The Lord Shows Concern for Nineveh
1But Jonah was very upset. He became angry. 2He prayed to the Lord and said, "Lord, isn't this exactly what I thought would happen when I was still at home? That's why I was so quick to run away to Tarshish. I knew that you are gracious. You are tender and kind. You are slow to get angry. You are full of love. You are a God who takes pity on people. You don't want to destroy them. 3Lord, take away my life. I'd rather die than live."
4But the Lord replied, "Do you have any right to be angry?"
5Jonah left the city. He sat down at a place east of it. There he put some branches over his head. He sat in their shade. He waited to see what would happen to the city.
6Then the Lord God sent a vine and made it grow up over Jonah. It gave him more shade for his head. It made him more comfortable. Jonah was very happy he had the vine. 7But before sunrise the next day, God sent a worm. It chewed the vine so much that it dried up.
8When the sun rose, God sent a burning east wind. The sun beat down on Jonah's head. It made him very weak. He wanted to die. So he said, "I'd rather die than live."
9But God said to Jonah, "Do you have any right to be angry about what happened to the vine?"
"I do," he said. "In fact, I'm angry enough to die."
10But the Lord said, "You have been concerned about this vine. But you did not take care of it. You did not make it grow. It grew up in one night and died the next. 11Nineveh has more than 120,000 people. They can't tell right from wrong. Nineveh also has a lot of cattle. So shouldn't I show concern for that great city?"