THE PROPHECY OF JONAS
JONAS prophesied in the reign of JEREBOAM the second: as we learn from 4 Kings 14.25. To whom also he foretold his success in restoring all the borders of Israel. He was of GETH OPHER in the tribe of ZABULON, and consequently of GALILEE: which confutes that assertion of the Pharisees, John 7.52, that no prophet ever rose out of GALILEE. He prophesied and prefigured in his own person the death and resurrection of CHRIST: and was the only one among the prophets that was sent to preach to the Gentiles.
Jonas Chapter 1
Jonas being sent to preach in Ninive, fleeth away by sea: a tempest riseth: of which he being found, by lot, to be the cause, is cast into the sea, which thereupon is calmed.
1:1. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonas, the son of Amathi, saying:
1:2. Arise and go to Ninive, the great city, and preach in it: For the wickedness thereof is come up before me.
Nineve. . .The capital city of the Assyrian empire.
1:3. And Jonas rose up to flee into Tharsis from the face of the Lord, and he went down to Joppe, and found a ship going to Tharsis: and he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tharsis from the face of the Lord,
Tharsis. . .Which some take to be Tharsus of Cilicia, others to be Tartessus of Spain, others to be Carthage.
1:4. But the Lord sent a great wind to the sea: and a great tempest was raised in the sea, and the ship was in danger to be broken.
1:5. And the mariners were afraid, and the men cried to their god: and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship, into the sea, to lighten it of them: and Jonas went down into the inner part of the ship, and fell into a deep sleep.
A deep sleep. . .This is a lively image of the insensibility of sinners, fleeing from God, and threatened on every side with his judgments: and yet sleeping as if they were secure.
1:6. And the ship master came to him and said to him: Why art thou fast asleep? rise up call upon thy God, if so be that God will think of us that we may not perish.
1:7. And they said every one to his fellow: Come and let us cast lots, that we may know why this evil is upon us. And they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonas.
1:8. And they said to him: Tell us for what cause this evil is upon us, what is thy business? of what country art thou? and whither goest thou? or of what people art thou?
1:9. And he said to them: I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, and the God of heaven, who made both the sea and the dry land.
1:10. And the men were greatly afraid, and they said to him: Why hast thou done this? (For the men knew that he fled from the face of the Lord: because he had told them.)
1:11. And they said to him: What shall we do with thee, that the sea may be calm to us? for the sea flowed and swelled.
1:12. And he said to them: take me up, and cast me into the sea, and the sea shall be calm to you: for I know for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
1:13. And the men rowed hard to return the land, but they were not able: because the sea tossed and swelled upon them.
1:14. And they cried to the Lord, and said: We beseech thee, O Lord let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, oh Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.
1:15. And they took Jonas, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from raging.
1:16. And the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and sacrificed victims to the Lord, and made vows.