Jonah 4:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.

New Living Translation
Then the LORD said, "You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly.

English Standard Version
And the LORD said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night.

New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.

King James Bible
Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So the LORD said, "You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night.

International Standard Version
But the LORD asked, "You cared about a vine plant that you neither worked on nor cultivated? A vine plant that grew up overnight and died overnight?

NET Bible
The LORD said, "You were upset about this little plant, something for which you have not worked nor did you do anything to make it grow. It grew up overnight and died the next day.

New Heart English Bible
The LORD said, "You have been concerned for the vine, for which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD replied, "This plant grew up overnight and died overnight. You didn't plant it or make it grow. Yet, you feel sorry for this plant.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD said: 'Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow, which came up in a night, and perished in a night;

New American Standard 1977
Then the LORD said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work, and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the LORD said, Thou hast had pity on the gourd for which thou hast not laboured, neither didst thou make it grow; which came up in a night and perished in a night:

King James 2000 Bible
Then said the LORD, You have had pity on the plant, for which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

American King James Version
Then said the LORD, You have had pity on the gourd, for the which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said, Thou hast had regard for the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said: Thou art grieved for the ivy, for which thou hast not laboured, nor made it to grow, which in one night came up, and in one night perished.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said, Thou hast pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

English Revised Version
And the LORD said, Thou hast had pity on the gourd; for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

World English Bible
Yahweh said, "You have been concerned for the vine, for which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith, 'Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou didst not labour, neither didst thou nourish it, which a son of a night was, and a son of a night perished,
Study Bible
Jonah's Anger at the Lord's Compassion
9Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death." 10Then the LORD said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. 11"Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"…
Cross References
Jonah 4:9
Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death."

Jonah 4:11
"Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?"
Treasury of Scripture

Then said the LORD, You have had pity on the gourd, for the which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

had pity on. or, spared. came up in a night. Heb. was the son of the night.

1 Samuel 20:31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the ground, you shall not …

Genesis 17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every …

(10) Which came up.--The original is one of those forcible idioms impossible to reproduce, which son of a night was, and son of a night perished.

Verse 10. - The Lord. Jehovah. closing the story, and driving home the lesson with unanswerable force, the prophet himself being the judge. Thou hast had pity; thou on thy part hast spared; Septuagint, σὺ ἐφείσω. For the which thou hast not laboured; Septuagint, ὑπὲρ η΅ς οὐκ ἐκακοπάθησας ἐπ αὐτήν, "for which thou sufferedst no evil." The more trouble a thing costs us, the more we regard it, as a mother loves her sickly child best. Neither madest it grow. As God had made Nineveh into a "great city." Which came up in a night, and perished in a night; literally, which was the son of a night, and perished the son of a night. The allusion, of course, is to the extraordinary rapidity of the growth and destruction of the gourd. Then said the Lord, thou hast had pity on the gourd,.... Or, "hast spared it" (c); that is, would have spared it, had it lain in his power, though but a weeds and worthless thing:

for the which thou hast not laboured; in digging the ground, and by sowing or planting it; it being raised up at once by the Lord himself, and not by any, human art and industry; nor by any of his:

neither madest it grow; by dunging the earth about it, or by watering and pruning it:

which came up in a night, and perished in a night; not in the same night; for it sprung up one night, continued a whole any, and then perished the next night. The Targum is more explicit,

"which was in this (or one) night, and perished in another night;''

by all which the Lord suggests to Jonah the vast difference between the gourd he would have spared, and for the loss of which he was so angry, and the city of Nineveh the Lord spared, which so highly displeased him; the one was but an herb, a plant, the other a great city; that a single plant, but the city consisted of thousands of persons; the plant was not the effect of his toil and labour, but the inhabitants of this city were the works of God's hands. In the building of this city, according to historians (d) a million and a half of men were employed eight years together; the plant was liken mushroom, it sprung up in a night, and perished in one; whereas this was a very ancient city, that had stood ever since the days of Nimrod.

