1 Kings 19:4

Hebrew Bible

2 Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with this warning, “May the gods judge me severely if by this time tomorrow I do not take your life as you did theirs!” 3 Elijah was afraid, so he got up and fled for his life to Beer Sheba in Judah. He left his servant there, 4 while he went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He went and sat down under a shrub and asked the Lord to take his life: “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.” 5 He stretched out and fell asleep under the shrub. Suddenly an angelic messenger touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked and right there by his head was a cake baking on hot coals and a jug of water. He ate and drank and then slept some more.

Jonah 4:3

Hebrew Bible

1 This displeased Jonah terribly and he became very angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord and said, “Oh, Lord, this is just what I thought would happen when I was in my own country. This is what I tried to prevent by attempting to escape to Tarshish, because I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in mercy, and one who relents concerning threatened judgment. 3 So now, Lord, kill me instead, because I would rather die than live! 4 The Lord said, “Are you really so very angry?” 5 Jonah left the city and sat down east of it. He made a shelter for himself there and sat down under it in the shade to see what would happen to the city.

 Notes and References

"... Chapter 41:3-4 expresses Sirach's view of death in a nutshell ... This is Sirach's most definitive statement on the finality of death, and leaves no room for resurrection or a blessed afterlife. Sirach's views on this subject are no different than those of Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), except that he holds them with resig­nation, whereas Qoheleth chafes against them. Sirach recognizes that death can be bitter for one who is at peace among his possessions (40:1). But he also rec­ognizes that death can be welcome "to one who is needy and failing in strength, worn down by age and anxious about everything" (41:2). The attractiveness of death in certain circumstances received classic expression in the Egyptian Dis­pute of a Man with His Ba (Soul) about 2000 B.C.E. Such sentiments are not common in the Hebrew Bible but occur more than once in Ben Sira. According to Sirach 30:17, 'Death is better than a futile life, and eternal sleep than chronic sickness.' (The repose of the dead is commonly called sleep in Jewish epitaphs of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.) The same sentiment is found in Tobit 3:6, 10, 13 in the prayers of Tobit and Sarah. (Compare also 1 Kings 19:4 (Elijah); Jonah 4:3; Job 3:11, 13, 17; Ecclesiastes 4:2) ..."

Collins, John J Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age (pp. 92-93) Westminster John Knox Press, 1997

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