New International Reader's Version

Jonah 1

Jonah Runs Away From the Lord

1A message from the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai. The Lord said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh. Preach against it. The sins of its people have come to my attention.”

But Jonah ran away from the Lord. He headed for Tarshish. So he went down to the port of Joppa. There he found a ship that was going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went on board. Then he sailed for Tarshish. He was running away from the Lord.

But the Lord sent a strong wind over the Mediterranean Sea. A wild storm came up. It was so wild that the ship was in danger of breaking apart. All the sailors were afraid. Each one cried out to his own god for help. They threw the ship’s contents into the sea. They were trying to make the ship lighter.

But Jonah had gone below deck. There he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went down to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call out to your god for help! Maybe he’ll pay attention to what’s happening to us. Then we won’t die.”

Here is what the sailors said to one another. “Someone is to blame for getting us into all this trouble. Come. Let’s cast lots to find out who it is.” So they did. And Jonah was picked. They asked him, “What terrible thing have you done to bring all this trouble on us? Tell us. What do you do for a living? Where do you come from? What is your country? What people do you belong to?”

He answered, “I’m a Hebrew. I worship the Lord. He is the God of heaven. He made the sea and the dry land.”

10 They found out he was running away from the Lord. That’s because he had told them. Then they became terrified. So they asked him, “How could you do a thing like that?”

11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down?”

12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied. “Then it will become calm. I know it’s my fault that this terrible storm has come on you.”

13 But the men didn’t do what he said. Instead, they did their best to row back to land. But they couldn’t. The sea got even rougher than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord. They prayed, “Please, Lord, don’t let us die for taking this man’s life. After all, he might not be guilty of doing anything wrong. So don’t hold us responsible for killing him. Lord, you always do what you want to.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard. And the stormy sea became calm. 16 The men saw what had happened. Then they began to have great respect for the Lord. They offered a sacrifice to him. And they made promises to him.

Jonah Prays to the Lord

17 Now the Lord sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.

King James Version

Jonah 1

1Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.

12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.

15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.