Page images

upon us.

So they

Jonah sets sail


for Tarshish. A. M. cir. 3142. unto "Tarshish from the presence

6. So the shipmaster came to A. M. cir. 3142. B. C. cir. 862.

B.C. cir. 862. Ante U. C. 109. of the LORD, and went down to him, and said unto him, What Ante U. C. 109. Alladii Sylvii,

Alladii Sylvii, R. Alban., 8 Joppa ; and he found a ship meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, R. Alban., cir. annum 14.

cir, annum 14. going to Tarshish : so he paid o call upon thy God, P if so be that the fare thereof, and went down into it, to God will think upon us, that we perish not. go with them unto Tarshish h from the

pre- 7 And they said every one to his fellow, sence of the Lord.

Come, and let us 9 cast lots, that we 'may know 4 But i the Lord * sent out a great wind for whose cause this evil is into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 8 Then said they unto him, - Tell us, we

5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon every man unto his god, and m cast forth the us ; What is thine occupation ? and whence wares that were in the ship into the sea,, to comest thou ? what is thy country? and of lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down what people art thou ? * into the sides of ship; and he lay, and 9 And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; was fast asleep.

and I fear the LORD, the God of heaver, 1 Kings x. 22.- Josh. xix. 46; 2 Chron. ii. 16; Acts ix. u] Samuel xxiv. 3. - Paa. cvii. 28.- -P Joel ji. 14. 36. Gen. iv. 16; Job i. 12; ii. 7.-i Psa. cvii. 25. 9 Joshua vii. 14, 16; 1 Samuel x. 20, 21 ; xiv. 41, 42; Prov. * Heb. cast forth. - Heb. thought to be broken.- -m So Acts xvi. 33 ; Acts i. 26.- Joshua vii. 19; 1 Samuel uir. 43. xxvii. 18, 19, 38.

Or, JEHOVAH. dred thousand. Nor can this be considered an exag- with a storm, which appears from the sequel to have ,

. fenth of the size of ancient Nineveh, contains a popu- Like to be broken] They had nearly suffered shiplation of upwards of one million. But calculations of wreck. this kind, relative to matters of such remote antiquity, Verse 5. Cried every man unto his god] The ship's are generally precarious, and not very useful : and an- crew were all heathens; and, it is probable, heathens cient authors, though the only guides, are not always who had each a different object of religious worship. safe conductors. Mosul is generally supposed to be Cast forth the wares] Threw the lading overboard the same as the ancient Nineveh. It is in the province to lighten the ship: hoping the better to ride out the of Dearbekir, on the west bank of the Tigris.

storm. Their wickedness is come up before me.] This is Jonah was gone down] Most probably into the hold a personification of evil. It ascends from earth to or cabin under the deck; or where they had berths for heaven; and stands before the Supreme Judge, to bear passengers in the sides of the ship; something in the witness against its own delinquency, and that of the manner of our packets. persons whom it has seduced.

Was fast asleep.) Probably quite exhausted and Verse 3. To flee unto Tarshish] Some say Tar- overcome with distress, which in many cases terminates tessus, in Spain, near the straits of Gibraltar; others, in a deep sleep. So the disciples in the garden of Tarsus, in Cilicia; and others, Taprobana, or the Gethsemane. island of Ceylon, formerly called Taprobah; and Verse 6. The shipmaster] Either the captain or Tabrobavagh in Sanscrit, to the present day.

the pilot. And went down to Joppa] This place is celebrated Arise, call upon thy God] He supposed that Jonah as that where Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, was had his god, as well as they had theirs; and that, as chained to a rock, and exposed to be devoured by a the danger was imminent, every man should use the sea-monster, from which she was delivered by the influence he had, as they were all equally involved in it. valour of Perseus. It is the nearest port to Jerusalem Verse 7.. Come, and let us cast lots] This was a on that side of the Mediterranean.

very ancient mode of endeavouring to find out the And he found a ship] The Phænicians carried on mind of Divine Providence ; and in this case it proves a considerable trade with Tarlessus, Ezek. xxvii. 12; that they supposed the storm to have arisen on account and it was probably in one of their ships that Jonah of some hidden crime of some person aboard. embarked.

