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For other English-language translations of this work, see Jonah (Bible).
Unknown, traditionally ascribed to Jonah, translated by Wikisource
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Chapter 1[edit]

1 And the word of Yahweh came to Jonah the son of Amitai, saying:

2 Arise, go to the great city Ninweh, and speak to it, for I have taken note of their wickedness[1].

3 But Jonah rose up to flee from before Yahweh, and he went down to Yaffo and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went into it to go with them to Tarshish, [to flee] from before Yahweh.

4 But Yahweh cast a great wind in the sea, and there was a great storm in the sea, and the ship was in danger of breaking. 5 So each man cried out to his god, and they threw the cargo on the ship into the sea to lighten the weight, but Jonah went below decks, lay down, and fell asleep.

6 But the captain came to him and said: "Why are you going to sleep? Arise, call to your god! Maybe [one of] the gods will act on our behalf and we will not be lost." 7 And the men said among themselves : "Let us cast lots and see whose fault is this calamity." And they cast the lots, and the lots revealed[2] [that it was] Jonah. 8 And they said to him: "Tell us why this disaster has come upon us. What is your profession, and where do you come from? Which is your homeland and from which people are you?" 9 And he said to them: "I am a Hebrew, and I worship[3] Yahweh the God of heaven, who made sea and land." 10 And the men were seized by a great fear, and said to him: "What have you done?" (For the men knew that he was fleeing from before Yahweh, for he had told them.) 11 And they said to him: "What should we do to you, to make the sea quiet? The sea is only getting stormier!" 12 And he said to them : "Take me and throw me into the sea, for this great storm you have encountered is my fault."

13 The men rowed to get back to land, but could not, for the sea was getting stormier.

14 So they called to Yahweh, saying:

Please, Yahweh, let us not be lost because of this man, and do not charge us with this innocent blood, for you, Yahweh, do as you wish.

15 And they took Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea quieted down.

16 And the men became great worshipers [4] of Yahweh, and sacrificed to Yahweh, and vowed vows.

Chapter 2[edit]

1 So Yahweh appointed a great sea creature to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the sea creature three days and three nights. 2 And Jonah prayed to Yahweh his God from the belly of the sea creature. 3 And he said:

I called from my distress to Yahweh, and he answered me. I cried out from the belly of the abyss, yet You heard my voice. 4 And You threw me to the deeps, to the heart of seas. Rivers surrounded me. All Your breakers and waves passed above me. 5 I said: "I am exiled from Your sight.", yet I continue to look to Your holy hall. 6 Waters have covered me to my very soul. The deep waters surround me. I wear reeds on my head. 7 I went down to the beginning of mountains. The foundations of land [would have] kept me out forever, yet You saved[5]my life from oblivion, O Yahweh my God! 8 When my soul became sorrowful, I remembered Yahweh, and my prayer came to You, to your holy hall. 9 Superstitions[6] are vanity, they are not faithful[7]. 10 But I will sacrifice to You what I vowed to, with a shout of joy. I will pay Yahweh for my salvation.

11 And Yahweh commanded[8] the sea creature, and it vomited Jonah out to land.

Chapter 3[edit]

1 And the word of Yahweh came to Jonah again, saying: 2 "Arise, [go] to the great city Ninweh, and call to it the call which I am telling you [to]."

3 And Jonah arose and went to Ninweh, according to the word of Yahweh. (And Ninweh was a city full of gods[9]. It would take three days to walk through all of it.) 4 And Jonah began by going one day's walk into the city, and called, saying:

In forty days Ninweh will be toppled.

5 And the men of Ninweh believed in God, and called a fast, and the great and small alike wore rags. 6 And the matter reached the king of Ninweh, and he got up from his throne and took off his robe, and covered himself with a rag, and sat on dust. 7 And he cried out, and it was said in Ninweh, on the authority of the king and his nobles[10]:

Let no man or beast or cattle or sheep eat anything, or graze, or drink water. 8 And let man and beast wear rags and call to God fiercely, and let each man cease his evil ways and the robbery in his hands. 9 Who knows? Maybe God will reconsider and cease his wrath, and we will not be destroyed.

10 And God saw their actions, [and that] they ceased their evil ways, and God reconsidered the calamity he had spoken of doing, and did not do it.

Chapter 4[edit]

1 And it seemed very hateful to Jonah, so he was angered. 2 And he prayed to Yahweh and said:

Please, Yahweh, is this not [against] what I have done since I have been on earth? It is because of that I wished to flee to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a forgiving and merciful God, who is slow to wrath, faithful, and reconsiders performing calamities.

3 And now, Yahweh, please take my life from me, for it is better that I die than live.

4 And Yahweh said: "Does a good deed anger you[11]?"

5 And Jonah left the city, and dwelt east of it. He made himself a temporary dwelling and sat in its shade, to see what would happen to the city. 6 And Yahweh appointed a large plant, and it [grew] over Jonah to shade his head and protect him from harm, and Jonah was overjoyed because of the large plant.

7 The next day, at dawn, Yahweh appointed a worm, which struck the plant, [making it] dry up.

8 As the sun rose, God appointed a silent east wind. And the sun struck Jonah's head and he fainted, and he wished[12] to die.

9 And God said to Jonah:"Are you indeed angry about the plant?" And Jonah said: "I am indeed angry. [Angry] to death."

10 And Yahweh said: "You had mercy on the plant, which you did not work on or grow, which came into being one night, and was destroyed the same night.

11 And should I not have mercy on the great city Ninweh, which has over one hundred and twenty thousand people, who do not know their right from their left, and also many beasts?"


  1. Literally: "Their wickedness has risen up before me"
  2. Literally: "the lot fell on"
  3. Literally: "fear"
  4. Literally, "feared a great fear"
  5. Literally: "raised"
  6. Literally: guardian [spirits]
  7. Literally:"They have abandoned their faithfulness"
  8. Literally:"said to"
  9. Alternately: "A great city under God"
  10. Literally: "great ones"
  11. Alternately: "Are you indeed angry?"
  12. Literally: "asked his soul that he should"