[Painting of Nineveh capital of Ashur ca 700 BC]
Nineveh, capital of Ashur ca. 700 BC.

Jonah 1

1. The Lord's revelation was upon Jonah son of Matthew,* saying to him,
2. "Rise and go to Nineveh that great city and preach over it, for their evil acts have risen before me."
3. Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa and found a sail ship bound for Tarshish. He paid his passage and went aboard to go with them to Tarshish, to flee from the Lord.
4. The Lord cast a great spirit over the sea and there was a great hurricane* over the sea, and the boat was almost smashed to pieces.*
5. The sailors* were frightened; every man cried out to his god and they cast the cargo* from the boat into the sea to reduce the weight [of the ship.] Jonah, however, went down to the bottom of the boat and slept.
6. The captain* approached him and said to him, "Get up and call on your god, maybe God will deliver us so we may not go to oblivion."*
7. Then one man said to his companion, "Come, let us cast lots to learn who brought this evil upon us?" So they cast lots and Jonah's lot came up.
8. They asked* him, "Tell* us why did this evil befall us? What did you do? Where are you from? What is your nationality?"*
9. He replied* to them, "Jonah* -- I am Hebrew, I fear the Lord God of heaven, who created the sea and the land."*
10. The men were terribly frightened* and asked* him, "What did you do?" Because they knew this man had run from the Lord.*
11. As he revealed to them everything,* they said to him, "What shall we do to you that the sea may leave us in peace? Because this sea is going to topple over us."
12. Jonah said to them, "Take me and throw me into the sea and the sea will leave you alone,* for I know this great turbulence that has befallen you is on my account."
13. The men struggled to return to land but they could not, because the sea pounded them hard."
14. Then they called on the Lord and said, "Help us, Lord, let us spare this man's soul,* and do not charge us with innocent blood, because you are the Lord and you shall do as you will."
15. Thus they took Jonah and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased its turbulence.*
16. The men, then, became terribly frightened* before the Lord, and they offered* the sacrifices of righteousness to the Lord and gave alms.*
17. Then the Lord provided a great big fish that swallowed Jonah, and Jonah remained in the fish's intestines three days and three nights.

*1:1 Lit. Ar. name: "Mattai."
*1:4.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "turmoil."
*1:4.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Driven back to wreckage."
*1:5.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Navigators," "guiders" or "angels."
*1:5.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Vessels."
*1:6.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Chief of the sailors."
*1:6.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "That we may not be oblivionated (or annihilated.")
*1:8.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Said to him."
*1:8.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Show."
*1:9.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Said to them."
*1:9.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Younan."
*1:9.3 Lit. Ar. id.: "Dry."
*1:9.3 Lit. Ar. id.: "From which you nation?"
*1:10.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And frightened the men they a great fear."
*1:10.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "That from the Lord he had run."
*1:11 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And while he showed them."
*1:12 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Rest from you."
*1:14 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Let us not oblivionate this man's soul."
*1:15 Lit.Ar. idiomatic expression: "The sea rested from its beatings."
*1:16.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Feared a great fear."
*1:16.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Sacrificed."
*1:16.3 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Almed alms."

Jonah 2

1. Jonah prayed before his Lord God, from the intestines of the fish and said,
2. "I called on the Lord in my anguish and sorrow,* I cried out from the belly of Sheol and you heard me.
3. "You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the rivers encircled me, all your waves and breakers beat upon me.*
4. "But I said, let me run* from your sight, because I did not wish to regard your holy temple.*
5. "The waters surrounded me till [I was about to give up] the ghost.* And the netherworld encircled me until my head was utterly confused.
6. "I went down to the bottom of the mountain, and the land forever shut its door on my face.* My life was about to expire, O, my Lord God.*
7. "Then as my soul tormented me, I remembered and came into your holy temple and offered my prayers before you.*
8. "For those who observe empty faiths,* forego* your mercy.
9. "I, however, with the voice of faith* make this sacrifice to you, and what I offer as alms is for the Lord's deliverance."
10. Then the Lord ordered the fish and the fish released Jonah upon the land.

*2:2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Through consternation."
*2:3 Lit. Ar. id.: "Passed over me."
*2:5 Lit. Ar. id.: "Until my breath."
*2:4.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Distance myself."
*2:4.2 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "To accept your holy will."
*2:6.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And the earths took their lockings by my faces to the [end of the] universes.
*2:6.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "And rose my lives from the throes, my Lord God."
*2:7 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "As it whipped my soul to the Lord, I remembered and entered my prayers unto you, to your holy temple."
*2:8.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Fears."
*2:8.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Leave."
*2:9 Lit. Ar. id.: "Religious creed."
*2:10 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And commanded the Lord to the fish and exited him out to the dry."

