The shade bush (Jon 4:6-4:6)

“Yahweh God

Appointed a bush.

He made it come up

Over Jonah.

Thus,

It might give shade

Over his head.

This would save him

From his discomfort.

So,

Jonah was very happy

About the bush.”

Although Jonah was upset, Yahweh God made a bush come up over Jonah to cover his head from the sun.  This gave him some shade.  Thus, it took away some of his discomfort.  Actually, Jonah was very happy about this bush.

Jonah sits outside the city (Jon 4:5-4:5)

“Then Jonah

Went out of the city.

He sat down

East of the city.

He made a booth

For himself there.

He sat under it

In the shade.

He was waiting

To see

What would become

Of the city.”

Jonah then went outside Nineveh on the east side of the city to see what was going to happen.  He made a tent or a booth to get some shade from the sun.  He sat there awaiting the eventual future of the city of Nineveh.

Jonah wants to die (Jon 4:3-4:3)

“Therefore now,

O Yahweh!

Please take my life

From me!

It is better for me

To die

Than to live!”

Jonah was a little down on himself.  He knew that he had originally refused this mission.  Then he had done it, only to find out that Yahweh had changed his mind about destroying Nineveh.  Now he just wanted to die, since he had no desire to live.  This is a strong suicidal plea.

Jonah’s justifying prayer to Yahweh (Jon 4:2-4:2)

“Jonah prayed

To Yahweh.

He said.

‘O Yahweh!

Is this not what I said

While I was still

In my country?

That is why I fled

To Tarshish

At the beginning.

I knew that

You are a gracious God.

You are merciful.

You are slow to anger.

You are abounding

In steadfast love.

You are ready

To relent from punishing.’”

Jonah in his prayer to Yahweh tried to justify his former actions.  He claimed that Yahweh was so gracious and merciful that he would not have inflicted any damage on Nineveh.  Jonah gave that as his reason for originally trying to flee to Tarshish.  He knew that Yahweh was slow to anger and abounding with steadfast love.  Thus, he knew that Yahweh was eager and ready to not punish the people of Nineveh.

Jonah was not happy (Jon 4:1-4:1)

But this was

Very displeasing

To Jonah.

He became angry.”

Not only did Jonah refuse to take on this mission originally, now he was mad that God had not followed through on his original proclamation.  He looked like a fool, since he went around screaming about the 40 days until Nineveh would be destroyed.  Now, there was to be no destruction.  Jonah was not a happy man.  He was angry.

God saves Nineveh (Jon 3:10-3:10)

“When God saw

What they did,

How they turned

From their evil ways,

God changed his mind

About the calamity

That he had said

He would bring upon them.

Thus,

He did not do it.”

This is one of the few cases where God changing his mind.  God did not bring destruction to Nineveh.  God saw how the people and the leaders of Nineveh had turned from their evil ways.  Thus, he decided not to bring destruction to this non-Israelite town, because of their repentance.  God showed mercy to them.