A philosopher being at sea in a violent storm, when He paid the fare thereof] He paid for his passage. the crew began to call earnestly to the gods for safety, This shows that there was traffic between the two he said, “Be silent, and cease your prayers; for should places, and that each passenger paid a stated fare. the gods know that you are here, we shall all be lost."

From the presence of the Lord.] He considered The lot fell upon Jonah.] In this case God directed that God was peculiarly resident in Judea ; and if he the lot. got out of that land, the Lord would most probably Verse 8. Tell usfor whose cause] A very gentle appoint another prophet to carry the message ; for method of bringing the charge home to himself, and the Jonah appears to have considered the enterprise as several questions here asked gave the utmost latitude difficult and dangerous, and therefore wished to avoid it to make the best of his own case. Verse 4. A great wind) · They were overtaken! Verse 9. I fear the Lord] In this Jonah was faith

Ante U. C. 109.

u ex

R. Alban.,

R. Alban., cir. annum 14.

Jonah is cast


into the sea. 4. M. cor362 which hath made the sea and the sea wrought, and was tem- 43.M. cir: 3142. Ante W. C. 109. the dry land.

pestuous against them. Alladii Sylvii,

Alladii Sylvii, 10 Then were the men 14 Wherefore they cried unto

ceedingly afraid, and said unto the Lord, and said, We beseech cir. annum 14. him, Why hast thou done this? For the men thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not knew that he fled from the presence of the perish for this man's life, and blay not upon LORD, because he had told them.

us innocent blood : for thou, O LORD, hast 11 Then said they unto him, What shall we done as it pleased thee. do unto thee, that the sea 'may be calm unto 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him us? for the sea wrought, * and was tempes- forth into the sea :

d and the sea

e ceased from tuous.

her raging 12 And he said unto them, y Take me 16 Then the men f feared the LORD exceedup, and cast me forth into the sea; so ingly, and 5 offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know and made vows. that for my sake this great tempest is upon

17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish you.

to swallow


Jonah. And h Jonah was in 13 Nevertheless the men 2 rowed hard to the i belly of the fish three days and three bring it to the land ; a but they could not: for nights.

Psa. cxlvi. 6; Acts xvii. 24. Heb. with great fear. c Psa. cxv. 3. d Psa. lxxxix. 9; Luke viii. 24. Heb. Heb. may be silent from us." Or, grew more and more tempesstood.—Mark iv. 41; Acts v. 11.- * Heb. sacrificed a sactuous. --Heb. went. - John

xi. 50.

— Heb. digged. rifice unto the LORD, and vowed vows.- h Malt. xii. 40; xvi. a Prov. xxi. 30. Deut. xxi. 8.

4; Luke xi. 30.-i Heb. bowels.

ful. He gave an honest testimony concerning the Πολλα δε μερμηριζον ενι φρεσι πευκαλιμησι, , God he served, which placed him before the eyes of Η μεν αποφθισωσι, και ιχθυσι κυρμα βαλωσιν the sailors as infinitely higher than the objects of their Αινολεχη Μηδειαν, αποτρεψωσι δ' Εριννυν. adoration; for the God of Jonah was the God of heaven,

Ver. 1171. who made the sea and the dry land, and governed both. He also honestly told them that he was fleeing from

“ And much they doubted, in their prudent minds, the presence of this God, whose honourable call he had

Whether to kill and cast a prey to fishes refused to obey. See ver. 10.

Wretched Medea, and avert their fate." Verse 11. What shall we do unto thee] In these

See Newcome. poor men there was an uncommon degree of humanity and tender feeling. Verse 12. I know that for my sake) I am not

Verse 16. Offered a sacrifice] The first perhaps worthy to live; throw me overboard. God will not ever offered on board a vessel since the ark floated on quiet the storm till I am cast out of the ship. Here the waters of the great deluge; and it is most probable was deep compunction; an honest avowal of sin ; and that these heathens, witnessing what was done, became a justification of the displeasure which God had now sincere converts to the true God. manifested.

