31Once again the LORD spoke to Jonah. 2He said, “Go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to the people the message I have given you.” 3So Jonah obeyed the LORD and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to walk through it. 4
Jonah started through the city, and after walking a whole day, he proclaimed, “In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!”
5The people of Nineveh believed God's message. So they decided that everyone should fast, and all the people, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth to show that they had repented.
6When the king of Nineveh heard about it, he got up from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth, and sat down in ashes. 7He sent out a proclamation to the people of Nineveh: “This is an order from the king and his officials: no one is to eat anything; all persons, cattle, and sheep are forbidden to eat or drink. 8All persons and animals must wear sackcloth. Everyone must pray earnestly to God and must give up his wicked behaviour and his evil actions. 9Perhaps God will change his mind; perhaps he will stop being angry, and we will not die!”
10God saw what they did; he saw that they had given up their wicked behaviour. So he changed his mind and did not punish them as he had said he would.
41Jonah was very unhappy about this and became angry. 2
So he prayed, “LORD, didn't I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That's why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish. 3
Now, LORD, let me die. I am better off dead than alive.”
4The LORD answered, “What right have you to be angry?”
5Jonah went out east of the city and sat down. He made a shelter for himself and sat in its shade, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh. 6Then the LORD God made a plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant. 7But at dawn the next day, at God's command, a worm attacked the plant, and it died. 8After the sun had risen, God sent a hot east wind, and Jonah was about to faint from the heat of the sun beating down on his head. So he wished he were dead.4.8 wished he were dead; or prayed that he would die. “I am better off dead than alive,” he said.
9But God said to him, “What right have you to be angry about the plant?”
Jonah replied, “I have every right to be angry — angry enough to die!”
10The LORD said to him, “This plant grew up in one night and disappeared the next; you didn't do anything for it, and you didn't make it grow — yet you feel sorry for it! 11How much more, then, should I have pity on Nineveh, that great city. After all, it has more than 120,000 innocent children in it, as well as many animals!”