Jonah 4
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INTRO 1 2 3 4

Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  But it displeased Yonah exceedingly and he was angry.

א  וַיֵּרַע אֶל יוֹנָה רָעָה גְדוֹלָה וַיִּחַר לוֹ.

2  And he prayed unto Hashem and said: ‘I pray Thee O Hashem was not this my saying when I was yet in mine own country? Therefore I fled beforehand unto Tarshish; for I knew that Thou art a gracious God and compassionate long-suffering and abundant in mercy and repentest Thee of the evil.

ב  וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל יְהוָה וַיֹּאמַר אָנָּה יְהוָה הֲלוֹא זֶה דְבָרִי עַד הֱיוֹתִי עַל אַדְמָתִי עַל כֵּן קִדַּמְתִּי לִבְרֹחַ תַּרְשִׁישָׁה כִּי יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אַתָּה אֵל חַנּוּן וְרַחוּם אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב חֶסֶד וְנִחָם עַל הָרָעָה.

3  Therefore now O Hashem take I beseech Thee my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’

ג  וְעַתָּה יְהוָה קַח נָא אֶת נַפְשִׁי מִמֶּנִּי כִּי טוֹב מוֹתִי מֵחַיָּי.

4  And Hashem said: ‘Art thou greatly angry?’

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה הַהֵיטֵב חָרָה לָךְ.

5  Then Yonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city and there made him a booth and sat under it in the shadow till he might see what would become of the city.

ה  וַיֵּצֵא יוֹנָה מִן הָעִיר וַיֵּשֶׁב מִקֶּדֶם לָעִיר וַיַּעַשׂ לוֹ שָׁם סֻכָּה וַיֵּשֶׁב תַּחְתֶּיהָ בַּצֵּל עַד אֲשֶׁר יִרְאֶה מַה יִּהְיֶה בָּעִיר.

6  And Hashem God prepared a gourd and made it to come up over Yonah that it might be a shadow over his head to deliver him from his evil. So Yonah was exceeding glad because of the gourd.

vai-MAN a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM kee-ka-YON va-YA-al may-AL l’-yo-NAH lih-YOT tzayl al ro-SHO l’-ha-TZEEL lo may-ra-a-TO va-yis-MAKH yo-NAH al ha-ki-ka-YON sim-KHAH g’-do-LAH

ו  וַיְמַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים קִיקָיוֹן וַיַּעַל מֵעַל לְיוֹנָה לִהְיוֹת צֵל עַל רֹאשׁוֹ לְהַצִּיל לוֹ מֵרָעָתוֹ וַיִּשְׂמַח יוֹנָה עַל הַקִּיקָיוֹן שִׂמְחָה גְדוֹלָה.

4:6  And the LORD God prepared a gourd

As Jonah sulks over the Lord’s compassion to those he views as sinners, God prepares for him a large plant, a ‘kikayon,’ to provide Jonah with shade. The identity of this plant has long fascinated commentators. According to some, it is the Castor Oil plant which is common in Israel. The plant has large leaves and grows to a considerable height in a short amount of time, so that a mere plant quickly becomes a small tree, much like Jonah’s ‘kikayon’ which appeared suddenly and provided him with ample shade. The scientific name of this plant is Ricinus Communis. In Egyptian, the plant is called kiki, very similar to the Hebrew word ‘kikayon.’


7  But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day and it smote the gourd that it withered.

ז  וַיְמַן הָאֱלֹהִים תּוֹלַעַת בַּעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר לַמָּחֳרָת וַתַּךְ אֶת הַקִּיקָיוֹן וַיִּיבָשׁ.

8  And it came to pass when the sun arose that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Yonah that he fainted and requested for himself that he might die and said: ‘It is better for me to die than to live.’

ח  וַיְהִי כִּזְרֹחַ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וַיְמַן אֱלֹהִים רוּחַ קָדִים חֲרִישִׁית וַתַּךְ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ עַל רֹאשׁ יוֹנָה וַיִּתְעַלָּף וַיִּשְׁאַל אֶת נַפְשׁוֹ לָמוּת וַיֹּאמֶר טוֹב מוֹתִי מֵחַיָּי.

9  And God said to Yonah: ‘Art thou greatly angry for the gourd?’ And he said: ‘I am greatly angry even unto death.’

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל יוֹנָה הַהֵיטֵב חָרָה לְךָ עַל הַקִּיקָיוֹן וַיֹּאמֶר הֵיטֵב חָרָה לִי עַד מָוֶת.

10  And Hashem said: ‘Thou hast had pity on the gourd for which thou hast not laboured neither madest it grow which came up in a night and perished in a night;

י  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אַתָּה חַסְתָּ עַל הַקִּיקָיוֹן אֲשֶׁר לֹא עָמַלְתָּ בּוֹ וְלֹא גִדַּלְתּוֹ שֶׁבִּן לַיְלָה הָיָה וּבִן לַיְלָה אָבָד.

11  and should not I have pity on Ninveh that great city wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand and also much cattle?’

יא  וַאֲנִי לֹא אָחוּס עַל נִינְוֵה הָעִיר הַגְּדוֹלָה אֲשֶׁר יֶשׁ בָּהּ הַרְבֵּה מִשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה רִבּוֹ אָדָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָדַע בֵּין יְמִינוֹ לִשְׂמֹאלוֹ וּבְהֵמָה רַבָּה.

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Jonah 4