Jonah QA Supplied
Jonah Chapter 4
1And he-was-bad unto Dove [Yonah]: a big bad! And heat was to him! 2And he rolled himself unto Yehovah. And he said, “Ah, Yehovah! Isn’t this my speech unto my being upon my soil? Therefore I anticipated to flee to Tarshish! For I knew that Thou art a Mighty-[One] of favour and wombing, long of noses and multiple of Grace and consolation concerning the bad! 3And now, Yehovah, take, na, my being from me! For my death is better than my life!”
4And Yehovah said, “Is the heat good for thee?”
5And Dove [Yonah] exited from the city. And he sat from the east to the city. And he made a Succah there for himself. And he sat under her in the shadow until he will see what will be in the city.
6And Yehovah Elohim measured a Kikayon-plant. And he ascended from above to Dove [Yonah] to be a shadow upon his head, to rescue him from his bad. And Dove [Yonah] rejoiced a big rejoicing concerning the Kikayon-plant.
7And the Elohim measured a worm at the ascending of the dawn for the next day. And she smote the Kikayon. And he withered. 8And he was as the sunrising of the sun. And Elohim measured a cutting, east wind. And the sun attacked upon the head of Dove [Yonah]. And he made-himself-wilt. And he asked his being to die. And he said, “My death is better than my life!”
9And Elohim said unto Dove [Yonah], “Is the heat good for thee concerning the Kikayon-plant?” And he said, “The heat is good for me unto death!” 10And Yehovah said, “Thou, thou didst have pity upon the Kikayon in which thou didst not labour and did not make big, that was the son of a night. And he perished the son of a night. 11And I, I will not pity over the big city Neenveh in whom there are many more than 120,000 of Adam who did not know between his right to his left, and multiplied cattle?”
I. Frustrated to Death (verses 1-3)
Yehovah’s decision to turn from the destruction of Nineveh was a very bad decision to Yonah. He prayed a detailed prayer to express this. He said, “Ah, Yehovah! Isn’t this my speech unto my being upon my soil?” This is what Yonah told Yehovah while he was still in the Land of Israel.
“Therefore I anticipated to flee to Tarshish!” This is why he fled to Tarshish; he knew in advance that this would occur!
“For I knew that Thou art a Mighty-[One] of favour and wombing…” Yonah knew that this is the type of a Mighty One Yehovah is: He is quick to show favour and to womb—that is, to take one who needs help and consolation, and bring that one to His womb, as in His lap, to console him/her.
“…long of noses…” He doesn’t anger very quickly; He waits a long time to respond in great anger.
“…and multiple of Grace and consolation concerning the bad!” He many times over will demonstrate a very strong zeal on behalf of a person or group to do that person or group much good, and to be consoled Himself concerning the bad He would have done if the person or group hadn’t turned.
“And now, Yehovah, take, na, my being from me! For my death is better than my life!” He wants Yehovah to cause him to die. His death is better than his continuing to live under these circumstances.
1. What was such a big bad to Yonah? Yehovah’s decision to not destroy Nineveh was a big bad: a very destructive and harmful decision on Yehovah’s part.
2. What did Yonah view it this way? Yonah knew that Nineveh will later attack Israel, and will slaughter thousands. Had Yehovah only destroyed Nineveh, Israel would have been safer.
3. What does “And he rolled himself unto Yehovah” mean? This means that he gave the details of his situation and his view in prayer.
4. What does “Ah, Yehovah! Isn’t this my speech unto my being upon my soil” mean? This is more like, “Oh, Yehovah, this is exactly what I said would happen while I was still at home!” This is exactly why Yonah didn’t want to come.
5. What did he mean by, “Therefore I anticipated to flee to Tarshish”? To anticipate is to see, look forward to, or figure something before it occurs. Because Yonah knew the outcome—that Yehovah wouldn’t destroy Nineveh, he fled to Tarshish. He didn’t want to be part of Yehovah’s saving Nineveh.
6. What does “I knew that Thou art a Mighty One of favour” mean? This means that Yehovah is very strong, and He uses His strength to favour folks and groups (who will do good and who will turn from doing bad to doing good).
7. What does “I knew that Thou art a Mighty One of wombing” mean? This means that Yehovah is very strong to take persons or groups who do right and seek consolation from Him, and to console them, as if they were a child who needs to be held very closely and very tightly against the womb—the area where a baby grows. A man and a woman both have an area of the body that the Bible considers the womb area even though only a woman has a womb that can grow a baby.
8. What does “long on noses” mean? Since the nose is what shows anger, being long on noses means that it takes Yehovah a long time before He becomes so angry that He will destroy. He doesn’t become quickly angry in most cases. He gives evil folks and evil groups much time to turn before He finally attacks and destroys them.
