Jonah 4:2
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.

Berean Study Bible
So he prayed to the LORD, saying, “O LORD, is this not what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I was so quick to flee toward Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion—One who relents from sending disaster.

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.

New King James Version
So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.

New American Standard Bible
Then he prayed to the LORD and said, “Please LORD, was this not what I said when I was still in my own country? Therefore in anticipation of this I fled to Tarshish, since I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in mercy, and One who relents of disaster.

NASB 1995
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.

NASB 1977
And 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 Thou art a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity.

Amplified Bible
He prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I ran to Tarshish, because I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness, and [when sinners turn to You] You revoke the [sentence of] disaster [against them].

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 gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and one who relents from sending disaster.

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.

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he prayed before LORD JEHOVAH and said: Oh, LORD JEHOVAH, was not this my word when I was in my land, and because of this I arose early, I myself fled to Tarshish, for I had known that you, God, are compassionate and hovering and your Spirit is patient, and your kindness abundant, and you change evil!

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And he prayed to the Lord, and said, O Lord, were not these my words when I was yet in my land? therefore I made haste to flee to Tharsis; because I knew that thou are merciful and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in kindness, and repentest of evil.

Contemporary English Version
So he prayed: Our LORD, I knew from the very beginning that you wouldn't destroy Nineveh. That's why I left my own country and headed for Spain. You are a kind and merciful God, and you are very patient. You always show love, and you don't like to punish anyone.

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.

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.

Good News Translation
So he prayed, "LORD, didn't I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That's why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish.

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.

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.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he prayed unto the LORD, and said: 'I pray Thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in mine own country? Therefore I fled beforehand unto Tarshish; for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and compassionate, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy, and repentest Thee of the evil.

Literal Standard Version
and he prays to YHWH, and he says, “Ah, now, O YHWH, is this not my word while I was in my own land—therefore I was beforehand [going] to flee to Tarshish—that I have known that You [are] a God, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness, and relenting of evil?

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.

New Heart English Bible
He prayed to the LORD, and said, "Please, LORD, 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.

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?

Additional Translations ...
Context
Jonah's Anger at the LORD's Compassion
1Jonah, however, was greatly displeased, and he became angry. 2So he prayed to the LORD, saying, “O LORD, is this not what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I was so quick to flee toward Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion— One who relents from sending disaster. 3And now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”…

Cross References
Exodus 34:6
Then the LORD passed in front of Moses and called out: "The LORD, the LORD God, is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness,

Numbers 14:18
The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loving devotion, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.'

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

Psalm 86:5
For You, O Lord, are kind and forgiving, rich in loving devotion to all who call on You.

Psalm 86:15
But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness.

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

Jeremiah 20:7
You have deceived me, O LORD, and I was deceived. You have overcome me and prevailed. I am a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me.


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 and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Jeremiah 20:7
O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me.

I fled.

Jonah 1:3
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

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

thou art.

Exodus 34:6,7
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, …

Numbers 14:18,19
The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation

Psalm 78:38
But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

and of.

Jonah 3:10
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

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

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









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.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
So he prayed
וַיִּתְפַּלֵּ֨ל (way·yiṯ·pal·lêl)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hitpael - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 6419: To judge, to intercede, pray

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

the LORD,
יְהוָ֜ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3069: YHWH

saying,
וַיֹּאמַ֗ר (way·yō·mar)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“O
אָנָּ֤ה (’ān·nāh)
Interjection
Strong's 577: Ah, now! I (we) beseech you!

LORD,
יְהוָה֙ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3069: YHWH

is this
זֶ֣ה (zeh)
Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's 2088: This, that

not
הֲלוֹא־ (hă·lō·w-)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

what I said
דְבָרִ֗י (ḏə·ḇā·rî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

while
עַד־ (‘aḏ-)
Preposition
Strong's 5704: As far as, even to, up to, until, while

I was
הֱיוֹתִי֙ (hĕ·yō·w·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | first person common singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

still in
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

my own country?
אַדְמָתִ֔י (’aḏ·mā·ṯî)
Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's 127: Ground, land

This is why
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

I was so quick
קִדַּ֖מְתִּי (qid·dam·tî)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 6923: To project, precede, to anticipate, hasten, meet

to flee
לִבְרֹ֣חַ (liḇ·rō·aḥ)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 1272: To bolt, to flee suddenly

toward Tarshish.
תַּרְשִׁ֑ישָׁה (tar·šî·šāh)
Noun - proper - feminine singular | third person feminine singular
Strong's 8659: Tarshish -- a son of Javan, also a port on the Mediterranean, also a Benjamite

I knew
יָדַ֗עְתִּי (yā·ḏa‘·tî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 3045: To know

that
כִּ֣י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's 3588: A relative conjunction

You [are]
אַתָּה֙ (’at·tāh)
Pronoun - second person masculine singular
Strong's 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

a gracious
חַנּ֣וּן (ḥan·nūn)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 2587: Gracious

and compassionate
וְרַח֔וּם (wə·ra·ḥūm)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 7349: Compassionate

God,
אֵֽל־ (’êl-)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 410: Strength -- as adjective, mighty, the Almighty

slow
אֶ֤רֶךְ (’e·reḵ)
Adjective - masculine singular construct
Strong's 750: Long

to anger,
אַפַּ֙יִם֙ (’ap·pa·yim)
Noun - md
Strong's 639: The nose, nostril, the face, a person, ire

abounding
וְרַב־ (wə·raḇ-)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular construct
Strong's 7227: Much, many, great

in loving devotion?
חֶ֔סֶד (ḥe·seḏ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 2617: Kindness, piety, reproof, beauty

One who relents
וְנִחָ֖ם (wə·ni·ḥām)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 5162: To sigh, breathe strongly, to be sorry, to pity, console, rue, to avenge

from
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against

sending disaster.
הָרָעָֽה׃ (hā·rā·‘āh)
Article | Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's 7451: Bad, evil


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OT Prophets: Jonah 4:2 He prayed to Yahweh and said Please (Jon. Jh)
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