I am cast out of Thy sight - , literally, "from before Thine eyes." Jonah had willfully withdrawn from standing in God' s presence. Now God had taken him at his word, and, as it seemed, cast him out of it. David had said in his haste, "I am cut off." Jonah substitutes the stronger word, "I am cast forth," driven forth, expelled, like the "mire and dirt" Isaiah 57:20 which the waves drive along, or like the waves themselves in their restless motion Isaiah 57:20, or the pagan (the word is the same) whom God had driven out before Israel (Exodus 34:11, and the Piel often), or as Adam from Paradise Genesis 3:24.
Yet (Only) I will look again - He was, as it were, a castaway, cast out of God' s sight, unheeded by Him, his prayers unheard; the storm unabated, until he was cast forth. He could no longer look with the physical eye even toward the land where God showed the marvels of His mercy, and the temple where God was worshiped continually. Yet what he could not do in the body, he would do in his soul. This was his only resource. "If I am cast away, this one thing will I do, I will still look to God." Magnificent faith! Humanly speaking, all hope was gone, for, when that huge vessel could scarcely live in the sea, how should a man? When God had given it no rest, while it contained Jonah, how should tie will that Jonah should escape? Nay, God had hidden His Face from him; yet he did this one, this only thing only this, "once more, still I will add to look to God." Thitherward would he look, so long as his mind yet remained in him.
If his soul parted from him, it should go forth from him in that gaze. God gave him no hope, save that He preserved him alive. For he seemed to himself forsaken of God. Wonderful pattern of faith which gains strength even from God' s seeming desertion! "I am cast vehemently forth from before Thine eyes; yet this one thing will I do; mine eyes shrill be unto Thee, O Lord." The Israelites, as we see from Solomon' s dedication prayer, "prayed toward the temple," (I Kings 8:29-30, I Kings 8:35 ff) where God had set His Name and shown His glory, where were the sacrifices which foreshadowed the great atonement. Thitherward they looked in prayer, as Christians, of old, prayed toward the East, the seat of our ancient Paradise. where our Lord "shall appear unto them that look for Him, a second time unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28. Toward that temple then he would yet look with fixed eye for help, where God, Who fills heaven and earth, showed Himself to sinners reconciled.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Jonah 2:4:
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