Jonah 4

Jonah is angry

1 But Jonah was not happy when God decided not to destroy Nineveh. He became very angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord. He said, ‘Lord, this is what I thought would happen when I was still at home. So I decided to run away to Tarshish, so that you could not be kind to the people of Nineveh. I know that you are a God who is very kind and you forgive people. You do not become angry quickly. You always show your faithful love for people. Even when you have said that you will punish people, you decide that you will not do it. 3 Lord, please kill me now! I would rather die than continue to live.’

4 The Lord replied to Jonah, ‘You are not right to be so angry.’

5 Jonah went out of Nineveh. He built a little hut on the east side of the city. He sat in the shade of the hut. He waited to see what would happen to the city.

4:5Jonah probably used sticks and leaves to build the hut, so that the sun would not burn him.

6 The Lord God made a little plant grow there. He caused it to grow up over Jonah's head to give him shade from the hot sun. This comforted Jonah in his trouble. Jonah was very happy about the plant.

7 But at dawn the next day, God sent a worm to attack the plant. So then the plant died. 8 When the sun rose, God caused a hot wind to blow from the east. The hot sun shone on Jonah's head so that he became very weak. He wanted to die. He said, ‘I would rather die that continue to live.’

9 But God said to Jonah, ‘You are not right to be so angry about the plant.’

Jonah said, ‘I am right to be angry! I am so angry that I want to die.’

10 But the Lord said to Jonah, ‘You are upset about what happened to this little plant. But you did not plant it. You did not help it to grow. It grew up quickly during one night and by the next night it had died. You are sorry about such a little thing! 11 So it is right for me to be sorry about Nineveh. It is a great city. More than 120,000 people live in it. They cannot understand the difference between what is right and what is wrong. They also have many farm animals.’