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% Whether the fish which followed up Jonah was a whale or not, is uncertain. Many travellers describe 'some of this species, which they had seen, 'sufficiently large to swallow a man : and informs-us of various sea. monsters beside, of most enormous size. Jonah's situation in the belly of the fish must have been very dreadful. The relation of his being kept alive in such a place would be perfectly incredible if we endeavoured to ac. count for it in a natural way ;, but if we impute it to the miraculous power of God, it is no longer so : for as we are able, with our limited capacities, to apply the creatures to our use in such a variety of ways, it cannot be unreasonable to suppose that the GREAT CREATOR can do with them whatsoever seemeth good in. his sight. Those infidels, who disbelieve the Scriptures, turn such relations as this into ridicule ;, but we shall do well in avoiding the society of such impious persons. Let us read these edifying histories with attention, and learn : from them to reverence the Supreme Being, the LORD of all nature.
· SECTION LXXXVI
JONAH SENT AGAIN TO NINEVEH.
From Chap. iii, iv. And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second: time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh that great city, and. preach unto it the preaching that I. bid thee. . • So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days journey.
And Jonah began to enter into the city, a day's jour.. ney, and he cried and said, Yet forty days and Nineveh. shall be, overthrown.
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on : sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. ii i !
For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
And he caused it to be proclaimed, and published through Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor focks taste any thing ; let them not feed, nor drink water, , .
But let, man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily, unto God : yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.' : : : Pin und in 1
Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and tura away from his fierce anger, that we perish not ? .
And God saw their works that they turned from their evil way: and God repented of the evil that he would do unto them, and he did it not.
mis orisini But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet,in my country: therefore I fled before unto Tarshish : for I. knew that thou art á gracious God, and merciful, blow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
. . ,1. · Therefore now, O LORD, takė, I' beseech thee, my life from me ; for it is better for me to die, than to live. - 'so ,
Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?
So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become : of the city,
S4 .. And
And the Lord God prepared a gourd, 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 of the gourd.
But God prepared a worm when the morning 'rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.
And it came to pass when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind ; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. “
And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even fato death.
Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, tor'the which thou hast not laboured, neither madešt it grow: which came up in a night, and perished in a night : 5'? wo
. ....., And 'should not I spare Nineveh 'that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons, chat cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand, and also much cattle ?
. ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The behaviour of the Ninevites was, on this occasion, exemplary in the highest degree ; and it is mentioned by our Saviour himself in the New Testament*, to the reproach of Israel. We may learn from the happy effects of it, that public fasting and humiliation for national sin are pleasing to the LORD : not that He requires his creatures to be afflicted, any farther than may be conducive to their reformation, and to render them objects of his mercy and loving kindness. isiis.
* Matth. xii. 41.6 Luke xr. 32.
Though the LORD was in a peculiar manner the God of Israel, he did not utterly forsake the rest of the world ; the wonders which God wrought for his own people were done openly. In the wars with Israel, the heathens frequently heard the prophets, and were eye-witnesses of many miracles ; but they hardened their hearts against conviction : potwithstanding this we have reason to think) they were 'not brought to utter destruction without particular warnings, of which we read many instances.
It appears from Jonah's anger, thất he was more solicitous for his own reputation, than for the honour of the Lord. This part of his conduct deserves censure. His history teaches us to reflect on the omnipresence of God, and to say with the Royal Psalmist, Whither shall we go
from Thy Spirit ? or whither shall we flee from thy pre- sence? If we ascend up into heaven, Thou art there ; if we
go down to the place of the dead, Thou art there also If we take the wings of the morning, and remain in the utter. most parts of the sea, even there also shall Thy hand lead | us, and Thy right hand shall hold us * ! .
THE REIGN OF MENAHEM, PEKAIAH, AND PEKAH,
KINGS OF ISRAEL.
From 2 Kings, Chap. xv. Then Menahem smote Tipsah, and all that were cherein, and the coasts thereof to Tirzah; because they opened not unto him.
In the nine and thirtieth year of 'Azariah king of Judah, began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel,
* Psalm cxxxix. 7.
And he did that which was evil in the sigit of the Lord : he departed not.all his days from the sins of Je. roboans the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin,
And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land : and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him, to confirm the kingdom in his hand. . And Menahem. exacted the money of Israel, even of all the nighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels. of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.
And Menahem reigned ten years in Samaria, and he slept with his fathers: and Pekaiah his son reigned in his stead.
In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekaiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in. Sama.. sia ; and reigned two years ; ; And did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD:
ke departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of » Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
But Pekah the son af. Remaliah, a captain of his, cone spired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with drgob, and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, ad reigned in his room.
In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign cver Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the : LORD :. he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin..
In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath - Bileser. king of Assyria, and took ljon, and Abel-bethnu.cbab, and Janoah, and Kadesh, and Hazor; and Gilead,