- καὶ ἐλυπήθη Ιωνας λύπην μεγάλην καὶ συνεχύθη.
καὶ ἐλυπήθη Ιωνας λύπην μεγάλην. λυπεῖν can mean “grieve, cause grief; be distressed; displease,
be displeased.” The Hebrew verb רעע in the qal form means “be displeasing; be injurious, evil.” The
Greek term then probably carries the sense of displeasure. This is probably confirmed by the meaning of the following verb. Plato uses the verb + cognate construction to refer to a deep sorrow or grief. The Hebrew places the noun רעה (λύπην) as the subject and “Jonah” is in a prepositional phrase, i.e., “a great displeasure was displeasing for Jonah.” The LXX transforms the syntax. Usually
κακία /κακά is the translation of רעה. .
καὶ συνεχύθη. συγχέω means “throw into confusion, disturb composure.” The Hebrew expression is
ויחר לו is an impersonal structure presuming אף as the implied subject and signifying that “[anger] was kindled for him.” G creates an aorist passive with the sense – “and he was disturbed.
- καὶ προσηύξατο πρὸς κύριον καὶ εἶπεν Ὦ κύριε, οὐχ οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι μου ἔτι ὄντος μου ἐν τῇ γῇ μου; Διὰ τοῦτο προέφθασα τοῦ φυγεῖν εἰς Θαρσις, διότι ἔγνων ὅτι σὺ ἐλεήμων καὶ οἰκτίρμων, μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος καὶ μετανοῶν ἐπὶ ταῖς κακίαις.
καὶ προσηύξατο πρὸς κύριον καὶ εἶπεν. This follows the Hebrew text closely. Notice that prayer is the means by which Jonah deals with his confusion and displeasure over God’s action. Presumably the three days have passed and Nineveh still stands.
Ὦ κύριε, οὐχ οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι μου. The vocative with the particle ὦ communicates emotion and this represents well the Hebrew אנה יהוה, i.e., marks a strong entreaty (cf. Ex. 32.31; Jon. 1.14). The interrogative οὐχ anticipates a positive response. The Hebrew has the singular “this my message”, whereas LXX has the plural. This is a verbless clause. What is the subject in the Greek text?
ἔτι ὄντος μου ἐν τῇ γῇ μου. The translator chooses a genitive absolute construction with a temporal sense to render the Hebrew preposition + construct infinitive + pronominal suffix. In 1.8 the Hebrew text read ארץ and it was rendered with χῶρα; but here we have אדמה rendered as γῆ. The sense is the same.
Διὰ τοῦτο προέφθασα τοῦ φυγεῖν εἰς Θαρσις. For one of its meanings προφθαίνω signifies “to anticipate, have the foresight” and thus take some preventive action. Perhaps we might say today
“Therefore I took the initiative to flee to Tarshish.” The Hebrew text has a very similar structure –main verb completed by an infinitive. εἰς Θαρσις renders תרשישה which ends with the ה-locale, a particle that indicates direction.
διότι ἔγνων ὅτι. The initial particle כי can mark a causal (ὄτι) or explanatory (γάρ) clause. The translator chooses a causal conjunction διότι. Then he marks the indirect discourse with ὅτι (כי).
σὺ ἐλεήμων καὶ οἰκτίρμων, μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος. This declaration is a key part of the covenant framework in Ex. 34.6 κύριος κύριος ὁ θεὸς οἰκτίρμων καὶ ἐλεήμων, μακρόθυμος καὶ
πολυέλεος καὶ ἀληθινός (יהוה יהוה אל רחום וחנון ארך אפים ורב־חסד ואמת). See also Joel 2.13 and
Prayer of Manasseh 7 (Ode 12 in Rahlfs). Distinguishing clearly the semantic difference among these terms is a challenge. The first two speak of mercy and clemency; the last two express patience. The Hebrew order is אל־חנון ורחום ארך אפם ורב־חסד which is slightly different than Ex 34.6, but the translator seems to recognize this. Does the translator omit אל or does he think it is expressed in the ἐλεήμων and the latter part reflects חנון, in other words it reads as a rough transliteration, but also translation? Many Greek mss add ει θεος, but this is probably a revision towards the Hebrew text.
