Liturgical Colour : White
Jonah 1 : 1 – Jonah 2 : 1, 11
The word of YHVH came to Jonah, son of Amittai, “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach against it, because I have known its wickedness.”
But Jonah decided to flee from YHVH and go to Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, found a ship bound for Tarshish, and paid the fare. Then he boarded it and went into the hold of the ship, journeying with them to Tarshish, far away from YHVH.
YHVH stirred up a storm wind on the sea, so there was a sea tempest, which threatened to destroy the ship. The sailors took fright, and each cried out to his own god. To lighten the ship, they threw its cargo into the sea. Meanwhile Jonah had gone into the hold of the ship, where he lay fast asleep. The captain came upon him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your God. Perhaps He will be mindful of us and will not allow us to die here.”
The sailors said to each other, “Let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this disaster.” So they dod, and the lot fell on Jonah. They questioned him, “So you are responsible for this evil that has come upon us? Tell us where you are from. What is your country, your nationality?” And Jonah told them his story, “I am a Hebrew and I worship YHVH, God of heaven Who made the sea and the land…”
As they knew that he was fleeing from YHVH, the sailors were seized with great fear and said to him, “What a terrible thing have you done! What shall we do with you now, to make the sea calm down?” The sea was growing more and more agitated.
He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. It will quiet down, for I know it is because of me that this storm has come.” The sailors, however, still did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea had grown much rougher than before. Then they called on YHVH, “O YHVH, do not let us perish for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us guilty of shedding innocent blood. For You, YHVH, have done this as You have thought right.”
They took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm again. At this the men were seized with great fear of YHVH. They offered a sacrifice to YHVH and made vows to Him. YHVH provided a large fish which swallowed Jonah. He remained in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. Then YHVH gave His command to the fish, and it belched out Jonah onto dry land.