If those on the ship asked (Yonah 1:11) and Yonah answered (1:12) as far as how to save them, why did they ignore his suggestion (1:13)?


They didn't ignore his suggestion. This is how the pesukim go (according to Malbim):

1:12 — Yonah tells them that the storm is to punish him and not them, and since it's here to punish him for running away, they should throw him away so he can get his punishment.

1:13 — They reasoned that since the punishment is for running away, it would be more appropriate to return him there, but they weren't able because of the storm.

1:14 — They decided to throw him off, but first prayed to G-d not to count it as murder, since they had to throw him off to save their lives.

1:15 — They threw Yonah off.

  • I'm not sure how you can interpret 1:13 that way. The pasuk says nothing of the sort. – user1668 Aug 23 '12 at 17:21
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    @PM The pasuk says that they tried to go back but weren't able to because of the storm. Malbim says that the reason why they tried to go back was because they wanted to return him, since that is the appropriate consequence for running away. – b a Aug 23 '12 at 17:22
  • that's very convenient way of explaining a pasuk. That would be like saying God wanted Yona to run away because Yona was a navi and ran away and God doesn't say that he is angry that Yona ran away. – user1668 Aug 23 '12 at 17:29
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    @PM I don't see how this explanation is forced to you. It's not explicitly there in the pasuk, but the people who tried to go back must have had a reason. If that wasn't their reason, what do you propose was? – b a Aug 23 '12 at 17:34
  • Jonah has already given up hope: "I'm a dead man, the only solution is to toss me overboard." Now giving up that easily doesn't make for a very good sailor, so they don't resort to that until they're out of options. – Shalom Aug 23 '12 at 19:39

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