Jonah 4:1

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The blessed Jonah was distressed, it was not because the city escaped destruction, but because he gave the impression of being a liar and a braggart, idly alarming them, speaking his own mind and not at all what came from the mouth of the Lord.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Troubled. His concern was lest he should pass for a false prophet; or rather lest God's word, by this occasion might come to be slighted and disbelieved. (Challoner) He conjectured that God would spare the penitent Ninivites, and feared lest prophecies should be deemed uncertain. But this doubt is solved by observing that some are conditional, (chap. iii. 4., and Jeremias xviii. 8.) as it proved here. When the people relapsed, they were afterwards destroyed, Nahum i. (Worthington) (Chap. iii. 10.) The conversion of Ninive was an earnest of that of the Gentiles. (Calmet) This being so intimately connected with the reprobation of the Jews, (Haydock) the prophet was grieved at the misery of the latter, (St. Jerome) which our Saviour and St. Paul bewailed. (Acts xi. 2.; Romans x. 19.; Luke xix.;) Yet Jonas seems to have considered himself rather too much.


AD 420
But God will reply by the mouth of Jeremiah, “At what instant I will speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to break down, and to destroy it; if that nation, concerning what I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them. And at what instant I will speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it does evil in my sight, that it obeys not my voice, then I will repent of the good wherewith I said I would benefit them.” Jonah was indignant because, at God’s command, he had spoken falsely; but his sorrow was proved to be ill founded, since he would rather speak truth and have a countless multitude perish than speak falsely and have them saved.


AD 420
LXX: 'Jonah was saddened by a great sadness, and he was confounded. And he prayed to the Lord, and he said'. Seeing the crowd of gentiles enter, and that fulfils what is written in Deuteronomy: "they annoyed me with these gods who are not gods, so I will annoy them with a people that is not one; I shall anger them like a foolish nation". He despairs of Israel's safety and is hit by a great suffering which breaks out in words. He shows the signs of his suffering and more or less says this: 'I have been the only one of the prophets chosen to announce my people's ruin to them through the safety of others.' Thus he is not sad that the crowd of gentiles should be saved, as some people believe, but it is the destruction of Israel. Moreover our Lord wept for Jerusalem and refused to take bread away from the children to give to the dogs. And the apostles preach firstly to Israel, and Paul wishes to be anathema for his brothers who are Israelites and have adoption, glory, alliance, promises and...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
After he preached in the midst of Nineveh, he went out of the city in order to observe if anything should happen. When he saw that three days had passed and nothing had happened anywhere near what was threatened, he then put forward his first thought and said, “Are these not my words that I was saying that God is merciful and longsuffering and repents for people’s evils?” Homilies on Repentance and Almsgiving

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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