Jonah 4:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

New Living Translation
And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. "Death is certainly better than living like this!" he exclaimed.

English Standard Version
When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

New American Standard Bible
When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to me than life."

King James Bible
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As the sun was rising, God appointed a scorching east wind. The sun beat down so much on Jonah's head that he almost fainted, and he wanted to die. He said, "It's better for me to die than to live."

International Standard Version
When the sun rose, God prepared a harsh east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah's head, he became faint, and he begged to die. "It is better for me to die than to live!" he said.

NET Bible
When the sun began to shine, God sent a hot east wind. So the sun beat down on Jonah's head, and he grew faint. So he despaired of life, and said, "I would rather die than live!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the sun rose, God made a hot east wind blow. The sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he was about to faint. He wanted to die. So he said, "I'd rather be dead than alive."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah that he fainted and wished in his soul to die and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, so that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when the sun was risen, the Lord commanded a hot and burning wind: and the sun beat upon the head of Jonas, and he broiled with the heat: and he desired for his soul that he might die, and said: It is better for me to die than to live.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, so that he fainted; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when the sun rose that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

World English Bible
It happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah's head, so that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, "It is better for me to die than to live."

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, about the rising of the sun, that God appointeth a cutting east wind, and the sun smiteth on the head of Jonah, and he wrappeth himself up, and asketh his soul to die, and saith, 'Better is my death than my life.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 8-11. - § 4. Jonah grieves bitterly for the loss of the gourd; and God takes occasion from this to point out the prophet's inconsistency and pitilessness in murmuring against the mercy shown to Nineveh with its multitude of inhabitants. Verse 8. - A vehement east wind; Septuagint, πνεύματι καύσωνι (James 1:11) συγκαίοντι "a scorching, burning wind;" Vulgate, vento calido et urenti (Hosea 13:15). The word translated "vehement" is also rendered "silent," i.e. sultry. Pusey and Hitzig rather incline to think it may mean the autumn or harvest wind. Either interpretation is suitable, as, according to Dr. Thomson, there are two kinds of sirocco, equally destructive and annoying - the violent wind, which fills the air with dust and sand; and the quiet one, when scarcely any air is stirring, but the heat is most overpowering ('The Land and the Book,' p. 536, etc.). Beat upon the head. The same word for the effect of the rays of the sun as in Psalm 121:6 and elsewhere. Trochon quotes Ovid, 'Metam ,' 7:804 -

"Sole fere radiis feriente cacumiua primis."

"The sun with earliest rays
Scarce smiting highest peaks."
Rich, 'Koordistan,' 1:125, "Just as the moon rose, about ten, an intolerable puff of wind came from the northeast. All were immediately silent, as if they had felt an earthquake, and then exclaimed, in a dismal tone, 'The sherki is come.' This was indeed the so much-dreaded sherki, and it has continued blowing ever since with great violence from the east and northeast, the wind being heated like our Bagdad sauna, but I think softer and more relaxing. This wind is the terror of these parts." "Few European travellers," says Layard ('Nin. and Babyl.,' p. 366), "can brave the perpendicular rays of an Assyrian sun. Even the well seasoned Arab seeks the shade during the day, and journeys by night unless driven forth by necessity or the love of war" (quoted by Dr. Pusey, in loc.). He fainted (see note on Amos 8:13, where the fame word is used of the effects of thirst: comp. Jonah 2:7). His position on the east of the city (ver. 5) exposed him to the full force of the scorching sun and wind. Wished in himself to die; literally, asked for his soul to die; Septuagint, ἀπελέγετο τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ, "despaired of his life" (1 Kings 19:4). The expression implies that he asked God to grant him his life to do with it what he liked. In his self-will and impatience he still shows his dependence upon God. He may have had in his mind the precedent of his great master Elijah, though his spirit is very different (see note on ver. 3 above). Better for me to die. His wish for death arose from his now assured conviction that God's mercy was extended to the heathen. He argued from the sudden withering of the gourd that he was not to stay there and see the accomplishment of his wishes, and, in his impatience and intolerance, he would rather die than behold Nineveh converted and saved.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And it came to pass when the sun did arise,.... After that the gourd was smitten and withered; when it was not only risen, but shone out with great force and heat:

