So Jonah went out of the city
Had not the inhabitants of it repented, he had done right to go out of it, and shake the dust of his feet against it; or, in such a case, had he gone out of it, as Lot out of Sodom, when just going to be overthrown; but Jonah went out in a sullen fit, because it was to be spared; though some render the words, "now Jonah had gone out of the city" F1; that is, before all this passed, recorded in the preceding verses; and so Aben Ezra observes, that the Scripture returns here to make mention of the affairs of Jonah, and what happened before the accomplishment of the forty days: and sat on the east side of the city;
where he might have very probably a good sight of it; and which lay the reverse of the road to his own country; that, if the inhabitants should pursue him, they would miss of him; which some suppose he might be in fear of, should their city be destroyed: and there made him a booth;
of the boughs of trees, which he erected, not to continue in, but for a short time, expecting in a few days the issue of his prediction: and sat under it in the shadow;
to shelter him from the heat of the sun: till he might see what would become of the city;
or, "what would be done in" it, or "with" it F2; if this was after he knew that the Lord had repented of the evil he threatened, and was disposed to show mercy to the city; and which, as Kimchi thinks, was revealed to him by the spirit of prophecy; then he sat here, expecting the repentance of the Ninevites would be a short lived one; be like the goodness of Ephraim and Judah, as the morning cloud, and early dew that passes away; and that then God would change his dispensations towards them again, as he had done; or however he might expect, that though the city was not totally overthrown, yet that there would be something done; some lesser judgment fall upon them, as a token of the divine displeasure, and which might save his credit as a prophet
F1 (auyw) "exicrat autem", Mercerus; "exivit", Cocceius.
F2 (ryeb hyhy hm) "quid esset futurum in civitate", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Tarnovius; "quid fieret in ea urbe", Vatablus.