Jonah 4

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Webster's Bible         

← Jonah 3   Micah 1 →

1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

2 And he prayed to the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before to Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest of the evil.

3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city.

6 And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.

7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

8 And it came to pass, when the sun rose that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even to death.

10 Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:

11 And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand, and also many cattle?

← Jonah 3   Micah 1 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 214


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 10441

Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 401, 419

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 4:6, 41:6

1 Kings 19:4, 21:4

Job 7:2, 15, 16

Psalms 86:15, 145:9

Ecclesiastes 7:9

Hosea 13:15

Jonah 1:2, 3:9

Matthew 2:10, 20:15

Luke 15:28

Word/Phrase Explanations

jonah
'Jonah' represents the Jewish nation.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

Tarshish
Elishah, Tarshish, Kitthin, and Dodanium (Gen. 10:4) signify so many several doctrinals respecting ritual observances, and derived from external worship prevailing with Javan.

knew
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

merciful
In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

shade
'The shadow is good' of the oak, poplar and elm means complacence.

might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

gourd
The gourd which God prepared to come up over the head of the prophet Jonah, in Jonah 4:6, signifies the evil and self-love of the...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

grief
Grief is anxiety of heart or will.

glad
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

worm
'A worm' denotes falsity of evil in the good derived from the proprium or selfhood. 'That dies not,' denotes infernal torment related to falsity. 'Worm'...

rose
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

withered
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

sun
The 'sun' signifies celestial and spiritual love. The 'sun' in the Word, when referring to the Lord, signifies His divine love and wisdom. Because the...

wind
Because a nearer and stronger divine influx through the heavens disperses truths among the wicked, 'wind' signifies this dispersion of truth and the resulting conjunction...

die
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

Grow
‘To grow’ signifies to be perfected.

nineveh
'Nineveh' signifies the falsities of doctrinal matters, also the Gentiles, or the falsities originating in the fallacies of the senses, in the obscurity of an...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

Twenty
'Twenty,' when referring to a quantity, signifies everything or fullness, because it is ten twice. 'Twenty,' as in Genesis 18:31, like all numbers occurring in...

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

Right hand
'The man of the right hand,' as in Psalm 80:17, signifies the Lord with respect to the Word. He is called 'the man of the...

Left hand
'The left hand' in a negative sense signifies falsity which is used to produce evil.

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Jonah
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Jonah
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Gourd
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 Jonah and the Gourd (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah and the Gourd (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Jonah and the Gourd (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Jonah and the Great Fish
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jonah Goes to Nineveh
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Prophet Jonah
This article shows how the Lord tried to teach Jonah to be merciful and kind when Jonah disobeyed the Lord because of his hatred toward the Assyrians. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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