Jonah 4:8

8 When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching 1east wind, 2and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he 3was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, 4"It is better for me to die than to live."

Jonah 4:8 Meaning and Commentary

Jonah 4:8

And it came to pass when the sun did arise
After that the gourd was smitten and withered; when it was not only risen, but shone out with great force and heat: that God prepared a vehement east wind;
or, "a deafening east wind" {u}; which blew so strong, and so loud, as R. Marinus in Aben Ezra and Kimchi say, made people deaf that heard it: or, "a silencing east wind"; which when it blew, all other winds were silent, as Jarchi: or it made men silent, not being to be heard for it: or, "a silent" F23, that is, a still quiet wind, as the Targum; which blew so gently and slowly, that it increased the heat, instead of lessening it: or rather "a ploughing east wind" F24; such as are frequent F25 in the eastern countries, which plough up the dry land, cause the sand to arise and cover men and camels, and bury them in it. Of these winds Monsieur Thevenot F26 speaks more than once; in sandy deserts, between Cairo and Suez, he says,

``it blew so furiously, that I thought all the tents would have been carried away with the wind; which drove before it such clouds of sand, that we were almost buried under it; for seeing nobody could stay outside, without having mouth and eyes immediately filled with sand, we lay under the tents, where the wind drove in the sand above a foot deep round about us;''
and in another place he observes F1
``from Suez to Cairo, for a day's time or more, we had so hot a wind, that we were forced to turn our backs to it, to take a little breath, and so soon as we opened our mouths they were full of sand;''
such an one was here raised, which blew the sand and dust into the face of Jonah, and almost suffocated him; which, with the heat of the sun, was very afflictive to him: and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted;
the boughs of trees, of which the booth was made, being withered, and his gourd, or whatever plant it was, also, he had nothing to shelter him from the heat of the sun; but the beams of it darted directly upon him, so that he was not able to sustain them; they quite overwhelmed him, and caused him to faint, and just ready to die away: and wished in himself to die;
or, "desired his soul might die" F2; not his rational soul, which was immortal; by this animal or sensitive soul, which he had in common with animals; he wished his animal life might be taken from him, because the distress through the wind and sun was intolerable to him: and said, [it is] better for me to die than to live;
in so much pain and misery; see ( Jonah 4:3 ) .
FOOTNOTES:

F21 (tyvyrx) "surdefacientem", Munster; "ex surdentem", Montanus; "surdum", Drusius.
F23 "Silentem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Grotius, Tarnovius; so Stockius, p. 397. and Burkius.
F24 "Aratorium", Hyde.
F25 Via. Petitsol. Itinera Mundi, p. 146. & Hyde, Not. in ib.
F26 Travels, par. 1. B. 2. p. 162.
F1 Travels, par. 1. B. 2. ch. 34. p. 177.
F2 (wvpn ta) "animae suae", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius; "animam suam", Burkius.

Jonah 4:8 In-Context

6 Now the LORD God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.
7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.
8 When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, "It is better for me to die than to live."
9 But God said to Jonah, "Do you do well to be angry for the plant?" And he said, "Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die."
10 And the LORD said, "You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night.

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