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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jonah 1:10

 

 

Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this?" For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Then were the men exceedingly afraid - Before, they had feared the tempest and the loss of their lives. Now they feared God. They feared, not the creature but the Creator. They knew that what they had feared was the doing of His Almightiness. They felt how awesome a thing it was to be in His Hands. Such fear is the beginning of conversion, when people turn from dwelling on the distresses which surround them, to God who sent them.

Why hast thou done this? - They are words of amazement and wonder. Why hast thou not obeyed so great a God, and how thoughtest thou to escape the hand of the Creator? “What is the mystery of thy flight? Why did one, who feared God and had revelations from God, flee, sooner than go to fulfill them? Why did the worshiper of the One true God depart from his God?” “A servant flee from his Lord, a son from his father, man from his God!” The inconsistency of believers is the marvel of the young Christian, the repulsion of those without, the hardening of the unbeliever. If people really believed in eternity, how could they be thus immersed in things of time? If they believed in hell, how could they so hurry there? If they believed that God died for them, how could they so requite Him? Faith without love, knowledge without obedience, conscious dependence and rebellion, to be favored by God yet to despise His favor, are the strangest marvels of this mysterious world.

All nature seems to cry out to and against the unfaithful Christian, “why hast thou done this?” And what a why it is! A scoffer has recently said so truthfully: “Avowed scepticism cannot do a tenth part of the injury to practical faith, that the constant spectacle of the huge mass of worldly unreal belief does.” It is nothing strange, that the world or unsanctified intellect should reject the Gospel. It is a thing of course, unless it be converted. But, to know, to believe, and to DISOBEY! To disobey God, in the name of God. To propose to halve the living Gospel, as the woman who had killed her child 1 Kings 3:26, and to think that the poor quivering remnants would be the living Gospel anymore! As though the will of God might, like those lower forms of His animal creation, be divided endlessly, and, keep what fragments we will, it would still be a living whole, a vessel of His Spirit! Such unrealities and inconsistencies would be a sore trial of faith, had not Jesus, who (cf. John 2:25), “knew what is in man,” forewarned us that it should be so. The scandals against the Gospel, so contrary to all human opinion, are only all the more a testimony to the divine knowledge of the Redeemer.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jonah-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Then were the men exceedingly afraid, What is this which thou hast done? For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Jehovah, because he had told them."

"Exceedingly afraid ..." See the above verse and comment for the reason of this increased and intensified fear.

"What is this that thou hast done ..." "This is not a question, but an exclamation of horror."[30]

"For the men knew that he was fleeing from Jehovah ..." This passage reveals that Jonah had explained to the sailors at the time of his boarding the ship that he was fleeing from God. "We shall meet later examples of the writer's economy of words in supplying necessary information omitted earlier."[31]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/jonah-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then were the men exceedingly afraid,.... When they found he was a Hebrew, and that it was the God of the Hebrews that was angry; of whom they had heard much, and what great and wonderful things had been done by him, and now had an experience of his power and providence, and that it was for fleeing from his presence that all this was; and therefore, since they had been guilty of greater sins than this, as they might imagine, what would be done to them? and particularly it might fill them with dread and terror, when they heard of the destruction of Nineveh, the prophet was sent to denounce; of which no doubt he had told them, and they might from hence conclude it would certainly be:

and said unto him, why hast thou done this? they wonder he should act such a foolish part as to flee from such a God he had described to them, who was Lord of heaven, earth, and sea; and therefore could meet with him, and seize him, be he where he would; and they reprove him for it, and the rather as it had involved them in so much distress and danger:

for the men knew that he had fled from the presence of the Lord,

because he had told them; not when he first entered into the ship, but now, though not before mentioned; for no doubt Jonah told the whole story at length, though the whole is not recorded; how that he was sent by the Lord with a message to Nineveh, to denounce destruction to it; and that he refused to go, and fled from his face; and this was the true reason of the storm.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jonah-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

“The men were exceedingly afraid,” when made aware of the wrath of so powerful a God at the flight of Jonah.

