TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Jonah 1

1The word of Hashem came to Yona son of Amitai:

אוַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה אֶל־יוֹנָה בֶן־אֲמִתַּי לֵאמֹר׃

2Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim judgment upon it; for their wickedness has come before Me.

בקוּם לֵךְ אֶל־נִינְוֵה הָעִיר הַגְּדוֹלָה וּקְרָא עָלֶיהָ כִּי־עָלְתָה רָעָתָם לְפָנָי׃

3Yona, however, started out to flee to Tarshish from Hashem's service. He went down to Yaffo and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went aboard to sail with the others to Tarshish, away from the service of Hashem.

va-YA-kom yo-NAH liv-RO-akh tar-SHEE-shah mi-lif-NAY a-do-NAI va-YAY-red ya-FO va-yim-TZA o-ni-YAH ba-AH tar-SHEESH va-yi-TAYN s'-kha-RAH va-YAY-red BAH la-VO i-ma-HEM tar-SHEE-shah mi-lif-NAY a-do-NAI

גוַיָּקָם יוֹנָה לִבְרֹחַ תַּרְשִׁישָׁה מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיֵּרֶד יָפוֹ וַיִּמְצָא אָנִיָּה בָּאָה תַרְשִׁישׁ וַיִּתֵּן שְׂכָרָהּ וַיֵּרֶד בָּהּ לָבוֹא עִמָּהֶם תַּרְשִׁישָׁה מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה׃

 1:3  Yona, however, started out to flee to Tarshish from Hashem’s service

How could Yona even entertain the possibility that he could flee from God? Doesn’t Hashem’s providence and dominion extend over all the earth? Many commentators, such as Rashi, Radak, Malbim, and others explain that while Yona knew that Hashem’s rule extends everywhere, the highest level of spiritual consciousness, necessary for direct prophetic communication, is possible only in the Holy Land. By leaving Eretz Yisrael, Yona thought that he had managed to disqualify himself from receiving future prophecies, and that Hashem would have to turn to another prophet to deliver His message.

4But Hashem cast a mighty wind upon the sea, and such a great tempest came upon the sea that the ship was in danger of breaking up.

דוַיהֹוָה הֵטִיל רוּחַ־גְּדוֹלָה אֶל־הַיָּם וַיְהִי סַעַר־גָּדוֹל בַּיָּם וְהָאֳנִיָּה חִשְּׁבָה לְהִשָּׁבֵר׃

5In their fright, the sailors cried out, each to his own god; and they flung the ship's cargo overboard to make it lighter for them. Yona, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold of the vessel where he lay down and fell asleep.

הוַיִּירְאוּ הַמַּלָּחִים וַיִּזְעֲקוּ אִישׁ אֶל־אֱלֹהָיו וַיָּטִלוּ אֶת־הַכֵּלִים אֲשֶׁר בָּאֳנִיָּה אֶל־הַיָּם לְהָקֵל מֵעֲלֵיהֶם וְיוֹנָה יָרַד אֶל־יַרְכְּתֵי הַסְּפִינָה וַיִּשְׁכַּב וַיֵּרָדַם׃

6The captain went over to him and cried out, “How can you be sleeping so soundly! Up, call upon your god! Perhaps the god will be kind to us and we will not perish.”

ווַיִּקְרַב אֵלָיו רַב הַחֹבֵל וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מַה־לְּךָ נִרְדָּם קוּם קְרָא אֶל־אֱלֹהֶיךָ אוּלַי יִתְעַשֵּׁת הָאֱלֹהִים לָנוּ וְלֹא נֹאבֵד׃

7The men said to one another, “Let us cast lots and find out on whose account this misfortune has come upon us.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Yona.

זוַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ לְכוּ וְנַפִּילָה גוֹרָלוֹת וְנֵדְעָה בְּשֶׁלְּמִי הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת לָנוּ וַיַּפִּלוּ גּוֹרָלוֹת וַיִּפֹּל הַגּוֹרָל עַל־יוֹנָה׃

8They said to him, “Tell us, you who have brought this misfortune upon us, what is your business? Where have you come from? What is your country, and of what people are you?”

חוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הַגִּידָה־נָּא לָנוּ בַּאֲשֶׁר לְמִי־הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת לָנוּ מַה־מְּלַאכְתְּךָ וּמֵאַיִן תָּבוֹא מָה אַרְצֶךָ וְאֵי־מִזֶּה עַם אָתָּה׃

9“I am a Hebrew,” he replied. “I worship Hashem, the God of Heaven, who made both sea and land.”

טוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם עִבְרִי אָנֹכִי וְאֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם אֲנִי יָרֵא אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה אֶת־הַיָּם וְאֶת־הַיַּבָּשָׁה׃

10The men were greatly terrified, and they asked him, “What have you done?” And when the men learned that he was fleeing from the service of Hashem—for so he told them—

יוַיִּירְאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים יִרְאָה גְדוֹלָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו מַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ כִּי־יָדְעוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים כִּי־מִלִּפְנֵי יְהֹוָה הוּא בֹרֵחַ כִּי הִגִּיד לָהֶם׃

11they said to him, “What must we do to you to make the sea calm around us?” For the sea was growing more and more stormy.

יאוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו מַה־נַּעֲשֶׂה לָּךְ וְיִשְׁתֹּק הַיָּם מֵעָלֵינוּ כִּי הַיָּם הוֹלֵךְ וְסֹעֵר׃

12He answered, “Heave me overboard, and the sea will calm down for you; for I know that this terrible storm came upon you on my account.”

יבוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם שָׂאוּנִי וַהֲטִילֻנִי אֶל־הַיָּם וְיִשְׁתֹּק הַיָּם מֵעֲלֵיכֶם כִּי יוֹדֵעַ אָנִי כִּי בְשֶׁלִּי הַסַּעַר הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה עֲלֵיכֶם׃

13Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to regain the shore, but they could not, for the sea was growing more and more stormy about them.

יגוַיַּחְתְּרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים לְהָשִׁיב אֶל־הַיַּבָּשָׁה וְלֹא יָכֹלוּ כִּי הַיָּם הוֹלֵךְ וְסֹעֵר עֲלֵיהֶם׃

14Then they cried out to Hashem: “Oh, please, Hashem, do not let us perish on account of this man's life. Do not hold us guilty of killing an innocent person! For You, Hashem, by Your will, have brought this about.”

ידוַיִּקְרְאוּ אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אָנָּה יְהֹוָה אַל־נָא נֹאבְדָה בְּנֶפֶשׁ הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה וְאַל־תִּתֵּן עָלֵינוּ דָּם נָקִיא כִּי־אַתָּה יְהֹוָה כַּאֲשֶׁר חָפַצְתָּ עָשִׂיתָ׃

15And they heaved Yona overboard, and the sea stopped raging.

טווַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־יוֹנָה וַיְטִלֻהוּ אֶל־הַיָּם וַיַּעֲמֹד הַיָּם מִזַּעְפּוֹ׃

16The men feared Hashem greatly; they offered a sacrifice to Hashem and they made vows.

טזוַיִּירְאוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים יִרְאָה גְדוֹלָה אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיִּזְבְּחוּ־זֶבַח לַיהֹוָה וַיִּדְּרוּ נְדָרִים׃