Jonah 4:2-4

2 He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.
3 Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Jonah 4:2-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JONAH 4

This chapter gives us an account of Jonah's displeasure at the repentance of the Ninevites, and at the Lord's showing mercy unto them, Jon 4:1; the angry prayer of Jonah upon it, Jon 4:2,3; the Lord's gentle reproof of him for it, Jon 4:4; his conduct upon that, Jon 4:5; the gourd prepared for him; its rise, usefulness, and destruction, which raised different passions in Jonah, Jon 4:6-8; the improvement the Lord made of this to rebuke Jonah, for his displicency at the mercy he showed to the Ninevites, and to convict him of his folly, Jon 4:9-11.

Jonah 4:2-4 In-Context

1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.
2 He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.
3 Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 But the LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.
6 Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant.
7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered.

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Cross References 9

  • 1. Jeremiah 20:7-8
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 4:31; Psalms 103:8
  • 3. S Exodus 22:27; Exodus 34:6; Psalms 86:5,15
  • 4. S Numbers 14:18
  • 5. S Joel 2:13
  • 6. S Numbers 11:15; 1 Kings 19:4
  • 7. S Job 7:15
  • 8. Jeremiah 8:3
  • 9. Genesis 4:6; Matthew 20:11-15