And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray you, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and you relent from the destruction.
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Haimo of Auxerre
Partly Jonah prays, partly he complains, saying he did not wish to flee.
LXX: 'O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still in my country? This is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish. For I know that you are rich in mercy and are kind, patient, and full of compassion, and ready to repent for the evils that you promised. But now all-powerful Lord, take my spirit, because it is better for me to die than to live.' What I have interpreted as 'I pray you' and which the Septuagint has translated as 'O indeed' is read as anna in Hebrew, which seems to me to express the prayer with a kind of coaxing . For when he had said quite justly that he wanted to flee his prayer accuses the Lord of injustice in a certain manner, and he tempers his complaints by a suppliant and rhetorical speech. Was this not what I said when I was in my country? I knew that you would do this. I am not unaware that you are merciful: this is why I refused to denounce you as harsh and cruel. Therefore I wanted to flee to Tarshish, to be free to think, and I preferred the quiet and rest...