καὶ μετανοῶν ἐπὶ ταῖς κακίαις. This terminology occurs in 3.10 (as well as Joel 2.13). The only difference is the object of the preposition is plural, not singular, giving it a more generic sense. The
Hebrew text is singular. So does the Hebrew text refer to this specific judgment against Nineveh
(“and you would change your mind about this calamity”) or is it more generic also?
- καὶ νῦν, δέσποτα κύριε, λάβε τὴν ψυχήν μου ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι καλὸν τὸ ἀποθανεῖν με ἢ ζῆν με.
καὶ νῦν, δέσποτα κύριε. The translation adds δέσποτα which sometimes renders אדוני. It is in some sense a duplication of the meaning of κύριε, which here functions as a proper name. The meaning might be “Lord Kyrie.” It is vocative, specifying the subject of the following imperative.
λάβε τὴν ψυχήν μου ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ. Attached to the Hebrew imperative is the particle נא, which marks the imperative as an entreaty. In this text ψυχή probably means physical life, rather than referencing the immaterial soul. This appeal is also made by Elijah in 3 Reigns 19.4 – a prophet similarly questioning Yahweh’s purposes.
ὅτι καλὸν τὸ ἀποθανεῖν με ἢ ζῆν με. The ὅτι probably is causal reflecting the Hebrew כי. This is a verbless clause in which the articulated infinitive functions as the subject. We might translate “it is better for me to die than for me to keep living.” The two accusative pronouns are the subjects of the infinitives. The first infinitive is second aorist and the second is present. What might aspect suggest as to why the translator varies the tense-form here? In these kinds of comparative structures the positive form of the adjective καλός has a comparative sense (better). It is neuter nominative in form because it is a predicate adjective modifying the neuter singular verbal noun.
- καὶ εἶπε κύριος πρὸς Ιωναν Εἰ σφόδρα λελύπησαι σύ;
καὶ εἶπε κύριος πρὸς Ιωναν. The LXX adds πρὸς Ιωναν. This fuller expression occurs in the Hebrew and Greek texts of v. 9.
Εἰ σφόδρα λελύπησαι σύ. The conjunction εἰ can mark direct and indirect questions (see 3.9). It can mean “is it the case, whether.” The Hebrew text begins with the particle ה marking a question. The second word is the hiphil infinitive absolute היטיב which in this context probably has an ethical sense, i.e., “is it right for you to be angry/displeased?” σφόδρα is an adverb that expresses some idea of intensity, i.e., very very much, thoroughly, etc. The construction הרה לך occurred in 4.1b which the translator rendered as συνεχύθη. The same expression occurs in 4.9 and is rendered similarly. The verb λελύπησαι is perfect passive second person singular. What does the perfect tense-form contribute to the meaning of this verb in this context? The same tense-form occurs twice in v. 9. The personal pronoun in Greek has an emphatic sense, which the prepositional construction לך does not necessarily project.
- καὶ ἐξῆλθεν Ιωνας ἐκ τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἀπέναντι τῆς πόλεως· καὶ ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ ἐκεῖ σκηνὴν καὶ ἐκάθητο ὑποκάτω αὐτῆς ἐν σκιᾷ, ἕως οὗ ἀπίδῃ τί ἔσται τῇ πόλει.
καὶ ἐξῆλθεν Ιωνας ἐκ τῆς πόλεως. The translator represents the Hebrew text with fidelity.
καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἀπέναντι τῆς πόλεως. The Hebrew term מקדם means “eastward.” The translator employs a more generic term ἀπέναντι meaning “facing, opposite,” as an improper preposition with the genitive. καθίζω means “seat oneself.”
καὶ ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ ἐκεῖ σκηνὴν. σκηνή renders the Hebrew noun סכה which means “booth, temporary shelter.” These are good equivalents. The reflexive pronoun is a Greek accommodation because Hebrew does not have such a form.
καὶ ἐκάθητο ὑποκάτω αὐτῆς ἐν σκιᾷ. The verb καθήμαι means “be seated, remain seated,” suggesting a state or condition. The pronoun αὐτῆς refers back to σκηνή. ἐν σκιᾷ renders the prepositional phrase בצל, in which the head noun means “shadow, shade.”
