Then said the Lord, dost thou well to be angry?
] A mild and gentle reproof this; which shows him to be a God gracious and merciful, and slow to anger; he might have answered Jonah's passionate wish, and struck him dead at once, as Ananias and Sapphira were; but he only puts this question, and leaves it with him to consider of. Some render it, "is doing good displeasing to thee?" F25 art thou angry at that, because I do good to whom I will? so R. Japhet, as Aben Ezra observes, though he disapproves of it: according to this the sense is, is doing good to the Ninevites, showing mercy to them upon their repentance, such an eyesore to thee? is thine eye evil, because mine is good? so the Scribes and Pharisees indeed were displeased with Christ for conversing with publicans and sinners, which was for the good of their souls; and the elder brother was angry with his father for receiving the prodigal; and of the same cast Jonah seems to be, at least at this time, being under the power of his corruptions. There seems to be an emphasis upon the word "thou"; dost "thou" well to be angry? what, "thou", a creature, be angry with his Creator; a worm, a potsherd of the earth, with the God of heaven and earth? what, "thou", that hast received mercy thyself in such an extraordinary manner, and so lately, and be angry at mercy shown to others? what, "thou", a prophet of the Lord, that should have at heart the good of immortal souls, and be displeased that thy ministry has been the means of the conversion and repentance of so many thousands? is there any just cause for all this anger? no, it is a causeless one; and this is put to the conscience of Jonah; he himself is made judge in his own cause; and it looks as if, upon self-reflection and reconsideration, when his passions cooled and subsided, that he was self-convicted and self-condemned, since no answer is returned. The Targum is,
``art thou exceeding angry?''and so other interpreters, Jewish and Christian F26, understand it of the vehemency of his anger.
F25 (Kl hrx bjyhh) "num benefacere ira est tibi?" Montanus.
F26 "Nonne vehemens ira est tibi?" Pagninus; "numquid vehementer indignaris, multumne (valdene) iratus est?" Vatablus; so Kimchi and R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 47. 2.