Why hast thou done this? — If professors of religion do wrong, they will hear of it from those who make no such profession.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jonah-1.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

It then follows, that the men feared with great fear, and said, Why hast thou done this? (26) for they knew that he had fled from the presence of Jehovah, for he had told them. And this is not unimportant — that the sailors feared with great fear: for Jonah means that they were not only moved by what he said, but also terrified, so that they gave to the true God his glory. We indeed know that superstitious men almost trifle with their own idols. They often entertain, it is true, strange fears, but afterwards they flatter themselves, and in a manner cajole their own hearts, so that they can pleasantly and sweetly smile at their own fancies. But Jonah, by saying here that they feared with great fear, means that they were so smitten, that they really perceived that the God of Israel was a righteous judge, and that he was not such as other nations fancied him to be, but that he was capable of affording dreadful examples whenever he intended to execute his vengeance. We hence see what Jonah means, when he speaks of great fear. At the same time, two things ought to be noticed, — that they feared, because it was easy for them to conclude from the Prophet’s words, that the God of Israel was the only creator of heaven and earth, — and then, that it was a great fear, which, as I have said, must be considered as serious dread, since the fear which the unbelieving have soon vanishes.

But with regard to the reproof which the sailors and other passengers gave to Jonah, the Lord returned to him this as a reward which he had deserved. He had fled from the presence of God; he had thus, as we have said taken away from God his supreme power: for what becomes of God’s authority when any one of us rejects his commands and flees away from his presence? Since Jonah then sought to shun God, he was now placed before men. There were present heathens, and even barbarians, who rebuked him for his sin, who were his censors and judges. And the same thing we see happening often. For they who do not willingly obey God and his word, afterwards abandon themselves to many flagrant sins, and their baseness becomes evident to all. As, then, they cannot bear God to be their Master and Teacher, they are constrained to bear innumerable censors; for they are branded by the reproaches of the vulgar, they are pointed at every where by the finger, at length they are conducted to the gallows, and the executioner becomes their chief teacher. The case was similar, as we see, with Jonah: the pilot had before reproved his torpor, when he said, Do thou also call on thy God; what meanest thou, O sleeper? thou liest down here like a log of wood, and yet thou sees us perplexed and in extreme danger. As, then, the pilot first so sharply inveighed against Jonah, and then all reproved him with one mouth, we certainly find that he was made subject to the condemnation of all, because he tried to deprive God of his supreme power. If at any time the same thing should happen to us, if God should subject us to the reproaches of men when we seek to avoid his judgment, let us not wonder. But as Jonah here calmly answers, and raises no clamor, and shows no bitterness, so let every one of us, in the true spirit of meekness, acknowledge our own sins; when charged with them, were even children our condemners, or were even the most contemptible of the people to rise up against us, let us patiently bear all this; and let us know that these kinds of censors befall us through the providence of God. It now follows —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jonah-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jonah 1:10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

Ver. 10. Then were the men exceedingly afraid] Heb. with great fear; when once they had heard the business, and weighed the particulars, of his message to Nineveh, of his miscarriage, and of his present misery, together with the danger that themselves were in for his sake; how much more for their own, as being conscious to themselves of far more and greater sins than Jonah had to answer for. This put the mariners into a great fright; and as all fear hath torment, they could not be at quiet till they had further questioned him, saying:

Why hast thou done this?] Lo, he that would not be subject to God’s command is now liable to the censures, conviction, and condemnation of rude barbarous men; which, being humbled in the sense of his sin, he doth patiently endure without grudging. Daneus’s note here is, that concerning themselves and their own sins against God these good fellows speak nothing, whatever they think; but demand of the prophet, why hast thou done this? as if he were the only misdoer.

Because he had told them] As willing now to give glory to God and take shame to himself: this is the property of a true penitentiary. See Psalms 51:1 title (where David stands to do penance in a white sheet, as it were), and Augustin’s Confessions. Hypocrites deal with their souls as some do with their bodies; when their beauty is decayed they desire to hide it from themselves by false glasses and from others by painting: so do they their sins from themselves by false glosses and from others by excuses. But as the prisoner on the rack tells all; and as things written with the juice of lemons when held to the fire are made legible; so when God brings men into straits, when he roasteth them in the fire of his wrath, then, if ever, they will confess against themselves, and so give glory to God, Joshua 7:19, by putting themselves into the hand of justice, in hope of mercy.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jonah-1.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Then; when Jonah had declared his God, whose power and wrath these mariners saw and heard in the tempest, and what sin of his was now punished, and how they had taken him into their ship, knowing that he did runaway from this mighty God.

