Jonah 4

Jonah Responds to God’s Kindness

4 This displeased Jonah terribly and he became very angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “Oh, Lord, this is just what I thought would happen when I was in my own country. This is what I tried to prevent by attempting to escape to Tarshish! – because I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in mercy, and one who relents concerning threatened judgment. 3 So now, Lord, kill me instead, because I would rather die than live!” 4 The Lord said, “Are you really so very angry?”

5 Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made a shelter for himself there and sat down under it in the shade to see what would happen to the city. 6 The Lord God appointed a little plant and caused it to grow up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to rescue him from his misery. Now Jonah was very delighted about the little plant.

7 So God sent a worm at dawn the next day, and it attacked the little plant so that it dried up. 8 When the sun began to shine, God sent a hot east wind. So the sun beat down on Jonah’s head, and he grew faint. So he despaired of life, and said, “I would rather die than live!” 9 God said to Jonah, “Are you really so very angry about the little plant?” And he said, “I am as angry as I could possibly be!” 10 The Lord said, “You were upset about this little plant, something for which you have not worked nor did you do anything to make it grow. It grew up overnight and died the next day. 11 Should I not be even more concerned about Nineveh, this enormous city? There are more than one hundred twenty thousand people in it who do not know right from wrong, as well as many animals!”

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Jonah 3

The People of Nineveh Respond to Jonah’s Warning

3 The Lord’s message came to Jonah a second time, 2 “Go immediately to Nineveh, that large city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah went immediately to Nineveh, in keeping with the Lord’s message. (Now Nineveh was an enormous city – it required three days to walk through it!) 4 When Jonah began to enter the city one day’s walk, he announced, “At the end of forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!”

5 The people of Nineveh believed in God, and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and said, “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: No human or animal, cattle or sheep, is to taste anything; they must not eat and they must not drink water. 8 Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly to God, and everyone must turn from their evil way of living and from the violence that they do. 9 Who knows? Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent and turn from his fierce anger so that we might not die.” 10 When God saw their actions – that they turned from their evil way of living! – God relented concerning the judgment he had threatened them with and he did not destroy them.

Jonah 2

2 Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish 2 and said,
“I called out to the Lord from my distress,

and he answered me;

from the belly of Sheol I cried out for help,

and you heard my prayer.

3 You threw me into the deep waters,

into the middle of the sea;

the ocean current engulfed me;

all the mighty waves you sent swept over me.

4 I thought I had been banished from your sight,

that I would never again see your holy temple!

5 Water engulfed me up to my neck;

the deep ocean surrounded me;

seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 I went down to the very bottoms of the mountains;

the gates of the netherworld barred me in forever;

but you brought me up from the Pit, O Lord, my God.

7 When my life was ebbing away, I called out to the Lord.

And my prayer came to you, to your holy temple.

8 Those who worship worthless idols forfeit the mercy that could be theirs.

9 But as for me, I promise to offer a sacrifice to you with a public declaration of praise;

I will surely do what I have promised.

Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

10 Then the Lord commanded the fish and it disgorged Jonah on dry land.

Jonah 1

Jonah Tries to Run from the Lord

1 The Lord’s message came to Jonah son of Amittai, 2 “Go immediately to Nineveh, that large capital city, and announce judgment against its people because their wickedness has come to my attention.” 3 Instead, Jonah immediately headed off to Tarshish to escape from the commission of the Lord. He traveled to Joppa and found a merchant ship heading to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went aboard it to go with them to Tarshish far away from the Lord. 4 But the Lord hurled a powerful wind on the sea. Such a violent tempest arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break up! 5 The sailors were so afraid that each cried out to his own god and they flung the ship’s cargo overboard to make the ship lighter. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold below deck, had lain down, and was sound asleep. 6 The ship’s captain approached him and said, “What are you doing asleep? Get up! Cry out to your god! Perhaps your god might take notice of us so that we might not die!” 7 The sailors said to one another, “Come on, let’s cast lots to find out whose fault it is that this disaster has overtaken us.” So they cast lots, and Jonah was singled out. 8 They said to him, “Tell us, whose fault is it that this disaster has overtaken us? What’s your occupation? Where do you come from? What’s your country? And who are your people?” 9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew! And I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Hearing this, the men became even more afraid and said to him, “What have you done?” (The men said this because they knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had previously told them. ) 11 Because the storm was growing worse and worse, they said to him, “What should we do to you so that the sea will calm down for us?” 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea so that the sea will calm down for you, because I know it’s my fault you are in this severe storm.” 13 Instead, they tried to row back to land, but they were not able to do so because the storm kept growing worse and worse. 14 So they cried out to the Lord, “Oh, please, Lord, don’t let us die on account of this man! Don’t hold us guilty of shedding innocent blood. After all, you, Lord, have done just as you pleased.” 15 So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped raging. 16 The men feared the Lord greatly, and earnestly vowed to offer lavish sacrifices to the Lord.