Verse 17. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish) Verse 13. The men rowed hard] Were very un-15192 27 dag gadol. This could not have been a whale, willing to proceed to this extremity, and thought they for the throat of that animal can scarcely admit a man's would risk every thing rather than cast this disobedient lego; but it might have been a shark, which abounds in prophet into the great deep.

the Mediterranean, and whose mouth and stomach are Verse 14. They cried unto the Lord] Under a exceedingly capacious. In several cases they have conviction that he was the self-existing Being, the been known to swallow a man when thrown overboard. Maker of the heavens and the earth, and the author of See the note on Matt. xii. 40, where the whole subject the present storm, they put up their prayers to him. of this verse is considered at large. That days and

Let us not perish for this man's life) They were nights do not, among the Hebrews, signify complete now about to cast him overboard; but seemed to call days and nights of twenty-four hours, see Esth. iv. 16, God to witness that it was with the utmost reluctance, compared with chap. v. 1 ; Judg. xiv. 17, 18. Our and only in obedience to his command. There is a Lord lay in the grave one natural day, and part of two parallel passage in the Argonautics, which has been others; and it is most likely that this was the precise quoted illustrate this:

time that Jonah was in the fish's lly.


Jonah's prayer in


the fish's belly.



Isa. xiv. 9. 7.

This chapter (except the first verse and the last, which make a part of the narrative) contains a beautiful

prayer or hymn, formed of those devout thoughts which Jonah had in the belly of the great fish, with a

thanksgiving for his miraculous deliverance. B.MC.CO. 362 THEN Jonah prayed unto the 6 I went down to the bottoms A. M. cir. 3142.

B. C. cir. 862. Ante U. C. 109. Lord his God out of the of the mountains; the earth Ante U. C. 109. Alladii Sylvii,

Alladii Sylvii, R. Alban., fish's belly,

with her bars was about me for R. Alban., cir. annum 14.

cir. annum 14. 2 And said, I a cried b by rea- ever : yet hast thou brought son of mine affliction unto the LORD, and up my life n from " corruption, O LORD my he heard me : out of the belly of a hell cried God. 1, and thou heardest my voice.

ng When my soul fainted within me I re3. For thou dst cast me into the deep, in membered the LORD: ° and my prayer came the fmidst of the seas; and the floods com- in unto thee, into thine holy temple. passed me about : 6 all thy billows and thy 8 They that observe P lying vanities forsake waves passed over me.

their own mercy. 4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; 9 But I will. 9 sacrifice unto thee with the yet I will look again i toward thy holy temple. voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I

5 The waters compassed me about, even have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. to the soul : the depth closed me round about, 10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and the weeds were wrapped about my head. it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

. Psa. cxx. 1 ; cxxx. 1 ; cxlii. 1; Lam. iii. 55, 56. Or, * Psa. lxix. 1; Lam. ii. 54.

—Heb, cuttings off.- Psa. out of mine affliction.- - Psa. Ixv. 2.- Or, the grave ; xvi. 10.- _n Or, the pit.- Lo Psa. xviii. 6.22 Kings xvii.

* Psa. lxxxviii. 6.- Heb. heart.-- Psa. xlii. 15; Psa. xxxi, 6; Jer. x. 8; xvi. 19. _9 Psa, 1. 14, 23; civi. - Psa. Xxxi. 22.—1 Kings visi. 38.

17, 18; Hos. xiv. 2 ; Heb. xiii. 15.- s Psa. ii. 8. NOTES ON CHAP. II.

the fish's stomach, together with sea weeds, and such Verse 1. Then Jonah prayed-out of the fish's like marine substances, which the fish had taken for its belly) This verse makes the first of the second chap- aliment. ter in the Hebrew text.

