1:8 They said to him, “Tell us, whose fault is it that this disaster has overtaken us? 1 What’s your occupation? Where do you come from? What’s your country? And who are your people?” 2 1:9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew! And I worship 3 the Lord, 4 the God of heaven, 5 who made the sea and the dry land.” 1:10 Hearing this, 6 the men became even more afraid 7 and said to him, “What have you done?” (The men said this because they knew that he was trying to escape 8 from the Lord, 9 because he had previously told them. 10 ) 1:11 Because the storm was growing worse and worse, 11 they said to him, “What should we do to you to make 12 the sea calm down 13 for us?” 1:12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea to make the sea quiet down, 14 because I know it’s my fault you are in this severe storm.”
[1:8] sn Whose fault…What’s…Where…What’s… The questions delivered in rapid succession in this verse indicate the sailors’ urgency to learn quickly the reason for the unusual storm.
[1:9] 3 tn Or “fear.” The verb יָרֵא (yare’) has a broad range of meanings, including “to fear, to worship, to revere, to respect” (BDB 431 s.v.). When God is the object, it normally means “to fear” (leading to obedience; BDB 431 s.v. 1) or “to worship” (= to stand in awe of; BDB 431 s.v. 2). Because the fear of God leads to wisdom and obedience, that is probably not the sense here. Instead Jonah professes to be a loyal Yahwist – in contrast to the pagan Phoenician sailors who worshiped false gods, he worshiped the one true God. Unfortunately his worship of the
[1:9] 4 tn Heb “The
[1:9] sn The word fear appears in v. 5, here in v. 9, and later in vv. 10 and 16. Except for this use in v. 9, every other use describes the sailors’ response (emotional fear prompting physical actions) to the storm or to the
[1:9] 5 tn Heb “the God of the heavens.” The noun שָׁמַיִם (shamayim, “heavens”) always appears in the dual form. Although the dual form sometimes refers to things that exist in pairs, the dual is often used to refer to geographical locations, e.g., יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (yÿrushalayim, “Jerusalem”), אֶפְרַיִם (’efrayim, “Ephraim”), and מִצְרַיִם (mitsrayim, “Egypt,” but see IBHS 118 §7.3d). The dual form of שָׁמַיִם does not refer to two different kinds of heavens or to two levels of heaven; it simply refers to “heaven” as a location – the dwelling place of God. Jonah’s point is that he worships the High God of heaven – the one enthroned over all creation.
[1:10] 6 tn Heb “Then the men feared…” The vav-consecutive describes the consequence of Jonah’s statement. The phrase “Hearing this” does not appear in the Hebrew text but is supplied in the translation for the sake of clarity.
[1:10] 7 tn Heb “The men feared a great fear.” The cognate accusative construction using the verb יָרֵא (yare’, “to fear”) and the noun יִרְאָה (yir’ah, “fear”) from the same root (ירא, yr’) emphasizes the sailors’ escalating fright: “they became very afraid” (see IBHS 167 §10.2.1g).
[1:10] 9 sn The first two times that Jonah is said to be running away from the
[1:11] 11 tn Heb “the sea was walking and storming.” The two participles הוֹלֵךְ וְסֹעֵר (holekh vÿso’er, “walking and storming”) form an idiom that means “the storm was growing worse and worse.” When the participle הוֹלֵךְ precedes another participle with vav, it often denotes the idea of “growing, increasing” (BDB 233 s.v. הָלַךְ 4.d; e.g., Exod 19:19; 1 Sam 2:26; 2 Sam 3:1; 15:12; 2 Chr 17:12; Esth 9:4; Prov 4:18; Eccl 1:6). For example, “the power of David grew stronger and stronger (הֹלֵךְ וְחָזֵק, holek vÿkhazeq; “was walking and becoming strong”), while the dynasty of Saul grew weaker and weaker (הֹלְכִים וְדַלִּים, holÿkhim vÿdallim; “was walking and becoming weak”)” (2 Sam 3:1; see IBHS 625-26 §37.6d).
[1:11] 12 tn The vav-consecutive prefixed to the imperfect/prefixed conjugation verb וְיִשְׁתֹּק (vÿyishtoq, “to quiet”) denotes purpose/result (see IBHS 638-40 §38.3), translated here by the English infinitive.