A Bible Lesson on Jonah 3&4

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This is the second of two lessons on the book of Jonah.

The LORD speaks again.

Jonah 3:1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying,

2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”

“Up, go!” The basic commission hasn’t changed. God’s intentions are the same, to be gracious to the Ninevites. We are fickle, but God is consistent. He is consistent in His intentions towards the Ninevites. He is consistent in His dealings with Jonah. Despite rebellion on the parts of both, He is merciful. William Banks said, “We are moved to speak of Jonah’s God as the God of the Second Chance. But honest sober reflection compels the saint to speak of Him as the God of the 999th chance! Such gracious mercy as was extended to Jonah here, and to David, and to the thief dying upon the cross, and to Peter—surely it has been granted to all believers through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.”

Jame Boice wrote, ” … when the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, it came with the same commission he had received the first time. We often think, when we are on the verge of running away from God, that if we run away and if the Lord should nevertheless speak to us again, he might take note of the fact that we have run away and therefore change the command. He does not. When we think or act in this disobedient way, we are acting like children who do not like what they are being told to do and who therefore throw a tantrum, thinking that this might get the parents to change their minds. An indulgent or foolish parent might fall for this manipulation, but a wise parent will not. Nor does God! Consequently, after he has dealt with the tantrum, sometimes by means of a spanking, God returns to us with the same commission as before. Why try to resist it? Learn that if you try to run away from God, sooner or later he is going to catch up with you and that when he does you will have to face the very thing you are running away from. Experience his grace now instead of judgment.”

3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth.

We’ve got here the prophet obeying in deed, even if his heart and attitude aren’t in it. He grudgingly goes to Nineveh and grudgingly speaks what God has told him to speak. In Hebrew, the description of the city is apparently clearly meant to say that it was large. It is not “great” for some other reason. It is so large that to either go across it or perhaps around it would take 3 days. Apparently it was common to reckon not only the size of a walled city, but to also include the surrounding villages in a statement like this. In any case, Nineveh was a big place.

4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

“overthrown” is the same word used to describe what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. Jonah is not preaching success in life, or the power of positive thinking, or some easy route to a happy eternity. Instead he’s simply declaring to these folks what is their real condition. They are in a world of hurt, and their sin is going to bring God’s wrath on them inside 40 days. The Ninevites take this message for what it is. Contrast this to what happens a century or more later when Jeremiah preaches this kind of message to Jerusalem. He winds up in prison. In Matthew 12 Jesus contrasts this wonderful reaction of Nineveh to that of Judah when He came.

5 And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

They believed God. Jonah said what God told him to say, and these pagans, moved by the Holy Spirit, believed. There is much post-modern drivel making the rounds about how complicated it is to communicate the Gospel these days in our sophisticated urban societies. The truth is that man was created by God, is in rebellion against Him, and stands guilty and under His wrath. That’s pretty simple. The warning spoken by Jonah in verse 4 requires only 5 Hebrew words. But the Ninevites believed when they heard it. They took God at His word and obeyed. From Genesis 3 the fundamental human problem has been that we don’t take God at His word or simply refuse to obey. Not so the Ninevites.

They declared a fast and put on sackcloth. The point is that they recognized that they were undone. The circumstance was beyond their own ability to handle it. They were effectively saying “God, we admit we’re wrong. There’s nothing we can do to justify ourselves. We throw ourselves on your mercy.” That is real faith, and it extended to the highest circles.

6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

The king here is probably the king of the city-state of Nineveh, not the emperor of Assyria, but he’s still the most powerful guy around. He comes down from his throne and sits down in the dust with everybody else.

7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,

8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

“Call out mightily to God. Turn from evil ways and violence.” The king knows that more is needed than just going through the motions of fasting. He calls for real change of behavior. The Ninevites don’t blame someone else for their sin or stonewall the situation. Instead, they repent.