Jonah Prays

17 (2:1) The Lord sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.

Joshua 2:15-24

15 Then Rahab let them down by a rope through the window. (Her house was built as part of the city wall; she lived in the wall.) 16 She told them, “Head to the hill country, so the ones chasing you don’t find you. Hide from them there for three days, long enough for those chasing you to return. Then you can be on your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We are not bound by this oath you made us swear unless the following conditions are met: 18 When we invade the land, tie this red rope in the window through which you let us down, and gather together in your house your father, mother, brothers, and all who live in your father’s house. 19 Anyone who leaves your house will be responsible for his own death – we are innocent in that case! But if anyone with you in the house is harmed, we will be responsible. 20 If you should report what we’ve been up to, we are not bound by this oath you made us swear.” 21 She said, “I agree to these conditions.” She sent them on their way and then tied the red rope in the window. 22 They went to the hill country and stayed there for three days, long enough for those chasing them to return. Their pursuers looked all along the way but did not find them. 23 Then the two men returned – they came down from the hills, crossed the river, came to Joshua son of Nun, and reported to him all they had discovered. 24 They told Joshua, “Surely the Lord is handing over all the land to us! All who live in the land are cringing before us!”

Joshua 2:1-14

Joshua Sends Spies into the Land

2 Joshua son of Nun sent two spies out from Shittim secretly and instructed them: “Find out what you can about the land, especially Jericho.” They stopped at the house of a prostitute named Rahab and spent the night there. 2 The king of Jericho received this report: “Note well! Israelite men have come here tonight to spy on the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this order to Rahab: “Turn over the men who came to you – the ones who came to your house – for they have come to spy on the whole land!” 4 But the woman hid the two men and replied, “Yes, these men were clients of mine, but I didn’t know where they came from. 5 When it was time to shut the city gate for the night, the men left. I don’t know where they were heading. Chase after them quickly, for you have time to catch them!” 6 (Now she had taken them up to the roof and had hidden them in the stalks of flax she had spread out on the roof.) 7 Meanwhile the king’s men tried to find them on the road to the Jordan River near the fords. The city gate was shut as soon as they set out in pursuit of them.

8 Now before the spies went to sleep, Rahab went up to the roof. 9 She said to the men, “I know the Lord is handing this land over to you. We are absolutely terrified of you, and all who live in the land are cringing before you. 10 For we heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt and how you annihilated the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, on the other side of the Jordan. 11 When we heard the news we lost our courage and no one could even breathe for fear of you. For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below! 12 So now, promise me this with an oath sworn in the Lord’s name. Because I have shown allegiance to you, show allegiance to my family. Give me a solemn pledge 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and rescue us from death.” 14 The men said to her, “If you die, may we die too! If you do not report what we’ve been up to, then, when the Lord hands the land over to us, we will show unswerving allegiance to you.”

Genesis 3

The Temptation and the Fall

3 Now the serpent was more shrewd than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard; 3 but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die, 5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

The Judgment Oracles of God at the Fall

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the orchard. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 The man replied, “I heard you moving about in the orchard, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” 11 And the Lord God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” 13 So the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman replied, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,

cursed are you above all the cattle

and all the living creatures of the field!

On your belly you will crawl

and dust you will eat all the days of your life.

15 And I will put hostility between you and the woman

and between your offspring and her offspring;

her offspring will attack your head,

and you will attack her offspring’s heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will greatly increase your labor pains;

with pain you will give birth to children.

You will want to control your husband,

but he will dominate you.”

17 But to Adam he said,

“Because you obeyed your wife

and ate from the tree about which I commanded you,

‘You must not eat from it,’

the ground is cursed because of you;

in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

but you will eat the grain of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat food

until you return to the ground,

for out of it you were taken;

for you are dust, and to dust you will return.”

20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. 24 When he drove the man out, he placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden angelic sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life.