Jonah 3

1. For two seasons the message* of the Lord came down to Jonah, telling him,
2. "Rise and go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message I shall tell you."
3. Jonah, then, rose and went to Nineveh according to the manifestation of the Lord, and Nineveh was a great city for God; it was a three-day's journey.
4. Jonah began to enter the city on the first day, preaching and saying, "Forty days from now Nineveh will be turned to rubble."*
5. And the Men of Nineveh believed in God; they held* a fast and wore sackcloth, from their great ones to their small ones.
6. The manifestation reached the king of Nineveh. He rose from his throne and removed the crown from his head,* he put on sackcloth and sat in ashes.*
7. They preached and declared in Nineveh, according to the order of the king and his generals, "No human* being, animal, bull or sheep shall taste a thing or graze; they shall not even drink water.
8. "Except both men and animals shall cover themselves with sackcloth and they shall call on God with remorse, and each man shall revert back from his evil ways* and return the plunder that is in his hands.
9. "Who knows, maybe God will change his mind* and be merciful to us,* he may turn back the wrath of his anger and spare* us."
10. And God saw their works, that they repented of their evil ways, then He turned back the wrath of his anger and spared them.*

*3:1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Revelation of mission," or "the explanation of the phenomenon."
*3:4 Lit. Ar. id.:"Shall be turned back."
*3:5 Lit. Ar. id.: "Cast."
*3:6.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Took the crown from him."
*3:6.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Sat on the ash."
*3:7 Lit. Ar. id.: "Child of human."
*3:8 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction retained: "Shall renounce evil."
*3:9.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Return."
*3:9.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression retained: "And no oblivionate us."
*3:10 Lit. Ar. id.: "Did not oblivionate them."

Jonah 4

1. Now, Jonah became truly depressed and utterly despondent.*
2. He knelt and prayed, "O, Lord, was not this my manifestation when I was in my own land? This is why I rose and fled to Tarshish, for I knew you are the God who is merciful, forgiving, patient,* gracious,* and that you shall disregard* this evil.
3. "Therefore, my Lord, take the breath of life away from me,* because I am better* off dead than alive."
4. Then the Lord said to him, "So now you are totally despondent, are you?"
5. Jonah went out of the city and sat on the eastern side of the gate.* He pitched himself a tent and sat under its shade and waited to see what would befall the city.
6. Then the Lord commanded a gourd plant to sprout its bulb and it shot out and climbed above Jonah's head and provided a shade over his head. The shade that it provided him kept him from thinking evil thoughts.* Jonah felt a great joy at [the sight of] the gourd's bulb [over his head.]
7. On the following day, the Lord God commanded the worm at the break of dawn to strike the bulb of the gourd and turn it into ashes.*
8. And as the sun went down, the Lord God commanded the withering spirit and it froze the gourd, and the sun poured [its heat] upon Jonah's head; he was enraged* and asked for death to befall him,* saying, "Reach out your hand, O, Lord, and take [even this] breath* away from me, because I am no better than my ancestors."
9. Then the Lord God said to Jonah, "So are you utterly despondent because of the gourd's withering?"* And Jonah said, "Yes, indeed, I am disappointed unto death."
10. The Lord said to him, "You were lamenting the wilting of the gourd, which you neither planted nor watered, that shot out after nightfall and wilted by the following night?
11. "I, however, should not be remorseful over Nineveh, that great city in which there are more than twelve thousand people, that do not know their right side from their left side, and all those animals too?"

*4:1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "And it became desperation to Jonah, a great desperation and it tightened for him well."
*4:2.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Your spirit extends."
*4:2.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Your grace exceeds."
*4:2.3 Lit. Ar. id.: "Turn back."
*4:3.1 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "Take my soul."
*4:3.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "More liberated."
*4:4 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "You are well shorted out then?"
*4:5 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Sat on the east side of the city."
*4:6 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "The shade that it provided on his head put him on another path from his evil."
*4:7 Lit. Ar. idiom retained: "Burn it," or "make it wither."
*4:8.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Whipped up."
*4:8.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Asked death for his soul."
*4:8.3 Lit. Ar. id.: "Soul."
*4:9 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "So you are miffed by the gourd's bulb wilting?"

posted Feb. 8, 2007

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