Violence is disregard for what is right by those who are too strong to be brought to account. The Assyrians pretty much figured that might made right. The fact that they were strong, in their minds justified their cruel treatment of those they conquered. And the Ninevites are called on to repent of this.

9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

It’s interesting here that the word this Ninevite uses for God is “Elohim,” God Almighty. He, unlike Jonah doesn’t know God by his personal name, Yahweh. But he does understand enough about God from the fact that He’s the Creator to hope that He might have mercy on Nineveh. And indeed, God relents. His promise to annihilate Nineveh being conditional on continuation of the Ninevite sin, when they repent, He cancels the destruction. (Here, “God” is Elohim, God Almighty, Creator, but not fully revealed as the great “I Am” who made Himself known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)

Jonah 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry.

God has Jonah’s outward obedience, but He still doesn’t have his heart. God’s anger against Nineveh is cancelled by the city’s repentance. Jonah becomes angry because the Ninevites repent. The ESV rendering is probably not strong enough to convey the depth of Jonah’s rage. Baldwin renders verse 1 “But Jonah was deeply offended and furious.” He’s in a real snit. Jonah’s heart is for what Jonah wants, not what God wants. Now when Jonah begins to pray, he uses God’s personal name, Yahweh. Jonah should understand and glory in the workings and intents of God. But he wants what he wants.

2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.

This is pagan. To know and love the one true and living God is to desire what He desires, to ache for His will to be done, and His glory to be seen. To desire to manipulate or thwart Him is pagan. Jonah ought to listen to what he’s saying and reel in horror at what’s coming out of his mouth. It’s ludicrous, for sure, but what is more is that it’s terribly wrong-hearted.

Like the fallen human he is, Jonah decides that since he can’t have things his way, he’ll sulk. In his silliness Jonah actually wants to tell God “see, I told you so!” He maintains that all along he was justified in his refusing to obey! Look what’s happened, these people didn’t get the judgment that was coming to them! If God has just listened to him. There’s a hint here that maybe even Jonah is accusing God of treating him unfairly, that he Jonah could see this was coming and was only looking out for God’s best in disobeying, and look what it’s gotten him … 3 days in the belly of the fish!

Look at the contrast between what the king said in 3:9 and what Jonah says here. The king, not knowing Jonah’s God, says “Who knows?” while in contrast, Jonah “knew.” But as Boice said, “… he is not reconciled to the will of God even yet.”

3 Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

This is amazing stuff. Rather than tell the sailors to turn back, he prefers what he thinks is sure death in the sea. Rather than see the glory of God demonstrated in mercy, he’d again rather be dead. Jonah’s memory is short, like those of most of us. He called to God from the belly of the fish, and was grateful for mercy. But when God is consistent and is merciful to Ninevah, and doesn’t do as Jonah wishes, Jonah is unhappy.

4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”

“Do you do well to be angry?”/”Are you right to be angry?” God’s point is not so much that Jonah is out of line (of course he IS terribly out of line and presumptuous) as it is that he’s wrong on the facts. He wants God to give Nineveh what Nineveh deserves. But that is not the heart of our gracious and merciful God. Rather than yield and admit that God is right and he is wrong, Jonah heads out of the city. He quits. Without any such direction from God, he abandons his post. These people have next to nothing of God’s word. Yet, as they embrace what they do know, there is an amazing reformation exploding. People are willing to hear the truth, and Jonah walks off, wishing rather to be dead. He’s in no mood to admit that his perception of the character and will of God just might be less than perfect. Maybe God will “get it” if he stomps off like a spoiled child.

5 Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city.

He’s sitting out in the desert, waiting to see what happens, hoping that after all, God will send some fire and brimstone (seemingly oblivious to the fact that if the fire falls, he’s every bit as deserving of destruction as are these Ninevites). It’s a, hot, miserable wait. But it’s JONAH’s chosen wait. Jonah is by himself on his own terms. Notice that he’s not even camped on the west side of Ninevah, as if he were headed for home sometime soon. Jonah has taken up the role of spectator (and rooter against repentance) rather than servant. He’s waiting and hoping for the revival to die and the judgment this wicked people deserve to fall. And even in this, God has mercy on Jonah and sends him some shade and prepares to get his attention yet again.

