Therefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech you, O LORD, we beseech you, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.
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George Leo Haydock
Blood. We act thus by his direction, and through necessity.
LXX: 'and they cried to the Lord and said, but no, Lord, let us not die to let this man live. Lay not innocent blood upon us. For O Lord you have done as you wished.' The sailors' faith is strong: they are all in danger of losing their lives, and yet pray for the lives of another. They know well that spiritual death is worse than natural death of the body. Do not lay innocent blood upon us, they say. They take the Lord as witness not to visit them for what they are about to do, and say something like this: 'we do not want to kill your prophet, but he himself has proclaimed your wrath, and the storm shows us that you have done what you wished, O Lord. Your wish is accomplished by our doing'. This seems to be the confession of Pilate, as he washes his hands and says, "I am clean of the blood of this man". The gentiles do not want Christ to die, and affirm that it is innocent blood. And the Jew say, "let his blood fall upon us again and on our son". This is why when they raise their hands...
The sailors and the passengers in the book of Jonah say, “We beseech you, O Lord, do not destroy us on account of this man and lay not upon us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” They do not know the reasons why the prophet, a fugitive servant, deserved to be punished. And yet they justify God and acknowledge the blood of him whose deeds they do not know to be innocent. And in conclusion, they say, “You, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” They do not question the justice of the judgment of God but acknowledge the veracity of the just Judge.
The ship’s pilot … understood from his experience that the storm was not a usual one, but that the blow was Godsent, and that the billowy ocean was vastly superior to human skill, and that the hands of the helmsman were of no advantage. In this situation a greater pilot was required, the One who governs the whole world, and the assistance from above was critical. For this reason, they abandoned the oars, the sails, the ropes, and everything else; they drew their hands back to themselves and raised them to heaven and entreated God.