9. What does “multiple of Grace” mean? This means that He shows His zeal to benefit persons or groups in many ways and at many times if those persons or groups determine to do right instead of doing wrong.
10. What does “multiple of consolation” mean? This means that Yehovah will do and give what in necessary in many ways and at many times so that persons or groups can stop grieving and to return to normal life with joy (if they will turn to do right).
11. Explain “concerning the bad” in, “For I knew that Thou art a Mighty-[One] of favour and wombing, long of noses and multiple of Grace and consolation concerning the bad”: Yehovah’s strong desires and actions are not to carry out the bad He has determined if folks and groups will only turn to right. He will prove so strong to favour, to womb, to not quickly anger and destroy, to show strong zeal on behalf of these repentant folks, and to console them even after threatening them with terrible destruction (if they will only turn from the destruction that they were doing by sinning against Yehovah).
12. Why does Yonah desire Yehovah to take his being from him now? Yonah now will be viewed as the prophet who saved Nineveh, and who therefore destroyed Israel, one of Nineveh’s soon targets in a war! He wants to die.
13. Is Yonah right when he says, “my death is better than my life”? He feels that way, of course, but Yehovah doesn’t feel that way. Yonah isn’t right; he has important future assignments that will benefit Israel.
14. Do you love your own people as much as Yonah loved his? (Each person will have to answer this question.)
II. The Heated Question (verse 4)
Yehovah asked Yonah one question: “Is the heat good for thee?” Does Yonah benefit himself by being furious?
1. What does heat mean? It means anger. Yonah is very angry with Yehovah.
2. Answer the question: Is anger good (beneficial) for Yonah? It won’t benefit him, because Yehovah won’t turn from the good He is doing toward Nineveh.
III. Camouflage (verse 5)
Yonah went out of the city. He found a place east of the city where he could watch. He constructed a Succah (camouflage) for himself so that he would be hidden under its shadow in order to watch and see what will happen in the city.
1. Why did Yonah exit the city? He went out just in case Yehovah would destroy it. If He did that, Yonah didn’t want to be in the city. His desire to die was only because Yehovah wasn’t destroying the city. Had Yehovah destroyed it, Yonah would have celebrated!
2. Why did he choose to sit to watch the city on its eastern side? I propose that the view of the city was much better there—that there was a place that was high up where he could see the entire city.
3. What is a Succah? The root of the word means camouflage. This is used in order to blend in with the surrounding environment in order to not be easily seen. This way, others who might pass by won’t notice that a person is there. The succah can be part of the person’s dress, or it can be external to the person so that the person can be under it (her).
4. Why did Yonah make a Succah? I can only guess. I am thinking that he did not desire to be approached by folks from Nineveh during this time, since they might want to come to ask the will of Yehovah from Yonah. He wanted to watch the city without being bothered by anyone who might come to him for any reason, including offering him hospitality, after the three days.
5. What produced the shadow under which he sat, and why did he want to sit under a shadow? His camouflage produced part or all of the shadow. (There may have been a tree or a large bush that produced more.) The time of year was very hot, and the sunlight was bright and strong.
6. What does “until he will see what will be in the city” mean? What was he waiting to see? He was waiting to see if the city will be destroyed, or if it will continue as normal.
IV. Kikayon (verse 6)
Now, Yehovah Elohim measured (fitted for size) a plant called in Hebrew Kikayon. The plant must have had very large leaves, since it would provide perfect shade. This plant grew extremely rapidly above Yonah giving Yonah shadow overhead, and to rescue Yonah from his bad (his harm) from the sun. Yonah greatly rejoiced over this Kikayon plant.
1. What is a Kikayon plant? I was not able to find what this was! It is a vine with wide leaves. A squash plant has such leaves. It grows rapidly.
2. Why did Yehovah measure this plant? He determined that it would be a certain size so that it will do its function very well.
3. Who ascended above Yonah? The Kikayon plant did.
4. What service did the Kikayon plant do? It made a shadow upon Yonah’s head, and it rescued him from his bad.
5. What does “to rescue him from his bad” mean? His bad has to do with his feelings and his attitude, as well as the harm that the intense sunlight could do to him while he waited to see if Yehovah will do anything to the city.
If he is rescued from his bad, that means that those things that can harm him won’t be able to harm him. The Kikayon plant brought him joy and relief from the sun.
6. Why was Yonah so happy about the Kikayon plant? It served him well, and kept him from being harmed from the sun; it also provided some cooling. (Plants do that when they have water; they can act as air conditioners out in a field! I found that being under a fig tree was like being under an air conditioner!)
