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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary

Yonah - Jonah - Chapter 2

Yonah - Jonah - Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

1And the Lord appointed a huge fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.   אוַיְמַן יְהֹוָה דָּג גָּדוֹל לִבְלֹעַ אֶת יוֹנָה וַיְהִי יוֹנָה בִּמְעֵי הַדָּג שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה לֵילוֹת:
And the Lord appointed: Those sixteen days that Israel was missing the manna, since they did not eat it for a complete forty years - God took this manna and sustained the fish so that Jonah would not be digested in its intestines, and Jonah, too, ate within it from this manna. Therefore, it is stated, the letters sixteen [days of] manna. Similarly, and He appointed a kikayon, for he ate four omers; therefore, it says four times (4: 6 ff.). And in Greek, manna is called “kika.” For that reason, it is stated: i.e, manna in Greek. -[Sod Mesharim]  
a huge fish: It was a male, and he stood there with room, so that he did not think to pray. The Holy One, blessed he He, hinted to the fish, and it spewed him out into the mouth of a female, which was full of embryos, and it was crowded there, and he prayed there, as it is said: (verse 2) “from the belly of the fish ” [from Pirke d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 10, according to Yalkut Shimoni ; Midrash Yonah, second version, Otzar Medrashim p.219]  
2And Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, from the belly of the fish.   בוַיִּתְפַּלֵּל יוֹנָה אֶל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו מִמְּעֵי הַדָּגָה:
the Lord his God: He combined the Divine standard of justice with the Divine standard of mercy, the merit of Abraham and Isaac.  
from the belly of the fish: This is Jacob. [Sod Mesharim]  
3And he said: I called out from my distress to the Lord, and He answered me; from the belly of the grave I cried out, You heard my voice.   גוַיֹּאמֶר קָרָאתִי מִצָּרָה לִי אֶל יְהֹוָה וַיַּעֲנֵנִי מִבֶּטֶן שְׁאוֹל שִׁוַּעְתִּי שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹלִי:
from the belly of the grave: From the belly of the fish, which is to me as the grave.  
4And You cast me into the deep in the heart of the seas, and a river surrounded me; all Your breakers and Your waves passed over me.   דוַתַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי מְצוּלָה בִּלְבַב יַמִּים וְנָהָר יְסֹבְבֵנִי כָּל מִשְׁבָּרֶיךָ וְגַלֶּיךָ עָלַי עָבָרוּ:
all Your breakers and Your waves : All the breakers of the sea, since it breaks and parts the sea. [from Jonathan]  
5And I said, "I have been driven away from before Your eyes," Indeed, I will continue to gaze upon Your Holy Temple.   הוַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי נִגְרַשְׁתִּי מִנֶּגֶד עֵינֶיךָ אַךְ אוֹסִיף לְהַבִּיט אֶל הֵיכַל קָדְשֶׁךָ:
and I said: when they cast me into the sea, “Behold I am dead, and I have been driven away from before Your eyes.”  
Instead: I saw that You have kept me alive all these days. I know that I will continue to gaze upon Your Holy Temple.  
6Water has surrounded me even to the soul, the deep encompassed me; the Red Sea hangs over my head.   ואֲפָפוּנִי מַיִם עַד נֶפֶשׁ תְּהוֹם יְסֹבְבֵנִי סוּף חָבוּשׁ לְרֹאשִׁי:
the Red Sea hangs over my head: Lit., reeds are bound to my head. [Jonathan renders:] The Red Sea hangs over my head. For the Holy One, blessed he He, showed him the Red [lit., Reed] Sea and how Israel crossed in its midst, for the fish’s two eyes were like two windows, and he would look and see everything in the sea. [from Pirke d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 10]  
7To the bottom of the mountains I descended, the earth-its bars are closed on me forever; but You brought up my life from Gehinnom, O Lord, my God.   זלְקִצְבֵי הָרִים יָרַדְתִּי הָאָרֶץ בְּרִחֶיהָ בַעֲדִי לְעוֹלָם וַתַּעַל מִשַּׁחַת חַיַּי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָי:
To the bottoms of the mountains I descended: To the end of the measure of the mountains fixed to the deep, I descended. And I said...  
the earth-its bars are closed on me: Heb. כנגדי against me, over me it is closed, and I will never go out.  
closed on me: Heb. וסגרת הדלת בעדך cf. (II Kings 4:4) “And you shall close the door about yourself.” And so is every instance of in Scriptures, e.g. (Job:24) “Skin against skin,” עור בעד עור a limb against a limb.  
forever: This refers to what he said above, “And I said, ‘I have been driven away,’” and I said, “The earth - its bars are closed on me forever.”  
but You brought up my life from Gehinnom : But I saw Gehinnom here, and from there You brought me up, and, behold, I stand under the Temple in Jerusalem, similar to what is stated: “Indeed, I will continue to gaze upon Your Holy Temple,” “And my prayer came to You, to Your Holy Temple.” [from Pirke d’Rabbi Eliezer ch. 10]  
8When my soul grew faint upon me, I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came to You to Your Holy Temple.   חבְּהִתְעַטֵּף עָלַי נַפְשִׁי אֶת יְהֹוָה זָכָרְתִּי וַתָּבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ תְּפִלָּתִי אֶל הֵיכַל קָדְשֶׁךָ:
When my soul grew faint: Heb. בהתעטף [Jonathan renders:] When it grew faint. Cf. (Lam. 2:11) “For the infants swoon,” (verse 12) “When they swoon like wounded men.”  
9Those who keep worthless futilities abandon their kindness.   טמְשַׁמְּרִים הַבְלֵי שָׁוְא חַסְדָּם יַעֲזֹבוּ:
Those who keep worthless futilities: The nations of the world, who worship idols  
abandon their kindness : The fear of the Holy One, blessed be He, from Whom all their kindness and benefit emanate, they abandon; but I am not so, but “with a voice of thanks will I sacrifice to You.” In this manner did Jonathan render it. But in Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 10), they expounded this as an allusion to the sailors who abandoned their kindness that they were bestowing upon the idols and proselytized.  
10But I-with a voice of thanks will I sacrifice to You; what I vowed I will pay, for the salvation of the Lord.   יוַאֲנִי בְּקוֹל תּוֹדָה אֶזְבְּחָה לָּךְ אֲשֶׁר נָדַרְתִּי אֲשַׁלֵּמָה יְשׁוּעָתָה לַיהֹוָה:
for the salvation of the Lord : Vows of peace-offerings and thanksgiving offerings I will pay, for the salvation of the Lord  
for the salvation: Heb. ישועתה like לישועתה for the salvation. Cf. (Ps. 44:27) “Rise for our aid” equivalent to קומה עזרתה לנו  
11And the Lord said to the fish, and it spewed Jonah onto the dry land.   יאוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה לַדָּג וַיָּקֵא אֶת יוֹנָה אֶל הַיַּבָּשָׁה:
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