Jonah’s Anger; God’s Reproof. 1 This decision greatly displeased Jonah, and he became very angry. 2 Praying to the Lord, he said, “Lord, isn’t this exactly what I predicted when I was still in my own country? That is why in the beginning I fled to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, who is slow to anger, abounding in mercy, and ready to relent from inflicting punishment. 3 Therefore, Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 The Lord replied, “Do you have any right to be angry?”
5 Then Jonah left Nineveh and walked to the east of the city. After making a booth for himself there, he sat under it in the shade while he waited to see what would happen to the city.
The Last Lesson
6 The Lord God then ordained that a gourd plant should grow up above Jonah to cast shade over his head and relieve his discomfort. Jonah was very happy about this plant.
7 But at dawn the next day, God ordained that a worm should infest the gourd plant, and it withered. 8 Then, when the sun rose, God ordained that a scorching wind should blow from the east. The sun beat down on the head of Jonah to such an extent that he grew faint. Then he begged that he might die, saying, “I would be better off dead than alive.”
9 God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” Jonah replied, “I have every reason to be angry, angry enough to die.”
10 The Lord then said, “You are concerned about the plant, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow. It came into being in one night, and it perished in one night. 11 Therefore, why should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city in which there are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot tell their right hand from their left, as well as innumerable cattle?”