And the LORD God prepared a plant, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceedingly glad for the plant.
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George Leo Haydock
The Lord God prepared an ivy. Hederam. In the Hebrew it is kikajon, which some render a gourd; others a palmerist, or palma Christi. (Challoner)
This latter is now the common opinion. St. Jerome explains it of a shrub growing very fast in the sandy places of Palestine. He did not pretend (Calmet) that hedera, or ivy, as Aquila translates, (Haydock) was the precise import; but he found no Latin term more resembling, (Calmet) as he observes here and in his letter to St. Augustine, who had informed him that a certain bishop of Africa having read his version publicly, the audience was surprised at the change; and the Jews, "either through ignorance or malice "decided in favour of the old Greek and Latin version of gourd, which Protestants retain. (Haydock)
But this does not grow so soon no more than the ivy. The palma Christi, or ricinus, does. The Egyptians call it kiki, and the Greeks selicy prion. See Pliny, xv. 7. Its foliage is thick, and its trunk hollow. (Calmet)
But how came St....
LXX: 'and the Lord commanded a gourd to grow up over the head of Jonah to form a shade to protect him from his evils. And Jonah was very glad of the gourd indeed. In this place a certain Canterius from the ancient family of Cornelii, (or as he himself says from the lineage of Asinius Pollion), has accused me recently, it seems, of sacrilege for having translated 'ivy' instead of 'gourd'. Apparently he feared that if ivy were taken instead of gourds that there would not be anything to drink in his secret place and his shade. And justly on the veins of this gourd, which are called saucomariae in general, it is customary to paint the image of the Apostles from which this individual has borrowed his name, which is not his own. If it is this easy to change ones name, (after having been the Cornelii, seditious consuls, they renamed themselves Paul Emile consuls), I ask myself why in surprise I should not be allowed to translate ivy instead of gourd. But let us return to more serious matters....