Jonah refused to warn the people of Nineveh as Yahweh told him to do
1 One day Yahweh said to the prophet Jonah, the son of Amittai, 2 “I have seen how wicked the people of [MTY] the great city of Nineveh are. Therefore go there and warn the people that I am planning to destroy their city because of their sins.” 3 But instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah went in the direction opposite to where Yahweh told him to go. He went down to Joppa city. There he bought a ticket to travel on a ship that was going to Tarshish city, in order to avoid doing what Yahweh told him to do. He got on the ship, and then went down to a lower deck, lay down, and went to sleep.
4 Then Yahweh caused a very strong wind to blow, and there was such a violent storm that the sailors thought the ship would break apart. 5 The sailors were very frightened. Because of that, they each started to pray to their own gods to save them. Then they threw the cargo into the sea to make the ship lighter in order that it would not sink easily.
6 Then the captain went down to where Jonah was sleeping soundly. He awoke him and said to him, “◄How can you sleep during a storm like this?/You should not be sleeping during a storm like this► [RHQ]! Get up and pray to your god! Perhaps he will pity us and save us, in order that we will not drown!” But Jonah refused to do that.
7 Then the sailors said to each other, “We need to ◄cast lots/shake from a container small objects that we have all marked►, to determine who has caused all this trouble!” So they did that, and the object with Jonah's mark fell out of the container. 8 So various ones of them asked him, “Are you the one who has caused us all this trouble?” “What work do you do?” “Where are you coming from?” “What country and what people-group do you belong to?”
9 Jonah replied, “I am a Hebrew. I worship Yahweh God, who lives in heaven. He is the one who made the sea and the land. I am trying to escape from doing what Yahweh told me to do.”
10 After the sailors heard that, they were terrified. So they asked him, “Do you realize what trouble you have caused?”
11 The storm kept getting worse and the waves kept getting bigger. So one of the sailors asked Jonah, “What should we do in order to make the sea become calm?” 12 He replied, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. If you do that, it will become calm. I know that this terrible storm is the result of my not doing what Yahweh told me to do.”
13 But the sailors did not want to do that. Instead, they tried hard to row the ship back to the land. But they could not do that, because the storm continued to get worse. 14 Therefore they prayed to Yahweh, and one of them prayed, “O Yahweh, please do not let us drown because of our causing this man to die. O Yahweh, you have done what you wanted to do. We do not know if this man has sinned. If he has not sinned, do not consider that we are guilty of sinning when we cause him to die!” 15 Then they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea. Then the sea became calm. 16 When that happened, the sailors became greatly awed at Yahweh's power. So they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh, and they strongly promised him that they would do things that would please him.
17 While they were doing that, Yahweh sent a huge fish that swallowed Jonah. Then Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.