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JONAH

The word of the Lord came also unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it: for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee into Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Japho: and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he payed the fare thereof, and went down into it, that he might go with them unto Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his God, and cast the wares that were in the ship, into the sea to lighten it of thee: but Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship, and he lay down, and was fast a sleep. So the ship-master came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know, for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us for whose cause this evil is upon us? what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? which is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he answered them, I am an Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven, which hath made the sea, and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? (for the men knew, that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them) Then said they unto him, What shall we doe unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? (for the sea wrought and was troublous) And he said unto them, Take me, and cast me into the sea: so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless, the men rowed to bring it to the land, but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was troublous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done, as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah: and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days, and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fishes belly, and said, I cried in mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me: out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the bottom in the midst of the sea, and the floods compassed me about: all thy surges, and all thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast away out of thy sight: yet will I look again toward thine holy Temple. The waters compassed me about unto the soul: the depth closed me round about, and the weeds were wrapt about mine head. I went down to the bottom of the mountains: the earth with her bars was about me for ever, yet hast thou brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came unto thee, into thine holy Temple. They that wait upon lying vanities, forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving, and will pay that that I have vowed: salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it cast out Jonah upon the dry land.

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh that great city, & preach unto it the preaching, which I bid thee. So Jonah arose & went to Nineveh according to ye word of the Lord: now Nineveh was a great & excellent city of three days journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a days journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from ye greatest of the even to the least of them. For word came unto the King of Nineveh, and he rose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he proclaimed & said through Nineveh, (by the counsel of ye king & his nobles) saying, Let neither man, nor beast, bullock nor sheep taste anything, neither feed nor drink water. But let man and beast put on sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let every man turn from his evil way, and from the wickedness that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn, and repent and turn away from his fierce wrath, that we perish not? And God saw their works that they turned from their evil ways: and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and he did it not.

Therefore it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 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 prevented it to flee unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, & merciful, slow to anger, & of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me: for it is better for me to die then to live. Then said the Lord, Dost thou well to be angry? So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the East side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow till he might see what should be done in the city. And the Lord God prepared a gourde, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head and deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourde. But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, & it smote the gourd, that it withered. And when the sun did arise, God prepared also a fervent East wind: and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in his heart to die, and said, It is better for me to die, then to live. And God said unto Jonah, Dost thou well to be angry for the gourde? And he said, I do well to be angry unto the death. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourde for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow, which came up in a night, and perished in a night, And should not I spare Nineveh that great city, wherein are six score thousand persons, that cannot discern between their right hand, and their left hand, and also much cattle?

1587 Geneva bible in paragraph format and modernized spelling.