prepared a gourd
4:6 prepared a gourd. There are a number of fast-growing plants in the deserts of the Middle East, and commentators disagree as to the botanical identity of this “gourd.” None, however, would grow to such a height overnight, so this plant, like the fish, must be understood as miraculous. The worm which (like the fish and the gourd) had also been “prepared” by God (Jonah 4:7), must likewise have possessed miraculous abilities, to produce an overnight disintegration of such a large shade plant. The “vehement east wind” (Jonah 4:8) was also prepared by God, making Jonah so conscious of God’s concern and power with regard to his animal and plant creations, that he could finally appreciate God’s concern even for the pagan Assyrians.