6 Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant.

Jonah’s happy for the shade. He’s also cheered by the growth of something green out there in the desert.

7 But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered.

God “appointed” the worm. God appointed the worm, in the same way that he appointed the vine in verse 6, in exactly the same way that he appointed the fish in 1:17. God orders all of the universe, from the greatest of sea creatures to the bug that kills the plant. He sends shade when it suits His purposes for us. He takes away the shade when He deems it best to do so.

8 When the sun rose, God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on the head of Jonah so that he was faint. And he asked that he might die and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”

The sun beats down on Jonah. The verb is actually the same one used in verse 7 to describe the worm’s action on the plant. The worm attacked the plant; the sun attacks Jonah. The scorching desert wind comes up, a sirocco. There’s no shelter, unless of course, Jonah would perhaps like to go back into Nineveh and appeal to the Ninevites for aid! But, as he says, he’d rather die. Going back into the city wouldn’t be on his terms. It would be on those of God.

9 But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.”

“Do you do well?”/”Are you right?” Again, God is dealing graciously and patiently with an impudent servant. He’s not so much putting Jonah in his place here, as He is again saying that Jonah’s wrong on the facts. Jonah’s mad about the death of a plant, a plant that he didn’t make and doesn’t own. He’s angry that it has been destroyed, while at the same time he’s still hoping that God will destroy people that God has made and rightfully owns, people that are infinitely more valuable than a mere plant, beings created in the image of God. Jonah is in such a snit that he won’t see it. Again, he justifies his foolishness. It’s ominous that his last word is “die.” He’s questioning and quarreling with God, justifying himself, insisting that he has reason to be furious, and the end if it is the loss of everything that makes life worth living.

10 And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night.

11 And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”

God had the first word in Jonah. He also has the last. “Jonah, these folks in Nineveh are morally clueless. Shouldn’t the God of the universe look with compassion on them? And shouldn’t you have compassion on them as well?”

We’re not told directly how Jonah eventually reacted, but we may infer (given that this could only have come from Jonah) that he did come around to see his own sin and foolishness and understand God’s great compassion.

The book has in it the sailors, the fish, and the Ninevites. It shows us God’s great power over the whole of creation and teaches His universal love and mercy for humanity, even those who have practiced violence and idolatry. But it’s fundamentally about God and Jonah. It’s about a servant who is disobedient and insists that he knows better than his Master, but who that Master loves and will not let go. Thank God that this is the truth about Him. The fact that we can read this in spite of Jonah’s foolishness, knowing that in the end God must have gotten His heart, ought to give our souls great comfort. God is not like us. You or I would simply have been done with Jonah and moved on to another servant. But the LORD is “… a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”

Here is a .pdf of a lesson on all of Jonah.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

A Bible Lesson on Jonah 1&2

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This is the first of two lessons on the book of Jonah. Jonah ministered in the northern kingdom (Israel) in the period before Isaiah’s ministry. 1 Kings 14 records him prophesying the restoration of the original boundaries of the northern kingdom accomplished under Jeraboam II (who died in about 753 BC). (Isaiah began to prophesy in the year king Uzziah died, namely 740 BC.) This was a period when, although very much the leading power in Israel’s world, Assyria was otherwise occupied and Israel was feeling her oats, having tossed Syria out of the northern territories. In the estimation of Israel, things were going pretty well, but Jonah’s contemporaries Amos and Hosea are about to come onto the scene and condemn her for apostasy and social injustice.

