Jonah (Translated)

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Chapter 1

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, The truth of The LORD came to Jonah, son of Amitay
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Go ahead, go to the great city of Nineveh, and tell its people that their liberal values have come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. Jonas left, but in the direction to Tarshish, to flee from The Lord. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship sailing to Tarshish. He paid for his passage and sailed with those who went to the city, fleeing from the Lord.
4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. But The LORD created a strong wind over the sea, and He sparked a storm so violent that the ship threatened to shatter.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. The terrified sailors, in order to alleviate the situation, started claiming to their own deities, and casting into the sea all the non-essential stuff that was on the boat. Meanwhile, Jonah had walked down to the bottom of the ship to take a rest, and was sleeping soundly.
6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. The captain of the ship went onto him and told him: How can you possibly be sleeping with this storm? Get up! Pray to your god! He may have pity on us and we won’t perish!
7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. At the same time, the sailors were discussing: Come on, let’s gamble to figure out who is to blame for this disaster. They did so, and their gambling game pointed to Jonah.
8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? So they asked him: Tell us now. Who is to blame for this disaster? What is your profession? Where do you come from?
9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. And he told them: I am Hebrew and I fear The LORD, God of the heavens, who created the sea and the land
10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. When the sailors heard this, they terrified even more, since Jonah also told them that he was trying to escape from The LORD. They told him: Why did you do that?
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. But the sea was enraging more and more, and they asked him: “What can we do with you for the sea to stop whipping?
12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. “Throw me to the sea, and the rain and the wind will stop bothering you”, he answered. “I am well aware that it is my fault that this terrible storm have unleashed over you”
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. However, in an attempt to return to shore, the sailors began to row with all their might, but as the sea was becoming more tempestuous, they failed.
14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. Then they cried to the LORD: "O LORD, you do what you want. Do not make us die for taking the life to this man, nor make us responsible for the death of an innocent.
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. So they took Jonah and threw him to the water, and the storm immediately ceased.
16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. After seeing this, they developed a deep fear of The LORD, and they offered Him a sacrifice and made vows.
17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. The LORD, meanwhile, ordered a large sea creature to swallow Jonah, who spent three days and three nights in its belly. A better modern translation for the Hebrew would be "large sea creature" rather than the awkward "great fish"; mammals like whales would be included within the meaning of the Hebrew phrase.

Chapter 2

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, Jonah prayed to The LORD from the sea creature's belly.
2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. He said: In my distress I cried out to The LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of Hell I cried for help, and He heard me.
3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. You threw me to the depths, to the heart of the seas. The ocean currents were around me, and the waves were above me.
4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. I thought that I have been expelled from your presence. How could I ever contemplate again your holy temple without feeling ashamed?
5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. The water level reached my neck, the depths of the ocean were around me, and the seaweeds tangled in my hair.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. The Earth swallowed me, dragging me to the bottom of the mountains, and its bars closed behind me. But you, my LORD, rescued me from the grave.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. Feeling that life was leaving me, I remembered The LORD, and my prayers rose to you, to your Holy Temple.
8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. Those who follow vain idols leave the love of God
9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. However, I will offer you sacrifices, and songs of gratitude. I will keep the promises I made to you. Salvation comes from the LORD!
10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Then the LORD gave a command, and the sea creature vomited Jonah ashore.

Chapter 3

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, The truth of The LORD came to Jonah for a second time
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. Go ahead, go to the great city of Niniveh and give them my message
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. Jonah went to Nineveh, as mandated by the LORD. Nineveh was a large and very important city.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Jonah interned into the city, walking all day, while proclaiming: In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. And the people from Nineveh believed the word of God, proclaimed a fast and, from the oldest to the youngest, dressed in mourning as a sign of repentance.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. When the king of Nineveh heard the message, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, mourned and covered himself in ashes
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: Then he issued the following proclamation in Nineveh: By decree of the king and his court, No person or animal, or sheep or cattle, will taste any food, nor graze or drink water.
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. On the contrary, the king ordered that every person, together with their animals, must grief and cry out mightily to God. Likewise he ordered that everyone repent from their liberal values and acts of violence, and start acting like God loving conservatives.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? Who knows? Perhaps God will change His mind, allay the fierceness of His anger, and we don’t perish.
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. When God saw what they did, namely that they had repented from their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction that He had announced.

Chapter 4

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. But this greatly displeased Jonah who, after passing so many difficulties, was willing to see some action
2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. So he prayed to the LORD: Oh LORD! Was not this what I said when I was still at home? That is why I anticipated and flee to Tarshish, for I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, you change your mind and don't destroy.
3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. So now, Lord, I beg you to take away my life. I'd rather die than live!
4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry? You're right of enraging so much? Replied the LORD
5 So Jonah 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. Jonah went out and camped at the east of the city. There he built a shelter and sat in its shade to see what would happen with the city.
6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. To relieve his discomfort, the LORD God prepared a plant, which grew to cover Jonah’s head with its shade. Jonah was overjoyed with the plant.
7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. But at dawn of the next day God prepared a worm that wounded the plant, and the plant wilted.
8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. As the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind. Besides, the sun struck to the head of Jonah so that he felt like fainting. With a desire to die, he exclaimed: I'd rather die than live!
9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. But God said to Jonah: Do you have a good reason to enrage with the plant so much? Of course I do! He answered.
10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: The LORD said: You feel pity of a plant, which without any effort on your part, grew up in one night and perished the next one.
11 And should not I spare Nineveh, 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? Now consider Nineveh, a city where more than 120 000 people live, people who do not distinguish their right hand from their left hand, and with so much cattle, don’t you think I am right in feeling pity for them?