Sunday, January 29, 2012

Revisiting Jonah, The Turn, 3:6-10

This section is about turning. Note how turning is not part of the language of the seafarers. It occurs for the mortals in their unsuccessful effort to turn the ship before hurling Jonah overboard (1:13). No escape that way.

The Turn

וַיִּגַּע הַדָּבָר אֶל מֶלֶךְ נִינְוֵה
וַיָּקָם מִכִּסְאוֹ
וַיַּעֲבֵר אַדַּרְתּוֹ מֵעָלָיו
וַיְכַס שַׂק
וַיֵּשֶׁב עַל הָאֵפֶר
3.6
and the word touched the king of Nineveh
and he rose from his throne1
and put aside his majesty from him
and covered in sackcloth
and sat on an ash-heap
וַיַּזְעֵק וַיֹּאמֶר
בְּנִינְוֵה מִטַּעַם הַמֶּלֶךְ
וּגְדֹלָיו לֵאמֹר
הָאָדָם וְהַבְּהֵמָה
הַבָּקָר וְהַצֹּאן
אַל יִטְעֲמוּ מְאוּמָה
אַל יִרְעוּ
וּמַיִם אַל יִשְׁתּוּ
3.7
and he proclaimed and he said
in Nineveh out of the taste of the king
and his great ones saying
the human and the animal
the heard and the flock
let none taste anything whatever
let none pasture
and water let none drink
וְיִתְכַּסּוּ שַׂקִּים
הָאָדָם וְהַבְּהֵמָה
וְיִקְרְאוּ אֶל אֱלֹהִים בְּחָזְקָה
וְיָשֻׁבוּ אִישׁ מִדַּרְכּוֹ הָרָעָה
וּמִן הֶחָמָס אֲשֶׁר בְּכַפֵּיהֶם
3.8
but let them them be covered in sackcloth
the human and the animal
and call out to God forcefully
and let each turn from its evil way
and from the violence that is in their palms
מִי יוֹדֵעַ
יָשׁוּב וְנִחַם הָאֱלֹהִים
וְשָׁב מֵחֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ
וְלֹא נֹאבֵד
3.9
who knows
this God may turn and sigh
and turn from his fierce anger
and we will not perish
וַיַּרְא הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם
כִּי שָׁבוּ מִדַּרְכָּם הָרָעָה
וַיִּנָּחֶם הָאֱלֹהִים עַל הָרָעָה
אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהֶם
וְלֹא עָשָׂה
3.10
and this God saw their deeds
that they turned from their evil ways
and this God sighed over the evil
that he intended to do to them
and he did not do it

1compare John 13:4 for the sequence of actions

Jonah 3:6-10
Selected recurring words in relative order (6 to 10)
Word and gloss * first usage123456789101234567VsRoot
הדבר the word
6דבר
מלך the king of
6מלך
נינוה Nineveh
6נינוה
ויכס and covered in
6כסה
שׂק sackcloth
6שׂק
ויאמר and he said
7אמר
בנינוה in Nineveh
7נינוה
מטעם from the taste of
7טעם
המלך the king
7מלך
לאמר saying
7אמר
האדם the human
7אדם
והבהמה and the animal
7בהם
יטעמו let taste
7טעם
ויתכסו but let them be covered in
8כסה
שׂקים sackcloth
8שׂק
האדם the human
8אדם
והבהמה and the animal
8בהם
אלהים God
8אלוה
וישׁבו and let turn
8שׁוב
מדרכו from its way
8דרך
הרעה evil
8רע
אשׁר that
8אשׁר
ישׁוב may turn
9שׁוב
ונחם and sigh
9נחם
האלהים this God
9אלוה
ושׁב and turn
9שׁוב
ולא and not
9לא
האלהים this God
10אלוה
מעשׂיהם their deeds
10עשׂה
שׁבו they turned
10שׁוב
מדרכם from their ways
10דרך
הרעה evil
10רע
וינחם and sighed
10נחם
האלהים this God
10אלוה
הרעה the evil
10רע
אשׁר that
10אשׁר
דבר he intended
10דבר
לעשׂות to do
10עשׂה
ולא and not
10לא
עשׂה he did do it
10עשׂה
The pattern is prepared by the action of the king. Then all turn from evil, and God sighs, breathing out the Spirit, the Comforter.