ἕως οὗ ἀπίδῃ τί ἔσται τῇ πόλει. A temporal relative clause introduced by the prepositional phrase ἕως οὗ “until such time as….” ἀφοράω means “to have in view, to look at (with some sense of exclusion).” The second aorist 3 p.sg. subject is used here with a sense of contingency. The indirect question literally means “what shall belong to/be for this city.” The Hebrew expression היה ב can mean “what might come upon the city” with reference to blessing or judgment. The article is anaphoric.
- καὶ προσέταξε κύριος ὁ θεὸς κολοκύνθῃ, καὶ ἀνέβη ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς τοῦ Ιωνα τοῦ εἶναι σκιὰν ὑπεράνω τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ τοῦ σκιάζειν αὐτῷ ἀπὸ τῶν κακῶν αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἐχάρη Ιωνας ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ χαρὰν μεγάλην.
καὶ προσέταξε κύριος ὁ θεὸς κολοκύνθῃ. Compare the parallel clause at 2.1. The translation reflects the double name of the deity which the Hebrew text has. How do we render this? “Kyrios, the God”? κολοκύνθη describes a “round gourd.” The Hebrew term קיקיון describes some kind of plant, but we are not sure exactly which one. BDB indicates “castor-oil tree.” Compare Elijah’s experience in 3 Reigns 19.4 (broom bush ὑπὸ ραθμ ἕν רתם אחת).
καὶ ἀνέβη ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς τοῦ Ιωνα. The Hebrew text does not have the term “head” but rather has an adverbial expression followed by a prepositional phrase with יונה as the head noun (מעל ליונה). The translator seeks presumably to create parallelism with the following clause.
τοῦ εἶναι σκιὰν ὑπεράνω τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ. The Hebrew text has two sequential infinitival clauses, both marked by ל + an infinitive construct. The translator replicates these with two articulated infinitives. The genitive article probably signals purpose here. The improper preposition ὑπεράνω better reflects the previous מעל rather than the simple על preposition.
τοῦ σκιάζειν αὐτῷ ἀπὸ τῶν κακῶν αὐτοῦ. The Hebrew text reads the verbal infinitive הציל which is from the root נצל which in the hiphil form means “to deliver.” Given the use of the noun צל (shade) earlier, the translator seems to interpret the verb as a form of צלל with the sense “cause shade” and so renders it as σκιάζειν, a causative form meaning “to cast a shadow, to provide protective shade.” The Hebrew text again uses the noun רעה found in v.2 and rendered as κακία with God as the subject. The translator chooses the substantival adjective κακῶν (gen. pl.) in this context, perhaps with the sense “his calamaties, misfortunes, troubles” (referencing discomfort from the hot sun). καὶ ἐχάρη Ιωνας ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ χαρὰν μεγάλην. We note again the use of the verb and cognate accusative structure, which reflects the Hebrew structure.
- καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς σκώληκι ἑωθινῇ τῇ ἐπαύριον, καὶ ἐπάταξε τὴν κολόκυνθαν, καὶ ἀπεξηράνθη.
καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς σκώληκι ἑωθινῇ τῇ ἐπαύριον. Note that the translator uses the same lexemes and idioms as he did at v.6. Many texts add κύριος. This parallelism emphasizes one of the key characteristics of God as sovereign in his creation. The Hebrew term תולעת means “worm, grub” and σκώληξ is a good equivalent (see Ex. 16.20). It is modified by the adjective ἑωθινός (“daybreak, of very early morning”) (see Ex 14.24). Perhaps the sense is “a worm active in the early morning.” The Hebrew expression incorporates two nouns in a bound construction בעלות השׂחר (“in the ascending of the dawn”). The translator adds a second modifier, adjectivizing the adverb by using the article, i.e., “on the morrow.” Or, alternatively, it could be a dative of time, modifying the verb, with the article used to signal case with the indeclinable adverb. The adverb does not need the article in order to define the time context, so I think the first option is probably the correct interpretation.
καὶ ἐπάταξε τὴν κολόκυνθαν. The hiphil ותך means “and it struck fatally.” πατάσσω is a default equivalent. Notice the different accent and vowel ending for this noun in this context in contrast with v.6.
καὶ ἀπεξηράνθη. And the aorist passive is interesting, i.e., “it was withered up, it became withered.” The Hebrew verb means “it dried up,” with a masculine pronominal formation indicating the gourd is the subject.
- καὶ ἐγένετο ἅμα τῷ ἀνατεῖλαι τὸν ἥλιον καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς πνεύματι καύσωνος συγκαίοντι, καὶ ἐπάταξεν ὁ ἥλιος ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν Ιωνα· καὶ ὠλιγοψύχησε καὶ ἀπελέγετο τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπε Καλὸν ἀποθανεῖν με ἢ ζῆν.
καὶ ἐγένετο ἅμα τῷ ἀνατεῖλαι τὸν ἥλιον. The Hebrew construction ויהי + preposition + infinitive, followed by a pleonastic waw, construction is common and often marks a temporal transition, i.e., “and it happened as the sun arose that….” Greek idiom has nothing comparable and so we see Hebrew influence in this Greek syntax. ἅμα + dative has the sense “immediately (in time).” Here it marks the articulated aorist infinitive ἀνατεῖλαι, with the accusative noun functioning as its subject. The Hebrew infinitive is from the verb זרח “to rise” often used with the sun.
καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς πνεύματι καύσωνος συγκαίοντι. אלהים as no article in the Hebrew text. Same idiom as in v. 7. πνεῦμα here means “wind.” The genitive noun καύσωνος refers to a “hot wind” (see Isaiah 49.10; Hos 13.15). The Hebrew text has the adjective קדים which refers to an “east wind.” συγκαίω means “to burn, blaze” and here is an attributive participle modifying πνεύματι. So we have the sense “a blazing wind of hot wind.” It is unclear what the Hebrew term חרישית means. It is only found in this context. We do not know whether the translator guesses at the meaning or in fact knows what the term means and has translated correctly.
καὶ ἐπάταξεν ὁ ἥλιος ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν Ιωνα. No surprises here. The translator uses his normal defaults.
καὶ ὠλιγοψύχησε. A rare term in classical Greek writers, but frequent in the papyri. It describes physical or moral exhaustion as in Ex. 6.9. The Hebrew term ויתעלף means “enwrap oneself” according to BDB (see Amos 8.13), which NIV interprets as “grew faint.”
καὶ ἀπελέγετο τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ. The middle form of ἀπολέγω means “give up on, renounce” according to Muraoka (GELS, 78). Notice the imperfect tense-form. Plutarch De communibus notitiis adversus Stoicos 1060 D.2 used the expression καὶ τὸν βίον ἀπολέγεσθαι several centuries later, but it can be found in earlier, fourth century BCE writers also. The Hebrew text reads וישאל “and he asked for,” in the sense of a prayer for death, confirmed by the infinitive למות “to die,” omitted by the Greek translator or else bound up on the verb ἀπολέγομαι. See v… 3.
καὶ εἶπε Καλὸν ἀποθανεῖν με ἢ ζῆν. The Hebrew text here is exactly the same as in his prayer in v. 3. The only difference in the Greek text is the omission of the second με apparently. A number of Greek texts do add it.
- καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Ιωναν Εἰ σφόδρα λελύπησαι σὺ ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ; καὶ εἶπε Σφόδρα λελύπημαι ἐγὼ ἕως θανάτου.
καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Ιωναν. The Hebrew text reads אלהים without any article.
Εἰ σφόδρα λελύπησαι σὺ ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ. The Hebrew text is the same as in 4.4 and the Greek translation follows suit. The direct question, in this occasion, specifies the reason or motivation for Jonah’s displeasure with the prepositional phrase. Notice that the noun here reverts to the form it has in the first instance (v.6).
καὶ εἶπε Σφόδρα λελύπημαι ἐγὼ ἕως θανάτου. The same defaults occur here. The extremity of his displeasure is measured in the final prepositional phrase ἕως θανάτου (עד־מות). He is so displeased that death seems the best option. Notice similar language in Mark 14.34. See λυπέω…περιλύπος in Gen. 4:5-6.
- καὶ εἶπε κύριος Σὺ ἐφείσω ὑπὲρ τῆς κολοκύνθης, ὑπὲρ ἧς οὐκ ἐκακοπάθησας ἐπ’ αὐτὴν καὶ οὐκ ἐξέθρεψας αὐτὴν, ἣ ὑπὸ νύκτα ἐγενήθη καὶ ὑπὸ νύκτα ἀπώλετο.
καὶ εἶπε κύριος. Usual defaults. Why does the original author switch to יהוה to define the subject?
Σὺ ἐφείσω ὑπὲρ τῆς κολοκύνθης. The Hebrew verb חוס means “show pity, have pity.” The translator’s rendering is quite appropriate. The form is aorist, 2nd p.s. middle (φείδομαι) – “you showed/had pity.” In v. 9 Jonah’s distress is ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ. Here he employs a different preposition, even though the Hebrew text is the same. What might be the difference in meaning? Or is it a matter of idiom, i.e., this Greek verb more usually is completed by a ὑπέρ phrase? The LXX uses various prepositions with this verb.
ὑπὲρ ἧς οὐκ ἐκακοπάθησας ἐπ’ αὐτὴν. This is followed by a relative clause, which picks up the ὑπέρ term. The Hebrew verb is עמל which means “to work, labour.” So Jonah has expended no labour over this gourd. In the Greek translation κακοπαθέω means “to strain oneself, to suffer difficulties/misfortune; to endure evil.” Perhaps here the sense of “to experience difficulties, endured trouble.” So the meaning of the Greek text is perhaps a bit different, i.e., Jonah has endured no trouble/suffered no difficulties regarding this gourd.” Notice the different Greek preposition ἐπ’ αὐτὴν (“in reference to it”).
καὶ οὐκ ἐξέθρεψας αὐτὴν. The second part of the relative clause asserts that Jonah “did not nourish it,” i.e., take any pains to tend to its care. The Hebrew verb גדלתו means “cause it to grow,” being piel. Again there is a slight change in sense.
ἣ ὑπὸ νύκτα ἐγενήθη καὶ ὑπὸ νύκτα ἀπώλετο. A second relative clause describes the way the gourd grew and then died. The Hebrew relative clause is introduced with the particle שׁ. It is attached to the noun בן “which is the son of a night,” a Hebrew idiom. The translator renders it with a Greek idiom, i.e., “during a night, in the course of a night.” Is the speed of growth and death extraordinary, given God’s interventions?
- ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ φείσομαι ὑπὲρ Νινευη τῆς πόλεως τῆς μεγάλης, ἐν ᾖ κατοικοῦσι πλείους ἢ δώδεκα μυριάδες ἀνθρώπων, οἵτινες οὐκ ἔγνωσαν δεξιὰν αὐτῶν ἢ ἀριστερὰν αὐτῶν, καὶ κτήνη πολλά;
ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ φείσομαι ὑπὲρ Νινευη τῆς πόλεως τῆς μεγάλης. The Hebrew text marks the subject withאני and the translator represents this with the initial ἐγώ, both constructions giving the subject prominence.
ἐν ᾖ κατοικοῦσι πλείους ἢ δώδεκα μυριάδες ἀνθρώπων. The Hebrew text says “in which there exist” (יש בה), but the translator renders it as κατοικοῦσι which he might have read as a form of ישב “to dwell.” Note the plural as well. The infinitive absolute הרבה can function adjectivally (BDB) and that seems to be its usage here. The translator picks up on this well with πλείους (more), followed by the comparative particle ἤ. The Hebrew noun רבו means “ten thousand.” Here it is modified by the numeral “twelve” to express the number “120,000” – twelve myriads.
οἵτινες οὐκ ἔγνωσαν δεξιὰν αὐτῶν ἢ ἀριστερὰν αὐτῶν, καὶ κτήνη πολλά. The relative pronoun has the added sense of “who are of the sort.” This is a Greek nuance, not expressed in the Hebrew text. The idiom in the Hebrew text is “who did not distinguish between its right with reference to its left.” The Greek text simplifies the idiom to read “did not distinguish their right or their left.” This is description of moral naivete or ignorance. Often it references a child-like innocence. Why does the Hebrew writer add the note about animals? The translator uses the usual default in the LXX for this noun.
 The Greek text is quoted from the Gōttingen Septuagint edition of the Twelve Minor Prophets, which is essentially the same as that found in the Rahlfs-Hanhart edition of the Septuagint published by the United Bible Society.