Jonah 1:14 MEANING

Jonah 1:14
(14) Wherefore they cried unto the Lord.--There is presented here, as throughout the book, a strong contrast between the readiness of the heathen to receive religious impressions, and the stubbornness and obstinacy of Israel.

For this man's life . . .--i.e., for taking it. The law of retaliation was as familiar to them as to the Hebrews (Deuteronomy 19:21). (Comp. 2 Samuel 14:7.)

For thou.--The original is more impressive: For Thou, Jehovah, as it hath phased Thee, Thou hast done. The storm, the lot, the request of the prophet himself, all showed that the sailors were but instruments in carrying out the Divine purpose.

Verse 14. - They cried unto the Lord. They prayed no longer to their gods, as before (ver. 5), but unto Jehovah, the God of Jonah. Let us not perish for this man's life. Let us not incur death for taking this man's life. They seem to know something of the Noachic law that punished murder (Genesis 9:5, 6). Lay not upon us innocent blood. Charge us not with the guilt of shedding innocent blood (Deuteronomy 21:8). For thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee (1 Samuel 3:18). The whole affair has happened according to thy will. The tempest, the lot, the sentence, are all the working of thy providence. The prophet throughout brings into prominence the contrast between the behaviour of these heathen and his own, and would teach his nation a lesson thereby.

1:13-17 The mariners rowed against wind and tide, the wind of God's displeasure, the tide of his counsel; but it is in vain to think of saving ourselves any other way than by destroying our sins. Even natural conscience cannot but dread blood-guiltiness. And when we are led by Providence God does what he pleases, and we ought to be satisfied, though it may not please us. Throwing Jonah into the sea put an end to the storm. God will not afflict for ever, He will only contend till we submit and turn from our sins. Surely these heathen mariners will rise up in judgment against many called Christians, who neither offer prayers when in distress, nor thanksgiving for signal deliverances. The Lord commands all creatures, and can make any of them serve his designs of mercy to his people. Let us see this salvation of the Lord, and admire his power, that he could thus save a drowning man, and his pity, that he would thus save one who was running from him, and had offended him. It was of the Lord's mercies that Jonah was not consumed. Jonah was alive in the fish three days and nights: to nature this was impossible, but to the God of nature all things are possible. Jonah, by this miraculous preservation, was made a type of Christ; as our blessed Lord himself declared, Mt 12:40.Wherefore they cried unto the Lord,.... Not unto their gods, but unto the true Jehovah, the God of Jonah, and of the Hebrews; whom they now, by this providence, and Jonah's discourse, had some convictions and knowledge of as the true God; and therefore direct their prayer to him, before they cast the prophet into the sea:

and said, we beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee; which repetition shows the ardent, vehemence, and earnestness of their minds in prayer:

let us not perish for this man's life; they were in the utmost perplexity of mind, not knowing well what to do; they saw they must perish by the storm, if they saved his life; and they were afraid their should perish, if they took it away; and which yet they were obliged to do; and therefore had no other way left but to pray to the Lord they might not perish for it; or it be reckoned as their crime, and imputed to them, as follows:

and lay not upon us innocent blood; for so it was to them; he had done no hurt to them since he had been with them, except in being the cause of the storm, whereby they had suffered the loss of their goods; however, had not been guilty of anything worthy of death, as they could observe; and as for his offence against God, they were not sufficient judges of, and must leave it with him: the light of nature teaches men to be tender of the lives of fellow creatures, and to avoid shedding of innocent blood:

for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee; it appeared to them to be the wilt of God that he should be cast into the sea; from the storm that was raised on his account; from the determination of the lot; from the confession of Jonah, and his declaration of the will of God in this matter, as a prophet of his: they did not pretend to account for it; it was a secret to them why it should be; but it was no other than what he would have done; and therefore they hoped no blame would be laid on them.

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