This displeased Jonah greatly, and he was grieved.
He prayed to the LORD, saying, “O LORD! Isn’t this just what I said when I was still in my own country? That is why I fled beforehand to Tarshish. For I know that You are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, renouncing punishment.
Please, LORD, take my life, for I would rather die than live.”
The LORD replied, “Are you that deeply grieved?”
Now Jonah had left the city and found a place east of the city. He made a booth there and sat under it in the shade, until he should see what happened to the city.
The LORD God provided a ricinus plant,aMeaning of Heb. uncertain; others “gourd.” which grew up over Jonah, to provide shade for his head and save him from discomfort. Jonah was very happy about the plant.
But the next day at dawn God provided a worm, which attacked the plant so that it withered.
And when the sun rose, God provided a sultrybMeaning of Heb. uncertain. east wind; the sun beat down on Jonah’s head, and he became faint. He begged for death, saying, “I would rather die than live.”
Then God said to Jonah, “Are you so deeply grieved about the plant?” “Yes,” he replied, “so deeply that I want to die.”
Then the LORD said: “You cared about the plant, which you did not work for and which you did not grow, which appeared overnight and perished overnight.
And should not I care about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not yet know their right hand from their left, and many beasts as well!”cInfants and beasts are not held responsible for their actions.