Verse 6. I went down to the bottoms of the mounIt may be asked, “ How could Jonah either pray or tains) This also may be literally understood. The breathe in the stomach of the fish?" Very easily, if fish followed the slanting base of the mountains, till God so willed it. And let the reader keep this con- they terminated in a plain at the bottom of the great stantly in view; the whole is a miracle, from Jonah's deep. being swallowed by the fish till he was cast ashore by The earth with her bars] He represents himself the same animal. It was God that had prepared the as a prisoner in a dungeon, closed in with bars which great fish. It was the Lord that spake to the fish, and he could not remove, and which at first appeared to be caused it to vomit Jonah upon the dry land. All is for ever, i. e., the place where his life must terminate. miracle.

Yet hast thou brought up my life] The substance Verse 2. Out of the belly of hell] Among the of this poetic prayer was composed while in the fish's Hebrews Sisw sheol means the grave, any deep pit, the belly; but afterwards the prophet appears to have place of separate spirits, &c. Here the prophet thrown it into its present poetic form, and to have represents himself as in the bottom of the sea ; for so added some circumstances, such as that before us; for sheol must be understood in this place.

he now speaks of his deliverance from this imminent Verse 3. All thy billows and thy waves passed over danger of death. “Thou hast brought up my life from me.] This may be, understood literally; while the corruption.” fish, in whose belly he was, sought its pleasure or Verse 7. When my soul fainted] When ́ I had sustenance in the paths of the deep, the waves and given up all hope of life. billows of the sea were rolling above. This line seems My prayer came in unto thee] Here prayer is borrowed from Psa. xlii. 7.

personified, and is represented as a messenger going Verse 4. I am cast out of thy sight] See Psa. from the distressed, and entering into the temple of xxxi. 22.

God, and standing before him. This is a very fine Thy holy temple.] Then Jerusalem was not yet and delicate image. This clause is one of those which destroyed, for the temple was standing.

I suppose the prophet to have added when he penned Verse 5. The waters compassed me about even to this prayer. the soul] So as to seem to deprive me of life. I Verse 8. They that observe lying vanities] They had no hope left.

that trust in idols, follow vain predictions, permit themThe weeds were wrapped about my head.] This selves to be influenced with foolish fears, so as to inmay be understood literally also. He found himself in Iduce them to leave the path of obvious duty, forsake Jonah is sent


again to Nineveh. their own mercy. In leaving that God who is the text; to all sober and rational modes of interpretation , Fountain of mercy, they abandon that measure of and to the express purpose for which God appears to mercy which he had treasured up for them.

have wrought this miracle, and to which Jesus Christ Verse 9. But I will sacrifice unto thee] I will himself applies it. For as Jonah' was intended for a make a sincere vow, which, as soon as my circum- sign to the Jews of the resurrection of Christ, they stances will permit, I will faithfully execute ; and were to have the proof of this semiosis, in his lying as therefore he adds, "I will pay that which I have long in the heurt of the earth as the prophet was in vowed."

the belly of the fish; and all interpretations of this Salvation-is of the Lord.). All deliverance from kind go to deny both the sign and the thing signified. danger, preservation of life, recovery from sickness, Some men, because they cannot work a miracle and redemption of the soul from the power, guilt, and themselves, can hardly be persuaded that God can pollution of sin, is from Jehovah. He alone is the do it.

Saviour, he alone is the Deliverer; for all salvation is The text, and the use made of it by Christ, most from the Lord.

plainly teach us that the prophet was literally swallowed Verse 10. And the Lord spake unto the fish] That by a fish, by the order of God; and that by the Divine is, by his influence the fish swam to shore, and cast power he was preserved alive, for what is called three Jonah on the dry land. So the whole was a miracle days and three nights, in the stomach of the fish; and from the beginning to the end; and we need not per- at the conclusion of the above time that same fish was plex ourselves to find out literal interpretations ; such led by the unseen power of God to the shore, and there as, “When Jonah was thrown overboard he swam for compelled to eject the prey that he could neither kill his life, earnestly praying God to preserve him from nor digest. And how easy is all this to the almighty drowning; and by his providence he was thrown into power of the Author and Sustainer of life, who has a a place of fisha fishing cove, where he was for a sovereign, omnipresent, and energetic sway in the time entangled among the weeds, and hardly escaped heavens and in the earth. But foolish man will affect with his life ; and when safe, he composed this poetic. to be wise ; though, in such cases, he appears as the prayer, in metaphorical language, which seme have recently born, stupid offspring of the wild ass. It is wrongly interpreted, by supposing that he was swal- bad to follow fancy, where there is so much at stake. lowed by a fish; when 27 dag should have been under- Both ancients and moderns have grievously trifled with stood, as a place of fish, or fishing creek,&c. Now this prophet's narrative; merely because they could not I say the original has no such meaning in the Bible : rationally account for the thing, and were unwilling and this gloss is plainly contrary to the letter of the land why?) to allow any miraculous interference.

