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Jonah prays to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish.
The prophet Jonah describes his distressful experience in the waters. As he is on the verge of death, he cries out to the LORD for deliverance.
The LORD delivers Jonah from the sea when Jonah prayed to Him. Now Jonah gives a testimony of his deliverance and promises to pay the vows he made.
The LORD commands the fish to bring Jonah to shore and deposit him safely there.
Jonah Chapter 2 consists of Jonah’s prayer of thanksgiving. The prophet recounts his distress inside the fish, his prayer for deliverance, and the LORD’s answer to his prayer. Jonah also contrasts himself with pagans who worship powerless gods and forsake their faithfulness. He promises to sacrifice to the LORD and fulfill the vows he made when he cried to the LORD for help. He closes the song with the statement, “Salvation is from the LORD.”
The prayer of thanksgiving is in the form of a psalm, much like the psalms in the Psalter. The psalm portion of chapter two begins in Jonah 2:2 and ends in Jonah 2:9. Verse 1 and verse 10 are in prose. Verse one introduces the prayer, while verse ten explains the result of Jonah’s prayer and resumes the narrative interrupted in Jonah 1:17. Thus, verses 1 and 10 provide the framework for the psalm, as shown in the structure below:
1. Jonah prays to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish (v. 1)
A. He describes his distress in the waters (vv. 2–6a)
B. He recounts his deliverance and his gratitude (vv. 6b–9)
2. The LORD commands the fish to get Jonah to shore and deposit him there (v. 10)