The Book of the Prophet Jonas
(Jonas means Dove from
The word of the
Lord came unto Jonas the son of Amittai, saying: Arise, and get thee
to Ninive, that great city: and preach unto them, how that their
wickedness is come up before me. And Jonas made him ready to flee
unto Tharsis from the presence of the Lord, and get him down to
Joppa: where he found a ship ready for to go to Tharsis. So he paid
his fare, and went abroad, that he might go with them unto Tharsis,
from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord hurled a great wind into
the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea: so that the ship
was in jeopardy of going in pieces. Then the mariners were afraid,
and cried every man unto his god: and the goods that were in the
ship, they cast into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonas gat
him under the hatches, where he laid him down and slumbered.
So the master of the ship came to him and said unto him: Why
slumberest thou? Up, call upon thy God: if God ( happily ) will
think upon us, that we perish not. And they said one to another:
come, let us cast lots: that we may know, for whose cause we are
thus troubled. And so they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonas.
Then said they unto him: tell us, for whose cause are we thus
troubled? what is thine occupation? whence comest thou? what country
man art thou? and of what nation? He answered them: I am an Hebrew,
and I fear the Lord God of heaven, which made both the sea and the
dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him:
why didest thou so? ( for they knew, that he was fled from the
presence of the Lord, because he had told them) and said moreover
unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may cease from
troubling us? ( for the sea wrought, and was troublous ) he answered
them: Take me, and cast me into the sea, so shall it let you be at
rest: for I know that for my sake, that this great tempest is come
Nevertheless, the men assayed with rowing, to bring the ship
to land: but it would not be, because the sea wrought so, and was so
troublous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and
said: O' Lord let us not perish for this mans death, neither lay
thou innocent blood unto our charge: for thou, O' Lord, hast done,
even as thy pleasure was.
So they took Jonas, and cast him into the sea, and the sea
left raging. And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, doing
sacrifices and making vows unto the Lord.
But the Lord prepared a great
fish, to swallow up Jonas. So was Jonas in the belly of the fish,
three days and three nights. And Jonas prayed unto the Lord his God,
out of the fishs belly, And said: In my trouble I called unto the
Lord, and he heard me: out of the belly of hell I cried, and thou
heardest my voice. Thou hadst cast me down deep in the midst of the
sea, and the flood compassed me about: yee all thy waves and *roules
of water went over me. I thought that I had been cast away out of
thy sight: but I will yet again look toward thy holy temple.
The waters compassed me, even to the very soul: the deep lay
about me, and the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to
the bottoms of the hills, and was buried with earth for ever. But
thou, O' Lord my God, hast brought up my life again out of
corruption. When my soul fainted within me, I thought upon the Lord:
and my prayer came in unto thee, even in to thy holy temple. They
that hold to vain vanities, will forsake his mercy. But I will do
the sacrifice with the voice of thanksgiving, and I will pay that I
have vowed: for why? Salvation cometh of the Lord. And the Lord
spake unto the fish, and it cast out Jonas again upon the dry land.
*roules=roils to make cloudy/ muddy by stirring up sediment
Then came the word of the Lord
unto Jonas again, saying: up, and get thee to Ninive that great
city, and preach unto them the preaching that I bade thee. So Jonas
arose, and went to Ninive at the Lords commandment. Ninive was a
great city unto God, namely of three days journey.
And Jonas went to, and entered in to the city: even a days
journey, and cried, saying: There are yet forty days and then shall
Ninive be overthrown. And the people of Ninive believed God, and
proclaimed fasting, and arrayed themselves in sackcloth, as well the
great as the small of them. And the tidings came unto the king of
Ninive, which arose out of his seat, and did his apparel off, and
put on sackcloth, and sat him down in ashes.
And it was cried an commanded in Ninive, by the *auctorite of
the king and his lords, saying: See that neither man nor beast, ox
or sheep, taste ought at all: and that they neither feed nor drink
water: but put on sackcloth both man and beast, and cry mightily
unto God: yee, see that every man turn from his evil way, and from
their wickedness, that he hath in hand.
Who can tell? God may turn, and repent, and cease from his
fierce wrath, that we perish not. And when God saw their works, how
they turned from their wicked ways: he repented on the evil, which
he said he would do unto them, and did it not.
Therefore Jonas was sore
discontent and angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said: O'
Lord, was this not my saying ( I pray thee ) when I was yet in my
country? Therefore I hastened rather to flee unto Tharsis, for I
know well that thou art a merciful God, full of compassion, long
suffering, and of great kindness, and repentest when thou shouldest
take punishment. And now, O' Lord, take my life from me ( I beseech
thee ) for I had rather die then live. Then said the Lord: art thou
so angry? And Jonas gat him out of the city, and sat down on the
east side thereof: and there made him a booth, and sat under it in
the shadow, till he might see, what should chance unto the city.
And the Lord God prepared a wild vine, which sprang up over
Jonas, that he might have shadow above his head, to deliver him out
of his pain. And Jonas was exceeding glad of the wild vine.
But upon the next morrow against the spring of the day. The
Lord *ordened a worm, which smote the wild vine, so that it withered
again. And when the Sun was up God prepared a fervent east wind: and
the Sun beat over the head of Jonas, that he fainted again, and
wished unto his soul, that he might die, and said: It is better for
me to die than to live. And God said unto Jonas: Art thou so angry
for the wild vine? And he said: yee very angry, even unto death. And
the Lord said: Thou hast compassion on the wild vine, whereon thou
bestowest no labor, nor madest it grow: which sprang up in one night
and perish in another: And shouldest not I then have compassion on
Ninive that great city, wherein there are above 120,000 persons,
that know not their right hand from the left, besides much cattle?
*ordened=old English root word of the word "ordained".