Then they cried out to Yahweh and said, “Please, Yahweh, do not let us die for this man’s life, and do not hold against us innocent blood, for you, Yahweh, have done as it pleased you.” Bible see other translations

“this man’s life.” The Hebrew for “life” is nephesh (#05315 נֶפֶשׁ), more generally “soul,” but here correctly understood as “life.”

[For more on nephesh and soul, see Appendix 16: “Usages of ‘Soul.’”]

“do not hold against us innocent blood.” The Hebrew is more literally, “Do not put on us innocent blood,” that is, “Do not hold us accountable for shedding innocent blood.” The sailors were afraid that if they threw Jonah overboard, the same god that was angry at Jonah would be angry at them. They were not familiar with Yahweh, and most pagan gods were capricious and vengeful.

Commentary for: Jonah 1:14