The men were exceedingly afraid; their fear was doubled, every thing now represents horror to them, their own danger, Nineveh’s approaching dismal ruin, which they believe by what they see, satisfied that he who so tremendously punished the refusal to deliver the message, was able and certainly would execute the sentence which he commanded should be delivered.

Why hast thou done this? now they ask a reason for that of which no reason can be given: it was most unreasonable that Jonah had done, and we find no answer to this interrogatory, though the foregoing questions were answered. Others think it is a reproof of him for so doing; I rather think it mixed of both. It was a real reproof to himself while he more particularly explains the great sinfulness Of this prank of his; and it is an inquiry made for satisfaction to them, who no doubt thought of Jonah’s God as they did of their own, that it was no hard matter to be done, nor any great sin if done, to run from their presence. These likely were their thoughts of the thing when he first told them; but the dreadful storm that Jonah’s God sent after this fugitive servant of his makes them more curious to know what great sin it was, and so Jonah explaining the whole, confesseth his sin, humbleth himself, and takes the reproof to himself, and informeth them aright. The men; the master of the ship, and the mariners.

Knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord: in these words it is probable he told them; now though they knew this was the thing, yet they apprehended not what was in it, but did judge of this by their own gods, and their presence.

He had told them, when they inquired the cause of his travels, as it is very like they would do, ere they took his fare.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jonah-1.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Then the men were hugely afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of YHWH, because he had told them.’

When the men heard that YHWH was a God of the sea they were terrified, and knowing from what he had said earlier that he was fleeing from ‘the presence of YHWH’, they asked him to consider what he had done. It was now clear to them that it was because of Jonah that all this was coming on them.

To flee from the presence of YHWH did not mean that Jonah actually thought that he could get away from God. It rather indicated that he had left the land which belonged to YHWH and in which He dwelt in His temple, so that he could no longer be called into His presence (compare Genesis 4:14).


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/jonah-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The sailors" exclamation (rather than question, cf. Genesis 4:10) expressed their incredulity at Jonah"s navet in trying to run away from the God who created the sea by taking a sea voyage. Surely Jonah must have known, they thought, that Yahweh would make their journey perilous. Evidently Jonah had previously told them that he was fleeing from the Lord (cf. Jonah 1:3, where "from the presence of the LORD" occurs twice), but they did not then understand that the Lord was the creator of the sea. Had they known this they probably would not have sold him passage. In the polytheistic ancient Near East people conceived of a multitude of gods each with authority over a particular area of life. A god of the mountains, for example, would have little power on the plains (cf. 1 Kings 20:23).

Before, the mariners had feared the storm, but now they feared the Lord, recognizing the Creator above the creation. [Note: Gaebelein, p79.]

"This is the storyteller"s ironic view of the person who thinks he can escape Yahweh. And yet this irony, with all its exaggeration, is slyly absurd rather than bitter." [Note: Hans W. Wolff, Obadiah and Jonah , p139.]

This pericope, like the previous two, builds to a climax that stresses Jonah"s failure. He did not fear his God though, again ironically, the pagan sailors did. Jonah professed faith in a sovereign God, yet by trying to escape from the Lord he denied his belief in God"s sovereignty. One cannot flee or hide from a sovereign God.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jonah-1.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

men. Hebrew, plural of "enosh. App-14.

exceedingly = afraid. Figure of speech Potyptoton (App-6) = feared a great fear.

Why . . . ? They knew the fact of his flight, but not the reason, which is not revealed till Jonah 4:1-3. This is not therefore "a later addition", as alleged.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jonah-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

Then were the men exceedingly afraid - when made aware of the wrath of so powerful a God at the flight of Jonah. They had known previously, from his own information, the fact that Jonah had fled "from before the presence of the Lord:" but now first they learned that God's power extended to the sea, on which they were now in such peril, as well as to His own special land-namely, that of Israel. Hence, arises their 'exceeding fear.'

And said unto him, Why hast thou done this? If professors of religion do wrong, they will hear of it from those who make no such profession.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jonah-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Why hast.—Rather, What is this that thou hast done? The question expresses horror, not curiosity.

For the men knew that.—Jonah’s answer in Jonah 1:9 is evidently intended only as an abbreviation of what he actually replied.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jonah-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
were
John 19:8
exceedingly afraid
Heb. afraid, with great fear.
Daniel 5:6-9
Why
Joshua 7:25; 2 Samuel 24:3
he fled
3; Job 27:22

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jonah 1:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jonah-1.html.

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