Jonah’s Prayer from within the Fish

Jonah 2:2–11

Biblical Period

2Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish. 3He said:

In my trouble I called to the Lord,
And He answered me;
From the belly of Sheol I cried out,
And You heard my voice.
4You cast me into the depths,
Into the heart of the sea,
The floods engulfed me;
All Your breakers and billows
Swept over me.
5I thought I was driven away
Out of Your sight:
Would I ever gaze again
Upon Your holy Temple?
6The waters closed in over me,
The deep engulfed me.
Weeds twined around my head.
7I sank to the base of the mountains;
The bars of the earth closed upon me forever.
Yet You brought my life up from the pit,
O Lord my God!
8When my life was ebbing away,
I called the Lord to mind;
And my prayer came before You,
Into Your holy Temple.
9They who cling to empty folly
Forsake their own welfare,
10But I, with loud thanksgiving,
Will sacrifice to You;
What I have vowed I will perform.
Deliverance is the Lord’s!

11The Lord commanded the fish, and it spewed Jonah out upon dry land.


Reprinted from Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia.

Published in: The Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization, vol. 1.

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