This book tells us about God ruling over all people. It also tells us that God loves people and he is kind to them. Even though his people hate other people, God still loves them. He does not want to punish them and kill them. He wants to forgive them.
About Jonah disobeying the Lord
1 Jonah was Amittai's son. Yahweh spoke to Jonah,
2 and said, “Go to Nineveh, that great city. Give the people there this message from me. Say to those people, ‘Yahweh is really angry with you all because he knows that you are very bad.’ ”
3 But Jonah did not listen to Yahweh. He didn't go east to Nineveh, he turned around and went the other way, because he wanted to run away from Yahweh. So he went down to a beach called Joppa. He went on and on until he arrived at the beach. He looked around and saw a ship anchored there ready to go west to Spain. So Jonah went and asked the captain if he could go on the ship to Spain and he paid him the money. He was running away from Yahweh. Then he and the sailors went on board and they sailed away.
4-5 And Jonah went down inside the ship and went to sleep. The ship went on and on, out into the middle of the sea. But Yahweh knew that Jonah had gone on board, and so he sent a very strong wind. A big storm hit the ship and a very big sea rose and nearly broke it up. The sailors were very frightened, and they each spoke to their gods, so that they would help them and save them. But the wind kept blowing stronger and stronger and the sea kept on rising and became rougher and rougher. So they took a lot of big boxes and food and other things and threw them overboard and made the ship lighter.
6 The captain went down inside and found Jonah asleep. He said, “Get up! What are you doing here asleep? Get up! You too must pray to your god. Maybe he will feel sorry for us. Maybe he won't make us die but he will let us live.” Then they both went outside to the other men.
7 The sailors said, “Let's play a game so that we will know which man has done something wrong. Who can it be? It must be because of him that this storm has hit us.” And so they played the game and they found Jonah's name.
8 Then they said to Jonah, “Now then, tell us! You are the one who has done wrong, are you? What are you doing here on this ship? Which is your country? Where have you come from?”
9 Jonah said, “I am a Hebrew. I worship Yahweh God, the one who lives in heaven. He made this sea and all the dry land.
10 But I have run away from him, and so we are caught in this storm.” When they heard this the sailors were very frightened and said to him, “That was a dreadful thing to do.”
11 The wind and the sea kept on rising higher and higher and getting rougher. Then the men said to Jonah, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?”
12 Jonah said, “Throw me into the sea, and then this wind and sea will calm down. I know it is because I disobeyed God that we are in this storm.”
13 But the sailors didn't take any notice of what Jonah said. They kept on trying to row towards dry land, but it was impossible. They didn't get anywhere. The wind blew stronger and stronger and the sea became rougher.
14 Then the sailors called out to Yahweh and said, “Yahweh! If we kill this man, don't make us die. We know you must have sent the storm.”
15 Then they took Jonah and lifted him up and threw him into the sea. At the same time the wind dropped. It didn't blow any more. The sea became still and calm. It didn't rise again. It was calm now.
16 When the sailors saw the sea had become calm, they were so afraid of Yahweh that they took a sheep and killed it for him. They said to him, “We know you are very strong, Yahweh. So when we reach land again we will kill another sheep and we will worship you all the time, because now we know that you are very powerful.”
17 There was a very big fish right there in the sea. And Yahweh spoke to it and said, “Go and swallow that man.” And the fish went and swallowed Jonah right down into its stomach. And Jonah stayed there in the fish's stomach three days and three nights.