Jonah is from a town only a few miles from Nazareth, in Zebulun or Galilee. He is the only prophet to whom Jesus explicitly compares Himself, declaring that Jonah’s experience in the belly of the fish prefigured His own experience in the tomb. We should take note that the prophets of Israel and Judah did not usually prophesy to non-Jews. There are a few small-scale exceptions to this (Elijah to the widow of Zarapheth in Sidon, and Elisha to Naaman of Syria), but by in large, God’s prophets spoke to God’s people.

Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

Nineveh was a leading city of Assyria, over 500 miles to the east of Jonah’s home town. Nahum later condemns Nineveh for cruelty and plundering in war, prostitution and witchcraft, and commercial exploitation. Though there was probably a bit of a lull at this time as far as Assyrian pressure on Israel went, this nation was the fiercest of the ancient world in terms of its dealings in war and with defeated foes. This was not a nation that Jonah would naturally relish addressing, or really would want to see receive God’s mercy. But God, in imperative terms, tells Jonah to get himself to Nineveh and preach. It’s not just “go,” it’s “Arise, go,” or even more literally “Up, go!”

3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

Nineveh is east, Jonah heads west. The best guess seems to be that Tarshish was on the coast of Spain, 2000 miles from Israel. Jonah is headed about as far from his commission as he can get. When the Scripture says that he “ran away from the LORD” we ought not read it as saying that Jonah rationally believed that he could get out of God’s physical presence. He knows better than that. He’s heard

Psalm 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

The physical running that he’s doing is just confirmation of what he’s already done internally. He’s rejected God’s clear command. He’s now just putting as much distance between himself and his commission as possible, saying to himself that he’ll make it physically impossible to do what he’s been told to do.

We hear this story, remember that later on Jonah admits that the reason he’s running is that he doesn’t want to see God’s mercy extend to the pagan people of Nineveh, and more or less chortle about his cute little attempt to get out of doing what he’s been told to do and the lumps he takes for it. At least I do. But it’s not really funny. Let’s consider how serious this story is and entertain the possibility that we too have played Jonah’s game.

Jonah has the clear direction of God. But he things wants his way, and on his terms. So he sets about to make it impossible to do what he’s supposed to do (God’s way). That’s a favorite human trick, to hustle around and misuse what we’re given, and then claim that we can’t do what we are supposed to do. Have we ever said to ourselves “These pagans that we’re dealing with are beyond hope, we’ll just take care of our own and let them reap what they’re sowing and find out the truth on judgment day. After all, it really is impossible to get through to them, is it not?” Frankly, there is some of Jonah in me and it’s not really a joking matter. If we chortle here, it ought to be the nervous kind of laugh we laugh when we know we’ve been found out.

4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.

5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.

The Hebrew here is apparently quite forceful here. It is something like the LORD “cast” or “threw with force” a wind upon the sea. These pagan sailors don’t know exactly what’s going on, but they know the situation is beyond them. They are probably Phoenicians and polytheists. The idea here is to try to cover all bases. They’re pragmatists. They’re going to try all possible avenues here and if one of them covers the situation, then good enough. This is a pagan reaction to adversity. The reaction of God’s people ought not be like this. Our hope in all situations is in the one true and living God. He is not simply one among several options, and He’s not just “the last resort.”

The LORD hurled the wind and the sailors hurled the cargo. But there’s no comparison in the effectiveness of the hurling.

6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

Jonah is initially oblivious to the fact that the consequences of his rebellion are spilling over onto others. We tell ourselves that our sin is private, that only we will feel its effects. That’s wrong for Jonah and its wrong for us. The captain’s words are ironic. He says “Arise!” (or again, more literally, “Up!”). That was God’s word to Jonah in verse 2! “Call out to your god!” he says. God told Jonah to “call out” to Nineveh! Jonah’s in no position to provide any aid here. People who live in conscious rebellion against God usually find that when push comes to shove, even though life and death are on the line, they don’t have it in them to call out for mercy.