V. Worm and Wind (verses 7-8)
The Elohim next measured a worm as the dawn ascended for the next day. The worm destroyed the Kikayon, and the plant withered.
As the sun rose the next day, Elohim next measured a cutting east wind. The sun beat down on Yonah’s head, and Yonah made himself wilt!
He again asked his being to die. He said, “My death is better than my life!”
1. How fast had the Kikayon plant grown?? It had grown in one day! That is impossible unless Yehovah causes it to occur.
2. Why did Elohim need to measure a worm? That worm had to be big enough to do the work that He gave it to do! That took a big worm to work that fast!
3. What did the worm do? It smote (killed) the Kikayon plant!
4. What happened to that large plant? It withered, since the worm destroyed the water flow by eating through the plant. (Try this: Find a vine that no one planted and that is in a wild area. Cut it at the ground level. See how long it takes the plant to wither.)
5. Who was at the sunrising of the sun? What is being described took place right at sunrise.
6. Why did Elohim measure a cutting, east wind, and what is that? A cutting, east wind is a wind from the east that is very strong and (in this case) very warm. It makes it hard to breathe.
Elohim did this in order to speed up the withering of the plant.
7. What did the sun do on this day? The sun really beat down (“attacked”) upon Yonah’s head.
8. What did Yonah do in response? He made himself wilt as if he were a plant! He didn’t move from his place, but just stayed there in order to die of dehydration!
9. What does “he asked his being to die” mean? This means that he requested his own body and soul to die!
10. Why did he say, “My death is better than my life”? He felt so bad that he had participated in aiding an enemy of Israel!
11. Why did Elohim do this—give him a plant that made him glad, then intentionally send a worm, a terrible wind, and the heat of the sun to destroy the plant and to beat down on Yonah’s head? He used these things to instruct Yonah. (The instruction explanation comes later.)
12. Was Yonah right when he said, “My death is better than my life”? He wasn’t right, but that was the way he felt. He was experiencing self-pity mixed with good loyalty toward Israel.
VI. Having Pity (verses 9-11)
Elohim said to Yonah, “Is the heat good for thee concerning the Kikayon-plant?” That heat is anger. Yonah replied, “The heat is good for me unto death!” Yonah was angry! Yehovah continued, “Thou, thou didst have pity upon the Kikayon in which thou didst not labour and did not make big, that was the son of a night. And he perished the son of a night.” Yehovah then compared Yonah and the Kikayon to Yehovah and some of the folks of Nineveh: “And I, I will not pity over the big city Nineveh in whom there are many more than 120,000 of Adam who did not know between his right to his left, and multiplied cattle?”
1. What did Elohim mean by, “Is the heat good for thee concerning the Kikayon-plant?” The heat is the anger. Elohim is asking Yonah if the anger over the death of the Kikayon plant is good for him.
2. Yonah stated, “The heat is good for me unto death!” Was he right? He wasn’t right. He cared so much for the plant, that he wants to die? That is self-pity and bitterness. He is furious at Elohim, and he isn’t letting go (at this time).
3. What did Elohim mean by, “in which thou didst not labour and did not make big”? Yonah did not do anything to plant or help grow the Kikayon plant.
4. What does “that was the son of a night” mean? This means that the plant lasted just one night!
5. Why did Yonah pity the plant? It had been alive, and it had served Yonah so well. Its death by a worm was cruel, in Yonah’s mind.
6. What does “And he perished the son of a night” mean? This means that it only took one night to completely shrivel it up in death.
7. What does “120,000 of Adam” mean? This means that there are 120,000 humans; they all go back to Adam.
8. What does “who did not know between his right to his left” mean? Most folks that we know will know the difference between their right and their left hands, and will know the right and the left directions. The following are humans who will not know the difference:
- The elderly whose minds have slipped
- The severely mentally retarded
- Those who are totally insane without any moments when they can think straight
The population of the city was so large, that there were 120,000 folks in the above categories!
9. According to verse 11, according to Elohim, what did Yonah desire Him to do or to not do? Yonah desired that Elohim would show no pity on the big city even though it contained that many folks who didn’t even know the difference between a left and right direction and hand. Yonah also desired that Elohim would show no pity on the big city’s cattle.
10. What does this last part show about Elohim? It shows that Elohim will show pity on those who truly know nothing, and those who fear Him must join with Him in showing pity in the same manner.
Those residents of Nineveh had turned from their bad (destruction). Elohim showed them all pity because they turned. He will do the same thing for Israel when Israel finally turns from its bad!
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Original page March 2010 | Updated December 7, 2020