that God prepared a vehement east wind; or, "a deafening east wind" (u); which blew so strong, and so loud, as R. Marinus in Aben Ezra and Kimchi say, made people deaf that heard it: or, "a silencing east wind"; which when it blew, all other winds were silent, as Jarchi: or it made men silent, not being to be heard for it: or, "a silent" (w), that is, a still quiet wind, as the Targum; which blew so gently and slowly, that it increased the heat, instead of lessening it: or rather "a ploughing east wind" (x); such as are frequent (y) in the eastern countries, which plough up the dry land, cause the sand to arise and cover men and camels, and bury them in it. Of these winds Monsieur Thevenot (z) speaks more than once; in sandy deserts, between Cairo and Suez, he says,

"it blew so furiously, that I thought all the tents would have been carried away with the wind; which drove before it such clouds of sand, that we were almost buried under it; for seeing nobody could stay outside, without having mouth and eyes immediately filled with sand, we lay under the tents, where the wind drove in the sand above a foot deep round about us;''

and in another place he observes (a).

"from Suez to Cairo, for a day's time or more, we had so hot a wind, that we were forced to turn our backs to it, to take a little breath, and so soon as we opened our mouths they were full of sand;''

such an one was here raised, which blew the sand and dust into the face of Jonah, and almost suffocated him; which, with the heat of the sun, was very afflictive to him:

and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted; the boughs of trees, of which the booth was made, being withered, and his gourd, or whatever plant it was, also, he had nothing to shelter him from the heat of the sun; but the beams of it darted directly upon him, so that he was not able to sustain them; they quite overwhelmed him, and caused him to faint, and just ready to die away:

and wished in himself to die; or, "desired his soul might die" (b); not his rational soul, which was immortal; by this animal or sensitive soul, which he had in common with animals; he wished his animal life might be taken from him, because the distress through the wind and sun was intolerable to him:

and said, it is better for me to die than to live; in so much pain and misery; see Jonah 4:3.

(u) "surdefacientem", Munster; "ex surdentem", Montanus; "surdum", Drusius. (w) "Silentem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Grotius, Tarnovius; so Stockius, p. 397. and Burkius. (x) "Aratorium", Hyde. (y) Via. Petitsol. Itinera Mundi, p. 146. & Hyde, Not. in ib. (z) Travels, par. 1. B. 2. p. 162. (a) Travels, par. 1. B. 2. ch. 34. p. 177. (b) "animae suae", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius; "animam suam", Burkius.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. vehement—rather, "scorching"; the Margin, "silent," expressing sultry stillness, not vehemence.

Jonah 4:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jonah's Anger at the Lord's Compassion
7But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. 8When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to me than life." 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."…
Cross References
Matthew 20:12
These who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'

1 Kings 19:4
while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors."

Psalm 121:6
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

Isaiah 49:10
They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.

Ezekiel 19:12
But it was uprooted in fury and thrown to the ground. The east wind made it shrivel, it was stripped of its fruit; its strong branches withered and fire consumed them.

Hosea 13:15
even though he thrives among his brothers. An east wind from the LORD will come, blowing in from the desert; his spring will fail and his well dry up. His storehouse will be plundered of all its treasures.

Jonah 4:3
Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."

Jonah 4:9
But God said to Jonah, "Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?" "It is," he said. "And I'm so angry I wish I were dead."
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

that God.

Jonah 4:6,7 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, …

Jonah 1:4,17 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a …

Ezekiel 19:12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, …

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

vehement. or, silent. and the sun.

Psalm 121:6 The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.

Songs 1:6 Look not on me, because I am black, because the sun has looked on …

Isaiah 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun …

Revelation 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall …

and wished.

Jonah 4:3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech you, my life from me; for …

Leviticus 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, This is it that the LORD spoke, saying, …

1 Samuel 3:18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he …

2 Samuel 15:25,26 And the king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: …

Job 2:10 But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. …

Psalm 39:9 I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because you did it.

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Alphabetical: a all and appointed be beat became begged better blazed came Death die down east faint for God grew he head his is It Jonah's life live me on provided rose said saying scorching so soul sun than that the to up wanted When wind with would

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