(c) "pepercisiti", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Burkius; "pepercisses", Piscator. (d) Eustathius in Dionys. Perieg. p. 125. 10, 11. The main lesson of the book. If Jonah so pities a plant which cost him no toil to rear, and which is so short lived and valueless, much more must Jehovah pity those hundreds of thousands of immortal men and women in great Nineveh whom He has made with such a display of creative power, especially when many of them repent, and seeing that, if all in it were destroyed, "more than six score thousand" of unoffending children, besides "much cattle," would be involved in the common destruction: Compare the same argument drawn from God's justice and mercy in Ge 18:23-33. A similar illustration from the insignificance of a plant, which "to-day is and to-morrow is cast into the oven," and which, nevertheless, is clothed by God with surpassing beauty, is given by Christ to prove that God will care for the infinitely more precious bodies and souls of men who are to live for ever (Mt 6:28-30). One soul is of more value than the whole world; surely, then, one soul is of more value than many gourds. The point of comparison spiritually is the need which Jonah, for the time being, had of the foliage of the gourd. However he might dispense with it at other times, now it was necessary for his comfort, and almost for his life. So now that Nineveh, as a city, fears God and turns to Him, God's cause needs it, and would suffer by its overthrow, just as Jonah's material well-being suffered by the withering of the gourd. If there were any hope of Israel's being awakened by Nineveh's destruction to fulfil her high destination of being a light to surrounding heathenism, then there would not have been the same need to God's cause of Nineveh's preservation, (though there would have always been need of saving the penitent). But as Israel, after judgments, now with returning prosperity turns back to apostasy, the means needed to vindicate God's cause, and provoke Israel, if possible, to jealousy, is the example of the great capital of heathendom suddenly repenting at the first warning, and consequently being spared. Thus Israel would see the kingdom of heaven transplanted from its ancient seat to another which would willingly yield its spiritual fruits. The tidings which Jonah brought back to his countrymen of Nineveh's repentance and rescue, would, if believingly understood, be far more fitted than the news of its overthrow to recall Israel to the service of God. Israel failed to learn the lesson, and so was cast out of her land. But even this was not an unmitigated evil. Jonah was a type, as of Christ, so also of Israel. Jonah, though an outcast, was highly honored of God in Nineveh; so Israel's outcast condition would prove no impediment to her serving God's cause still, if only she was faithful to God. Ezekiel and Daniel were so at Babylon; and the Jews, scattered in all lands as witnesses for the one true God, pioneered the way for Christianity, so that it spread with a rapidity which otherwise was not likely to have attended it [Fairbairn].4:5-11 Jonah went out of the city, yet remained near at hand, as if he expected and desired its overthrow. Those who have fretful, uneasy spirits, often make troubles for themselves, that they may still have something to complain of. See how tender God is of his people in their afflictions, even though they are foolish and froward. A thing small in itself, yet coming seasonably, may be a valuable blessing. A gourd in the right place may do us more service than a cedar. The least creatures may be great plagues, or great comforts, as God is pleased to make them. Persons of strong passions are apt to be cast down with any trifle that crosses them, or to be lifted up with a trifle that pleases them. See what our creature-comforts are, and what we may expect them to be; they are withering things. A small worm at the root destroys a large gourd: our gourds wither, and we know not what is the cause. Perhaps creature-comforts are continued to us, but are made bitter; the creature is continued, but the comfort is gone. God prepared a wind to make Jonah feel the want of the gourd. It is just that those who love to complain, should never be left without something to complain of. When afflicting providences take away relations, possessions, and enjoyments, we must not be angry at God. What should especially silence discontent, is, that when our gourd is gone, our God is not gone. Sin and death are very dreadful, yet Jonah, in his heat, makes light of both. One soul is of more value than the whole world; surely then one soul is of more value than many gourds: we should have more concern for our own and others' precious souls, than for the riches and enjoyments of this world. It is a great encouragement to hope we shall find mercy with the Lord, that he is ready to show mercy. And murmurers shall be made to understand, that how willing soever they are to keep the Divine grace to themselves and those of their own way, there is one Lord over all, who is rich in mercy to all that call upon him. Do we wonder at the forbearance of God towards his perverse servant? Let us study our own hearts and ways; let us not forget our own ingratitude and obstinacy; and let us be astonished at God's patience towards us.
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