Jonah 4:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He prayed to the LORD, "Isn't this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

New Living Translation
So he complained to the LORD about it: "Didn't I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.

English Standard Version
And he prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

New American Standard Bible
He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.

King James Bible
And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He prayed to the LORD: "Please, LORD, isn't this what I said while I was still in my own country? That's why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster.

International Standard Version
So he prayed to the LORD, "LORD, isn't this what I said while I was still in my home country? That's why I fled previously to Tarshish, because I knew you're a compassionate God, slow to anger, overflowing with gracious love, and reluctant to send trouble.

NET Bible
He prayed to the LORD and said, "Oh, LORD, this is just what I thought would happen when I was in my own country. This is what I tried to prevent by attempting to escape to Tarshish!--because I knew that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy, and one who relents concerning threatened judgment.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So he prayed to the LORD, "LORD, isn't this what I said would happen when I was still in my own country? That's why I tried to run to Tarshish in the first place. I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, patient, and always ready to forgive and to reconsider your threats of destruction.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he prayed unto the LORD and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was this not what I said when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hastened to flee unto Tarshish, for I knew that thou art a gracious God and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy, and dost repent when thou art come to take punishment.

King James 2000 Bible
And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray you, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and you relent from the destruction.

American King James Version
And he prayed to the LORD, and said, I pray you, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before to Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent you of the evil.

American Standard Version
And he prayed unto Jehovah, and said, I pray thee, O Jehovah, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he prayed to the Lord, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord, is not this what I said, when I was yet in my own country? therefore I went before to flee into Tharsis: for I know that thou art a gracious and merciful God, patient, and of much compassion, and easy to forgive evil.

Darby Bible Translation
And he prayed unto Jehovah, and said, Ah, Jehovah, was not this my saying when I was yet in my country? Therefore I was minded to flee at first unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great loving-kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

English Revised Version
And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, and repentest thee of the evil.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he prayed to the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before to Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest of the evil.

World English Bible
He prayed to Yahweh, and said, "Please, Yahweh, wasn't this what I said when I was still in my own country? Therefore I hurried to flee to Tarshish, for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and you relent of doing harm.

Young's Literal Translation
and he prayeth unto Jehovah, and he saith, 'I pray Thee, O Jehovah, is not this my word while I was in mine own land -- therefore I was beforehand to flee to Tarshish -- that I have known that Thou art a God, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness, and repenting of evil?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-4 What all the saints make matter of joy and praise, Jonah makes the subject of reflection upon God; as if showing mercy were an imperfection of the Divine nature, which is the greatest glory of it. It is to his sparing, pardoning mercy, we all owe it that we are out of hell. He wishes for death: this was the language of folly, passion, and strong corruption. There appeared in Jonah remains of a proud, uncharitable spirit; and that he neither expected nor desired the welfare of the Ninevites, but had only come to declare and witness their destruction. He was not duly humbled for his own sins, and was not willing to trust the Lord with his credit and safety. In this frame of mind, he overlooked the good of which he had been an instrument, and the glory of the Divine mercy. We should often ask ourselves, Is it well to say thus, to do thus? Can I justify it? Do I well to be so soon angry, so often angry, so long angry, and to give others ill language in my anger? Do I well to be angry at the mercy of God to repenting sinners? That was Jonah's crime. Do we do well to be angry at that which is for the glory of God, and the advancement of his kingdom? Let the conversion of sinners, which is the joy of heaven, be our joy, and never our grief.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - He prayed. He carried his complaint to God, and was prepared to submit it to him, even while he questioned the wisdom of his clemency. I pray thee (anna); Vulgate, obsecro. A particle of entreaty, "Ah! I pray thee." Was not this my saying? Was not this what I said to myself, viz. that God would spare Nineveh if it showed signs of repentance? My country. Palestine, where the original message reached him. I fled before; literally, I anticipated to fly; Septuagint, προέφθασα τοῦ φυγεῖν, "I made haste to flee;" Vulgate, praeoccupavi ut fugerem. I hastened to fly before I should be reduced to seeing my mission rendered nugatory. For I knew. Joel knew the character of God, and how that he threatened in order to arouse repentance, and that he might be able to spare (see Exodus 32:14; Exodus 34:6, 7). The description of God's mercy agrees with that in Joel 2:13 and Nehemiah 9:17.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he prayed unto the Lord,.... But in a very different manner from his praying in the fish's belly: this was a very disorderly prayer, put up in the hurry of his spirit, and in the heat of passion: prayer should be fervent indeed, but not like that of a man in a fever; there should be a warmth and ardour of affection in it, but it should be without wrath, as well as without doubting: this is called a prayer, because Jonah thought it to be so, and put it up to the Lord as one. It begins in the form of a prayer; and it ends with a petition, though an unlawful one; and has nothing of true and right prayer in it; no celebration of the divine Being, and his perfections; no confession of sin, ore petition for any blessing of providence or grace; but mere wrangling, contending, and quarrelling with God:

and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? in Judea, or in Galilee, at Gathhepher; was not this what I thought and said within myself, and to thee, that this would be the issue and consequence of going to the Ninevites; they would repent of their sins, and thou wouldst forgive them; and so thou wouldst be reckoned a liar, and I a false prophet? and now things are come to pass just as I thought and said they would: and thus he suggests that he had a greater or better foresight of things than God himself; and that it would have been better if his saying had been attended unto, and not the order of him to Nineveh; how audacious and insolent was this!

therefore I fled before unto Tarshish; before he could have a second order to Nineveh: here he justifies his flight to Tarshish, as if he had good reason for it; and that it would have been better if he had not been stopped in his flight, and had gone to Tarshish, and not have gone to Nineveh. This is amazing, after such severe corrections for his flight, and after such success at Nineveh:

for I know that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger,

and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil; this he knew from his own experience, for which he had reason to be thankful, and from the proclamation of God, in Exodus 34:6; which be seems to have respect unto; and a glorious one it is, though Jonah seems to twit and upbraid the Lord with his grace and mercy to men, as if it was a weakness and infirmity in him, whereas it is his highest glory, Exodus 33:18; he seems to speak of him, and represent him, as if he was all mercy, and nothing else; which is a wrong representation of him; for he is righteous as well as merciful; and in the same place where he proclaims himself to be so, he declares that he will "by no means clear the guilty", Exodus 34:7, but here we see that good men, and prophets, and ministers of the word, are men of like passions with others, and some of greater passions; and here we have an instance of the prevailing corruptions of good men, and how they break out again, even after they have been scourged for them; for afflictions, though they are corrections for sin, and do restrain it, and humble for it, and both purge and prevent it, yet do not wholly remove it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. my saying—my thought, or feeling.

fled before—I anticipated by fleeing, the disappointment of my design through Thy long-suffering mercy.

gracious … and merciful, &c.—Jonah here has before his mind Ex 34:6; as Joel (Joe 2:13) in his turn quotes from Jonah.

Jonah 4:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jonah's Anger at the Lord's Compassion
1But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. 2He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. 3"Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life."…
Cross References
Exodus 34:6
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

Numbers 14:18
The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.'

Deuteronomy 4:31
For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

Psalm 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalm 86:15
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 103:8
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Jeremiah 20:7
You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.

Jeremiah 26:13
Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you.

Jeremiah 42:10
If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you.

Joel 2:13
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Jonah 1:3
But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

And he prayed to the LORD, and said, I pray you, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before to Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent you of the evil.

he prayed.

1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came …

Jeremiah 20:7 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger …

I fled.

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, …

Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

thou art.

Exodus 34:6,7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The …

Numbers 14:18,19 The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity …

Psalm 78:38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed …

Psalm 86:5,15 For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy …

Psalm 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

Hosea 11:8,9 How shall I give you up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver you, Israel? …

Joel 2:13,14 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD …

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the …

and of.

Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and …

Exodus 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.

Psalm 90:13 Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent you concerning your servants.

Jeremiah 18:8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, …

Amos 7:3,6 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, said the LORD…

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Alphabetical: a abounding abundant and anger are at calamity compassionate concerning country fled flee for forestall from God gracious He home I in is knew LORD love lovingkindness my not O one order own Please prayed quick relents said sending slow so still Tarshish That the Therefore this to was what when while who why you

OT Prophets: Jonah 4:2 He prayed to Yahweh and said Please (Jon. Jh) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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