CHAPTER III. Jonah is sent again to Nineveh, a city of three days' journey, (being sixty. miles in circumference, according to

Diodorus Siculus,) 1-4. The inhabitants, in consequence of the prophet's preaching, repent in dust and ashes, 5-9. God, seeing that they were deeply humbled on account of their sins, and that they turned away from all their iniquities, repents of the evil wilh-which he had threatened them, 10. B.C.C. 302. AND the word of the Lord great city, and preach unto it A. M. cir. 3142.

B. C. cir. 862. Ante U. C. 109. came unto Jonah the second the preaching that I bid thce. Ante U. C. 109. Alladii Sylvii,

Alladij Sylvı, time, saying,

3. So Jonah arose, and went R. Alban., cir. annum 14.

cir annum 14. 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that unto Nineveh, according to the

R. Alban.,,


toned, unmoved preacher, is never likely to awaken Verse 1. And the word of the Lord] The same souls, . As we preach; so the people hear; scarcely oracle as that before given ; and which, from what he receiving any counsels that appear to have no imporhad felt and seen of the justice and mercy of the Lord, tance by the manner in which they are delivered. But he was now prepared to obey.

this earnestness is widely different from that noisy, Verse 2. And preach unto it the preaching] N7py blustering, screaming rànt

, that manifests more of the 78%apo nx vekera elh hakkeriah, And cry the cry turbulence of disorderly passions, than of the real inthat I bid thee." Be my herald, and faithfully deliver spired influence of the Spirit of God. my message. The word knpuš in Greek answers to the Verse 3. Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of Hebrew x7p kore : both signifying à crier, a herald, three days' journey.) See on chap. i. 2, Strabo says, a preacher ; one that makes proclamation with a loud lib. xvi., Tolv pritov nu ins Baßvawvoç, “ it was much and earnest cry. Such was John Baptist, Isa. xl. 3 ; larger than Babylon :” and Ninus, the builder, not only such was Jesus Christ, John vii. 18–37 ; and such proposed to make it the largest city of the world, but were all his apostles. And such earnestness becomes the - largest that could be built by man.

See Diodor. a ministry that has to do with immortal souls, asleep | Sic. Bib. ), ii. And as we find, from the lowest comand dead in sin, hanging on the brink of perdition, and putation, that it was at least fifty-four or sixty English insensible of their state. The soft-speaking, gentle. I miles in circumference, it would take the prophet three



The Ninevites repent,


and are saved. 4. M. cir. 3142. word of the LORD. Now Nine-published through Nineveh by A. M. cir. 3142. Ante U. C. 109. veh was exceeding great the decree of the king and his Ante U. C. 109. Alladii Sylvii,

Alladii Sylvii, R. Alban., city, of three days' journey. 8 nobles, saying, Let neither man R. Alban., cir. annum 14.

cir. annum 14. 4 And Jonah began to enter nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any into the city a day's journey, and b he cried, thing : let them not feed, nor drink water : and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall 8 But let man and beast be covered with be overthrown.

sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God : yea, 5 So the people of Nineveh • believed God, let them turn every one from his evil way, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, and from the violence that is in their hands. from the greatest of them even to the least of 9 Who can tell if God will turn and rethem.

pent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, we perish not? and he arose from his throne, and he laid his :10 2 And God saw their works, that they robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, turned from their evil way; and God repentd and sat, in ashes.

