Geneva Study Bible
The Argument - When Jonah had long prophesied in Israel and had little profited, God gave him specific charge to go and denounce his judgments against Nineveh, the chief city of the Assyrians, because he had appointed that those who were of the heathen, should convert by the mighty power of his word. And this was so that within three day's preaching, Israel might see how horribly they had provoked God's wrath, who for the space of so many years, had not converted to the Lord, for so many prophets and such diligent preaching. He prophesied under Jonah, and Jeroboam; (2 Kings 14:25).
(a) After he had preached a long time in Israel: and so Ezekiel, after he had prophesied in Judah for a time, had visions in Babylon; (Ezekiel 1:1).
(b) For seeing the great obstipation of the Israelites, he sent his Prophet to the Gentiles, that they might provoke them to repentance, or at least make them inexcusable: for Nineveh was the chief city of the Assyrians.
(c) For as authors write, it contained in circuit about forty-eight miles, and had 1500 towers, and at this time there were 120,000 children in it; (Jonah 4:11).
(d) By which he declares his weakness, that would not promptly follow the Lord's calling, but gave place to his own reason, which persuaded him that he would not profit these people at all, seeing he had done such little good among his own people; (Jonah 4:2).
(e) Which was the haven, and port to take shipping there, also called Joppa.
(f) From that vocation to which God had called him, and in which he would have assisted him.
(g) As one that would have cast off this care and concern by seeking rest and quietness.
(h) As they had called on their idols, which declares that idolaters have no rest nor certainty, but in their troubles seek what they do not even know.
(i) Which declares that the matter was very extreme and in doubt, which was God's way of getting them to test for the cause: and this may not be done except in matters of great importance.
(k) This declares that the very wicked in their time of need flee to God for help, and also that they are touched with a certain fear of shedding man's blood, whereas they know no manifest sign of wickedness.
(l) They were touched with a certain repentance of their past life, and began to worship the true God by whom they saw themselves as wonderfully delivered. But this was done for fear, and not from a pure heart and affection, neither according to God's word.
(m) Thus the Lord would chastise his Prophet with a most terrible spectacle of death, and by this also strengthened and encouraged him of his favour and support in this duty which was commanded him.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jonah 1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24