NAU Jonah 1:10 Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, “How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.
Smith argues1 that the sailors were filled with “holy fear” in light of verse 9 where Jonah states: “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” If this is the case, it is a fascinating contrast with verse 5 when the men were afraid of the storm. Hence, in verse 5 they become afraid due to the nature of the storm and in verse 10 they become afraid with a holy fear, since through Jonah they discovered that it was God who was controlling the sea. It is “holy” because it is outside of the ordinary and it is “fearful” because God is a consuming fire.
- Smith, K. Billy, Page, S. Frank. The New American Commentary. Amos, Obadiah, Jonah. Volume 19B. Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995. Pg. 236. [↩ back]