4:1 It - The divine forbearance sparing Nineveh.
4:2 Was not this - Did I not think of this? That thy pardon would contradict my preaching.
4:3 Than to live - Disgraced and upbraided by hardened sinners, who will brand me for a liar.
4:5 A booth - Some small and mean shed, probably of green boughs. 'Till he might see - It seems the forty days were not fully expired.
4:6 Prepared - Commanded that in the place where Jonah's booth stood, this spreading plant should spring up to be a shade when the gathered boughs were withered. To deliver - To give some ease to his mind.
4:7 Prepared - By the same power which caused the gourd suddenly to spring, and spread itself. It smote - Which early next morning, bit the root, so that the whole gourd withered.
4:8 A east wind - A dry, scorching, blasting wind. Fainted - Overcome by the heat. Better to die - But Jonah must be wiser, and humbler, and more merciful too, e'er he die. Before God hath done with him, he will teach him to value his own life more, and to be more tender of the life of others.
4:9 I do well to be angry - If in the violence of this passion I should die (as some have) yet were I not to blame. What a speech! Verily the law made nothing perfect!
4:10 Laboured - Thou didst not set it. Grow - Nor didst thou water or give growth to it.
4:11 I - The God of infinite compassions and goodness. That great city - Wouldest thou have me less merciful to such a goodly city, than thou art to a weed? Who cannot discern - Here are more than six - score innocents who are infants. Much cattle - Beside men, women and children who are in Nineveh, there are many other of my creatures that are not sinful, and my tender mercies are and shall be over all my works. If thou wouldest be their butcher, yet I will be their God. Go Jonah, rest thyself content and be thankful: that goodness, which spared Nineveh, hath spared thee in this thy inexcusable frowardness. I will be to repenting Nineveh what I am to thee, a God gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and I will turn from the evil which thou and they deserve.