Jonah 4

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

← Jonah 3   Micah 1 →

1 And it is grievous unto Jonah -- a great evil -- and he is displeased at it;

2 and he prayeth unto Jehovah, and he saith, `I pray Thee, O Jehovah, is not this my word while I was in mine own land -- therefore I was beforehand to flee to Tarshish -- that I have known that Thou [art] a God, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness, and repenting of evil?

3 And now, O Jehovah, take, I pray Thee, my soul from me, for better [is] my death than my life.'

4 And Jehovah saith, `Is doing good displeasing to thee?'

5 And Jonah goeth forth from the city, and sitteth on the east of the city, and maketh to himself there a booth, and sitteth under it in the shade, till that he seeth what is in the city.

6 And Jehovah God appointeth a gourd, and causeth it to come up over Jonah, to be a shade over his head, to give deliverance to him from his affliction, and Jonah rejoiceth because of the gourd [with] great joy.

7 And God appointeth a worm at the going up of the dawn on the morrow, and it smiteth the gourd, and it drieth up.

8 And it cometh to pass, about the rising of the sun, that God appointeth a cutting east wind, and the sun smiteth on the head of Jonah, and he wrappeth himself up, and asketh his soul to die, and saith, `Better [is] my death than my life.'

9 And God saith unto Jonah: `Is doing good displeasing to thee, because of the gourd?' and he saith, `To do good is displeasing to me -- unto death.'

10 And Jehovah saith, `Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for which thou didst not labour, neither didst thou nourish it, which a son of a night was, and a son of a night perished,

11 and I -- have not I pity on Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than twelve myriads of human beings, who have not known between their right hand and their left -- and much 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References from Swedenborg's unpublished works: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.

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;...

Jehovah
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...

saith
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...

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

flee
Flight, as in Matthew 14:20, signifies removal from a state of the good of love and innocence. Flight, as in Mark 8:18, signifies the last...

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

abundant
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

kindness
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...

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

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

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

sitteth
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...

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.

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....

affliction
An affliction "such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be", mentioned in 'Matthew 24:21', means the infestation from...

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'...

rising
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...

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.

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

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...

much
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


Translate: