Jonah 1:9

9 And he said to them, "I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land."

Jonah 1:9 Meaning and Commentary

Jonah 1:9

And he said unto them, I [am] an Hebrew
He does not say a Jew, as the Targum wrongly renders it; for that would have been false, since he was of the tribe of Zebulun, which was in the kingdom of Israel, and not of Judah; nor does he say an Israelite, lest he should be thought to be in the idolatry of that people; but a Hebrew, which was common to both; and, besides, it not only declared what nation he was of, but what religion he professed, and who was his God: and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the
dry [land];
this answers to the other question, what was his occupation or business? he was one that feared the Lord, that served and worshipped him; a prophet of the great God, as Josephus F7 expresses and so Kimchi; the mighty Jehovah, that made the "heavens", and dwells in them; and from whence that storm of wind came, which had so much distressed the ship, and still continued: and who made the "sea", which was now so boisterous and raging, and threatened them with ruin; and "the dry land", where they would be glad to have been at that instant. By this description of God, as the prophet designed to set him forth in his nature and works, so to distinguish him from the gods of Heathens, who had only particular parts of the universe assigned to them, when his Jehovah was Lord of all; but where was the prophet's fear and reverence of God when he fled from him, and disobeyed him? it was not lost, though not in exercise.


FOOTNOTES:

F7 Antiqu. l. 9. c. 10. sect. 2.

Jonah 1:9 In-Context

7 And they said to one another, "Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us." So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 Then they said to him, "Tell us, on whose account this evil has come upon us? What is your occupation? And whence do you come? What is your country? And of what people are you?"
9 And he said to them, "I am a Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land."
10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, "What is this that you have done!" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
11 Then they said to him, "What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?" For the sea grew more and more tempestuous.