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Jonah 1:7

7. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

7. Et dixit vir (hoc est, quisque) ad socium suum, Venite et jaciamus sortes, ut sciamus ob quam causam 2222     בשלמי, this is a singular combination, two relatives with two prepositions — “through what — for what.” It is in a more complete form in the next verse, באשר למי; ש in the first instance stands for אשר, what. The first may be rendered consistently with the context, “through whom — for whom:” but the context in the eight verse requires it to be “through what — for what.” — Ed. malum hoc nobis: et jecerunt sortes, et cecidit sors super Jonam.


Jonah did not without reason mention this, — that the passengers consulted together about casting lots; for we hence learn, that it was no ordinary tempest: it appeared then to be a token of God’s wrath. For, if strong wind arose, it would not have been so strange, for such had been often the case; and if a tempest followed, it would not have been a thing unusual. It must then have been something more dreadful, as it filled men’s minds with alarms so that they were conscious that God was present as an avenger: and we know, that it is not common with ungodly men to recognize the vengeance of Gods except in extreme dangers; but when God executes punishment on sins in an unusual manner, then men begin to acknowledge God’s vengeance.

This very thing, Jonah now bears witness to, They said then each to his friend, Come, let us cast lots. Was it not an accustomed thing for them to cast lots whenever a tempest arose? By no means. They had recourse, no doubt, to this expedient, because they knew, that God had not raised up that tempest without some very great and very serious cause. This is one thing: but I cannot now pursue the subjects, I must therefore defer it until tomorrow.

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