The Meaning of Jonah 1:16 Explained

Jonah 1:16

KJV: Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.

YLT: and the men fear Jehovah -- a great fear, and sacrifice a sacrifice to Jehovah, and vow vows.

Darby: And the men feared Jehovah exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah, and made vows.

ASV: Then the men feared Jehovah exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah, and made vows.

What does Jonah 1:16 Mean?

Study Notes

feared
.
fear of the Lord
The "fear of the Lord," a phrase of the O.T. piety, meaning reverential trust, with hatred of evil.

Context Summary

Jonah 1:1-16 - Fleeing From God And Duty
Jonah is mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25. He was clearly very patriotic, and did not despair of his country in its darkest days. This commission to Nineveh was therefore not to his taste, because he had no desire to see the great heathen city brought to her knees. Another century would have to pass before Isaiah and Micah would proclaim that the heathen world would turn to God, Micah 4:1; Isaiah 2:2.
Rather than go upon this errand of mercy, Jonah hurried down to the one seaport, that he might escape his duty. Sin is always a descent; we always have to pay heavily in tolls and fares when we take our own way instead of God's, and we must never reckon that opportunity implies permission.
Weary with excitement and travel, the prophet is oblivious to the weighing of the anchor. The disasters that block the way of disobedience are harder than our difficulties in performing God's bidding. Note the divine agency in our lives: the word of the Lord came; the Lord hurled forth a great wind; the Lord prepared a great fish. There were, in these heathen sailors, beautiful traits which ought to have abashed the prophet. Their prayer to their idols and their endeavor to save this stranger Jew are as instructive as remarkable. [source]

Chapter Summary: Jonah 1

1  Jonah, sent to Nineveh, flees to Tarshish
4  He is betrayed by a great storm;
11  thrown into the sea;
17  and swallowed by a fish

What do the individual words in Jonah 1:16 mean?

And feared the men afraid exceedingly - Yahweh and offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and took vows
וַיִּֽירְא֧וּ הָאֲנָשִׁ֛ים יִרְאָ֥ה גְדוֹלָ֖ה אֶת־ יְהוָ֑ה וַיִּֽזְבְּחוּ־ זֶ֙בַח֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה וַֽיִּדְּר֖וּ נְדָרִֽים

וַיִּֽירְא֧וּ  And  feared 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: יָרֵא 
Sense: to fear, revere, be afraid.
הָאֲנָשִׁ֛ים  the  men 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: אִישׁ 
Sense: man.
יִרְאָ֥ה  afraid 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: יָרֵא  
Sense: fearing, reverent, afraid.
גְדוֹלָ֖ה  exceedingly 
Parse: Adjective, feminine singular
Root: גָּבֹול 
Sense: great.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
יְהוָ֑ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
וַיִּֽזְבְּחוּ־  and  offered 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: זָבַח  
Sense: to slaughter, kill, sacrifice, slaughter for sacrifice.
זֶ֙בַח֙  a  sacrifice 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: זֶבַח  
Sense: sacrifice.
לַֽיהוָ֔ה  to  Yahweh 
Parse: Preposition-l, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
וַֽיִּדְּר֖וּ  and  took 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: נָדַר  
Sense: to vow, make a vow.
נְדָרִֽים  vows 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: נֵדֶר  
Sense: vow, votive offering.