we are in affliction we must pray. Being kept alive by miracle, he prayed. A sense of God's good-will to us, notwithstanding our offences, opens the lips in prayer, which were closed with the dread of wrath. Also, where he prayed; in the belly of the fish. No place is amiss for prayer. Men may shut us from communion with one another, but not from communion with God. To whom he prayed; to the Lord his God. This encourages even backsliders to return. What his prayer was. This seems to relate his experience and reflections, then and afterwards, rather than to be the form or substance of his prayer. Jonah reflects on the earnestness of his prayer, and God's readiness to hear and answer. If we would get good by our troubles, we must notice the hand of God in them. He had wickedly fled from the presence of the Lord, who might justly take his Holy Spirit from him, never to visit him more. Those only are miserable, whom God will no longer own and favour. But though he was perplexed, yet not in despair. Jonah reflects on the favour of God to him, when he sought to God, and trusted in him in his distress. He warns others, and tells them to keep close to God. Those who forsake their own duty, forsake their own mercy; those who run away from the work of their place and day, run away from the comfort of it. As far as a believer copies those who observe lying vanities, he forsakes his own mercy, and lives below his privileges. But Jonah's experience encourages others, in all ages, to trust in God, as the God of salvation.
Verse 9. - But I - who know better than idolaters, and who have learned a new lesson of trust in God - I will sacrifice. Pusey notes that the Hebrew denotes rather, "I fain would sacrifice," as it depended, not on him, but on God, whether he was able to worship again in the Holy Land. His sacrifice of thanksgiving (Leviticus 7:12, etc.) should be offered with prayer and praise (Psalm 42:5). That which I have vowed (Psalm 1:14; 66:13). Salvation is of the Lord. This is the conclusion to which his trial has brought him, the moral of the whole canticle (Psalm 3:8; Psalm 118:14, 21; Revelation 7:10). The LXX. and the Vulgate join this clause to the preceding, thus: "That which I have vowed I will pay to the Lord for my salvation." This is tame, and not in strict accordance with the Hebrew.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving,.... Not only offer up a legal sacrifice in a ceremonial way, when he came to Jerusalem; but along with it the spiritual sacrifice of praise, which he knew was more acceptable unto God; and thus Christ, his antitype, upon his deliverance from his enemies, Psalm 22:22;
I will pay that I vowed; when he was in distress; as that he would sacrifice after the above manner, or behave in a better manner for the future than he had done; and particularly would go to Nineveh, if the Lord thought fit to send him again:
salvation is of the Lord; this was the ground of the faith and hope of Jonah when at the worst, and the matter of his present praise find thanksgiving. There is one letter more in the word rendered "salvation" (g) than usual, which increases the sense; and denotes, that all kind of salvation is of the Lord, temporal, spiritual, and eternal; not only this salvation from the devouring waves of the sea, and from the grave of the fish's belly, was of the Lord; but his deliverance from the terrors of the Lord, and the sense he had of his wrath, and the peace and pardon he now partook of, were from the Lord, as well as eternal salvation in the world to come, and the hope of it. All temporal salvations and deliverances are from the Lord, and to him the glory of them belongs; and his name should be praised on account of them; which Jonah resolved to do for himself: and so is spiritual and eternal salvation; it is of Jehovah the Father, as to the original spring and motive of it, which is his grace, and not men's works, and is owing to his wisdom, and not men's, for the plan and form of it; it is of Jehovah the Son, as to the impetration of it, who only has wrought it out; and it is of Jehovah the Spirit, as to the application of it to particular persons; and therefore the glory of it belongs to all the three Persons, and should be given them. This is the epiphonema or conclusion of the prayer or thanksgiving; which shows that it was, as before observed, put into this form or order, after the salvation was wrought; though that is related afterwards, as it is proper it should, and as the order of the narration required.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. I will sacrifice … thanksgiving—In the believing anticipation of sure deliverance, he offers thanksgivings already. So Jehoshaphat (2Ch 20:21) appointed singers to praise the Lord in front of the army before the battle with Moab and Ammon, as if the victory was already gained. God honors such confidence in Him. There is also herein a mark of sanctified affliction, that he vows amendment and thankful obedience (Ps 119:67).
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