ed of the evil, that he had said that he would 7e And he caused it to be proclaimed and do unto them; and he did it not. a Heb. of God; so Gen. xxx. 8; Psa. xxxvi. 6; 1xxx. 10. 1 Heb. said: -- Heb. great men. Isa. Iviii. 6. Li Isa. See Deut. xvii. 62.- Matt. xii. 41; Luke xi. 32. Job lix. 6.- -k 2 Samuel xi. 22; Joel. ii. 14. — Jer. xvu. 8; ii. 8. 2 Chron. xx.3; Joel ii. 15.

Amos vii. 3, 6. days to walk round upon the walls, and announce from Verse 8. Let man and beast be covered] This was them the terrible message, “ Yet forty days, and done that every object which they beheld might deepen Nineveh will be destroyed !**

the impression already made, and cause them to mourn Verse 4. Yet forty days) Both the Septuagint and after a godly sort. Virgil tells us that the mourning Arabic read three days. Probably some early copyist for the death of Julius Cæsar was so general, that the of the Septuagint, from whom our modern editions are callle neither ate nor drank :derived, mistook the Greek numerals i forty for y

Non ulli pastos illis egere diebus three; or put the three days' journey in preaching in

Frigida, Daphni; boxes ad flumina : nulla neque stead of the forty days mentioned in the denunciation. One of Kennicott's MSS., instead of d'yan arbaim, forty, has d'uhin sheloshim; thirty : but the Hebrew

Libavit quadrupes, nec graminis atligit herbam.

Ecl. v. 24. text is undoubtedly the true reading; and it is followed by all the ancient versions, the Septuagint and Vul

“ The swains forgot their sheep, nor near the brink gate excepted. Thus God gives them time to think,

Of running waters brought their herds to drink. reflect, take counsel, and return to him.

Had they

The thirsty catile of themselves abstain'd only three days' space, the denunciation would have so

- From water, and their grassy fare disdain'd."

DRYDEN. completely .confounded them, as to .excite nothing but terror, and prevent repentance and conversion.

And that they sometimes changed or rerersed the - Verse 5. The people of Nineveh believed God) harness and ornaments of cattle, as indicative of They had no doubt that the threatening would be ful- mourning, we have a proof in Virgil's description of filled, unless their speedy conversion prevented it; the funeral procession in honour of Pallas, slain by but, though not expressed, they knew that the threat. Turnus, Æn. xi. ver. 89.: ening was conditional. “ The promises and threaten

Post bellator equus, positis insignibus, Æthon ings of God, which are merely personal, either to any It lacrymans, guttisque humectat grandibus ora. particular man or number of men, are always condi- * Stripp'd of his trappings, and his head declined, tional, because the wisdom of God hath thought fit to make these depend on the behaviour of men.”—Dr.

Æthon, his generous warrior-horsē, behind, S. Clarke's Sermons, vol. i:

Moves with a solemn, slow, majestic pace; Proclaimed a fast] And never was there one so

And the big tears come rolling down his face." general, so deep, and so' essectual. Men and women, Verse 9. Who can tell if God will turn and repent] old and young, high and low, and even the cattle There is at least a peradventure for our salvation. themselves, all kept such a fast as the total abstinence. God may turn towards us, change his purpose, and from food implies.

save us alive. While there is life there is hope ; God Verse 6. Word came unto the king) This, some bras no pleasure in the death of simers; he is grathink, was Pul; others, Sardanapalus his son, king of cious and compassionate. Himself has prescribed Assyria, who flourished in the reign of Jeroboami the repentance ; if we repent, and turn to him from our iniSecond: but it seems more probable that the monarch quities, who knows then whether God will not turn, &c. here alluded to was a king af Assyria contemporary Verse 10. And God', saw their works] They rewith Joash, king of Judah. It was by the decree of pented, and brought fortli fruits meet for repentance ; the king that the fast was instituted, and became works which showed that they did most earnestly general.

repent. He therefore changed his purpose, and the 706

( 45* )


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