The attitude of the captain is noteworthy in his recognition that he’s not calling the shots. It’s “Perhaps” Jonah’s God will have mercy. He doesn’t have all the facts about Jonah’s God, but he knows that it’s not a human’s business to be prescribing to any real “god” how things ought to be.

7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.

8 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?”

9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

The words of Jonah technically put things into their right perspective for these pagan sailors. “I fear the LORD, Yahweh, the one true and living God, the One who made the sea and the dry land.” There is no equivocating here about who is who and why there is this great storm. Jonah, who will not preach to pagan Ninevites, finds himself declaring what is true to these pagan sailors. These guys are hoping to sort out which one of a bunch of possible (false) gods they might be dealing with. Jonah says clearly that there is but one God, who made all, and it’s Him who stands behind this storm. But at the moment his doctrine is better than his obedience. His “I fear God” is hollow in light of his willful disobedience. He does not truly “fear God” in any Biblical sense of having a holy reverence and awe, or of having a terror of His power and perfection. He knows his catechism, but it hasn’t gripped his soul. There’s no obedience here, ergo there is no real “fear.”

10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

“What have you done?” in the sense of bringing all of them into danger. It is more or less “Look Jonah, you’ve just told us that your God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. You’re defying Him? And consequently we’re in danger!!??” It seems like they have a better grasp on the seriousness of Jonah’s sin than he does. In verse 5, a literal rendering would be “the sailors feared.” In verse 10 this has escalated to “the men feared with great fear.” In verse 10, their situation has been informed. They know Who it is that opposes them, and they are terrified.

11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous.

12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.”

The prophet knows he’s responsible for the mess. He says he’s ready to forfeit his life, if it will straighten things out for the bystanders. But then again, he’s not repenting! He’s not yet offering to do what God has told him to do. Rather, it’s more “I guess I’ll take my licks, but I’m not bowing the knee.” Jonah will grant God’s power and right to rule, but he won’t yet yield to Him. In fact, he’d rather die than do so.

13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them.

The ESV wording doesn’t quite capture the desperateness of the men’s effort. They really dig with their oars, trying with everything they have to deliver the prophet back to land.

14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.”

These guys, even pagans that they are, are honorable in this matter. They recognize that though Jonah is perhaps guilty before his God, they personally have no basis on which to take his life. They don’t want his blood on their heads, especially in that he’s the property of his God! They have no personal experience with Yahweh, and have to go on the word of Jonah. And they’re trying to explain themselves to Jonah’s God.

15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.

16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

It seems that this experience was enough to drive these sailors to the truth about God. It is the LORD (Yahweh) that they have come to fear here, and to whom they sacrifice. The double use of God’s personal name in verse 16 confirms for us that these guys are now aware of exactly who they are worshiping. From verse 5 to verse 10 to verse 16, the description has gone from “the sailors feared” to “the men feared with great fear” to “the men feared with great fear the LORD.”

17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

As far as the sailors know, the ocean is the end of Jonah. But God isn’t done with Jonah, and this fish is to be Jonah’s salvation. It’s not particularly pleasant, but nevertheless his deliverance. The word “appointed” here (and in fact this whole story) should say something to us about God’s calling. Romans 11:29 says (of the Jews) that “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” It is true that upon Jonah’s rebellion, God could have punished him and replaced him with a more compliant servant. But instead, He pursued him, preferring to capture Jonah’s heart and see him carry out what he was given to do in the first place. That is, in a word, amazing. Jonah blew it, but God was faithful and gracious. That gives the rest of us hope as well.

In the belly of the fish, Jonah finally finds it possible to pray.

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish,

2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.

3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.

4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; Yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’

5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head

6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.

7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple.

8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.

9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Here is the fundamental truth of all true faith. Salvation belongs to the LORD. It is His to give, and He does so on His own terms out of mercy, under no obligation to any person.

10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

It’s time to start walking east instead of sailing west.

Here is a .pdf of a lesson on all of Jonah.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.