"To flee, to refuse to stand before God, means, then to evade an essential uncertainty. From this unbearable place, Jonah flees into a compulsive knowingness. He always already knows, there is nothing, therefore, that can surprise him, throw him back into that uncertainty from which he flees. Even as Jonah asks the sailors to kill him, he speaks of his knowledge "for I know that because of me --b'sheli-- this great storm has come upon you" (Jon. 1:12) His knowledge is accurate --the storm is entirely about him: b'sheli, it is his storm. But his knowledge leads him unequivocally to death, as though that were the only possible conclusion. This is knowledge to die by, not to live by. That the storm may abate if he does what God has commanded him-- if he stops fleeing, if he stands and cries-- this has no place in his idiom of knowledge. .....We remember, too, how he later professes his knowledge of God's ways: 'I knew that You are a compassionate and gracious God.' Jonah wears his knowledge with bitterness and cryptic rage, to justify his flight and his death.
In such a condition, knowingness acts as camouflage for fear. A dangerous world between life and death makes him cling to his certainties."
Aviva Zornberg, The Murmuring Deep, pp. 89 and 90.