Jonah 1

1The Lord spoke to Jonah son of Amittai. The Lord said, 2“Nineveh is a big city. I have heard about the many evil things people are doing there. So go to that city and tell the people to stop doing those bad things.” 3˻Jonah did not want to obey God,˼ so Jonah tried to run away from the Lord. Jonah went to Joppa. Jonah found a boat that was going to the faraway city of Tarshish. Jonah paid money for the trip and went on the boat. Jonah wanted to travel with the people on this boat to Tarshish and run away from the Lord. 4But the Lord brought a great storm on the sea. The wind made the sea very rough. The storm was very strong and the boat was ready to break apart. 5The men wanted to make the boat lighter to stop it from sinking. So they began throwing the cargo into the sea. The sailors were very scared. Each man began praying to his god. Jonah had gone down into the boat to lie down. Jonah was sleeping. 6The captain of the boat saw Jonah and said, “Wake up! Why are you sleeping? Pray to your god! Maybe your god will hear your prayer and save us!” 7Then the men said to each other, “We should throw lots to learn why these troubles are happening to us.” So the men threw lots. The lots showed that the trouble happened because of Jonah. 8Then the men said to Jonah, “It is your fault that this terrible thing is happening to us! So tell us what you have done? What is your job? Where are you coming from? What is your country? Who are your people?” 9Jonah said to the men, “I am a Hebrew ˻(Jew)˼. And I worship the Lord, the God of heaven. He is the God who made the sea and the land.” 10Jonah told the men he was running away from the Lord. The men became very scared when they learned this. The men asked Jonah, “What terrible thing did you do against your God?” 11The wind and the waves of the sea were becoming stronger and stronger. So the men said to Jonah, “What should we do to save ourselves? What should we do to you to make the sea calm?” 12Jonah said to the men, “I know I did wrong—that is why the storm came on the sea. So throw me into the sea, and the sea will become calm.” 13˻But the men did not want to throw Jonah into the sea.˼ The men tried to row the ship back to the shore, but they were not able to. The wind and the waves of the sea were too strong—and they were becoming stronger and stronger! 14So the men cried to the Lord, “Lord, ˻we are throwing this man into the sea because of the bad things he did˼. Please don’t say we are guilty of killing an innocent man. Please don’t make us die for killing him. We know you are the Lord, and you will do whatever you want. ˻But please be kind to us.˼” 15So the men threw Jonah into the sea. The storm stopped—the sea became calm! 16When the men saw this, they began to fear and respect the Lord. The men offered a sacrifice and made special promises to the Lord. 17When Jonah fell into the sea, the Lord chose a very big fish to go and swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the fish’s stomach for three days and three nights.

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