Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me,
&c.] Or, "my soul" F24. This, as Drusius remarks, may be observed against those that think the soul is not immortal; for by this it appears that it my be taken from the body, and that it exists separate from it, and does not die with it; and since the body dies upon its removal, for "the body without the spirit is dead", as James says; death is expressed by this phrase, ( Job 27:8 ) ( Acts 8:33 ) ; here Jonah allows that God is the God of life, the author and giver of it, and is the sole disposer of it; it is in his own power to take it away, and not man's: so far Jonah was right, that he did not in his passion attempt to take away his own life; only desires the Lord to do it, though in that he is not to be justified; for though it may be lawful for good men to desire to die, with submission to the will of God; that they might be free from sin, and serve him without it, and be with Christ, and in the enjoyment of the divine Presence, as the Apostle Paul and others did, ( 2 Corinthians 5:6 2 Corinthians 5:8 ) ( Philippians 1:21 Philippians 1:23 ) ; but not through discontent, as Elijah, ( 1 Kings 19:4 ) ; or merely to be rid of troubles, and to be free from pain and afflictions, as Job, ( Job 6:1-3 Job 6:8 Job 6:9 ) ; and much less in a pet and passion, as Jonah here, giving this reason for it, for [it is] better for me to die than to live;
not being able to bear the reproach of being a false prophet, which he imagined would be cast upon him; or, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi, that he might not see the evil come upon Israel, which he feared the repentance of the Ninevites would be the occasion of, Jonah was in a very poor frame of spirit to die in; this would not have been dying in faith and hope in God; which graces cannot be thought to be in lively exercise in him when he was quarrelling with God; neither in love to God, with whom he was angry; nor in love to men, at whose repentance, and finding mercy with the Lord, he was displeased.
F24 (yvpn ta) "animam meam", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellins, Piscator, Drusius, Cocceius.