Thestory that Jonah is one of those bible stories that everyone has actually heard of. He’s the man who was swallowed by the whale.

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Butalthough world like to focus on the fishy aspects of the tale, that’s just thebeginning of the story, and also not also necessarily the most crucial part. What occurred to Jonah after ~ the whale, andwhat go it need to do v a Colocynth?
Jonahwas a prophet living in a town called Gath Hepher in Israel during the reign ofJeroboam II, somewhere about 800-750 BC.It was a time of loved one peace and prosperity for Israel, and also duringthis period King Jeroboam recovered territory which had previously to be takenby the King of Damascus.
Theword that the Lord came to Jonah, commanding that to go to the city the Nineveh,the Assyrian resources of King Sennacherib, and also to preach against it. Nineveh to be a good city and also in the holy bible isassociated v wickedness. The prophets Nahum and Zephaniah likewise prophesiedthe devastation of Nineveh; but they didn’t have to actually walk there.
Jonahdid not particularly want to walk to Nineveh, so he went instead to the harbor ofJoppa and booked passage on a delivery bound for Tarshish, which plenty of scholarsidentify with Tartessos, a Phoenician mining colony in southwestern Spain;about as much in the contrary direction native Nineveh as Jonah can go.
Aviolent storm come up which intimidated to sink the ship, and the sailorsguessed (rightly) that the gods should be pissed at someone. They actors lots to try determining that theguilty one might be, and the lot dropped to Jonah.
Jonahconfessed that he had disobeyed God and that the storm was all his fault. The told the sailors to litter him overboardand the then the sea would end up being calm.At very first the sailors refused and tried to conserve Jonah – mirroring a greatermoral sensibility than the guy of God go -- yet the storm ended up being even moreviolent and finally they felt they had no choice. Begging the Lord’s forgiveness, they perform asJonah said and chuck the prophet overboard.
But the LORD provided agreat fish come swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish 3 days and also threenights. (Jonah 1:17 NIV)
Thisis the part that civilization get hung up on.It sounds impossible. Jonahcouldn’t have actually been swallowed through a whale, since a whale’s neck is also narrowfor a male to happen through. Well,technically the original Hebrew claims “big fish” no whale, however that doesn’tmake things lot better. How numerous fishare there the big? was it a specialfish, developed specifically for this purpose, choose an aquatic version of theCat-bus from mine Neighbor Totoro? Or to be it, together some much more prosaic critics havesuggested, just a second ship who name taken place to be “The Fish” the camealong with time to choose up Jonah before he drowned?
Howeverhe to be saved, Jonah did no drown. Hespent three days in the ship of the beast, and he prayed. And also this is where we choose up the story:
“In my distress I referred to as tothe LORD, and he answer me.From the depth of the graveI referred to as for aid and friend listened to my cry.” (Jonah 2:2)
Afterthree days, God regulates the fish come regurgitate Jonah on dried land. Then once again he gives Jonah hiscommission: “Go come the an excellent city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the post I willgive you.” (Jonah 3:2) running away won’t do any kind of good. Jonah obeys and goes come Nineveh.
Ninevehwas located on the Tigris river in the northern part of Mesopotamia, acrossfrom the contemporary day city of Mosul. TheKing James version tells us that it was “anexceeding good city of three days’ journey.”
Thatcan’t median that it took Jonah 3 days to acquire there; the coast of theMediterranean Sea lies numerous miles away from the city. In order because that theBig Fish to deposit Jonah three days far from Nineveh, it would certainly have had actually toswim every the method around Africa, up the Persian Gulf, and most that the method up theriver Tigris, every within the three days Jonah was within its belly. Herman Melville, dissecting Jonah in one ofthe chapters that Moby-Dick, discovered thiseven harder to believe than the entirety “swallowed by a whale” business.
Amore most likely interpretation is the Nineveh to be so huge it took 3 days towalk approximately it. Archaeologicalexcavations about the website of Nineveh indicate that it was around eight milesaround – substantially less than a three-day walk. But perhaps the text is referring to theGreater Nineveh metro Area, including a couple of nearby cities as suburbs. Or possibly it way that it took Jonah threedays to visit all the communities of the city law his preaching. This is the translate the NIVtranslation leans toward: “a visitrequired three days.”
SoJonah goes v Nineveh, warning them the the city would quickly bedestroyed. “Forty an ext days and also Nineveh will be overturned.” (Jonah 3:4) and also something impressive happens.
The Ninevites believedGod. They asserted a fast, and also all ofthem, from the greatest to the least, placed on sackcloth.When the news got to theking that Nineveh, he increased from his throne, took off his royal robes, coveredhimself with sackcloth and sat under in the dust. (Jonah 3:5-6)
Theking decrees a national duration of prayer and also fasting, and also urges his citizens togive up their violent and also evil means in wishes that God would relent and also decidenot to damage Nineveh after ~ all.
When God witnessed what they didand how they turned indigenous their angry ways, he had actually compassion and did not bringupon lock the destruction he had actually threatened. (Jonah 3:10)
Nowit’s Jonah’s rotate to it is in pissed. The knewthis would happen. That knew the God wasso compassionate, just so dang slow to anger and abounding in steadfast lovethat he’d wind increase forgiving everybody. “That is why i was so fast to flee toTarshish,” he gripes.
Goddoesn’t see any kind of reason because that Jonah to be all cranky; however Jonah doesn’t feeling likelistening come reason. He goes to a placeeast of the city and builds himself a small shelter in bespeak to clock andwait, hoping he could get to view some cool fire ‘n’ brimstone actioneventually.
Jonahwas a prophet, not an architect, and the rude shelter he put together didn’tprovide him with lot in state of defense from the elements; yet God onceagain provided for him. A vine thrived upover the shelter and detailed Jonah through some level of shade.
Whatkind of vine was it? King Jim calls that agourd. Various other translations call it ashrub or a bush. Many versions simply callit a vine and leave it at that. J.R.R.Tolkien, who translated the book of Jonah because that the Jerusalem Bible, called it a“colocynth”, a kind of wild gourd usual to the center east and also looking prefer asmall watermelon. His editors changed it to a castor oil plant, atall, leafy plant of the region, possibly because they doubt he made "colocynth" up. "None of her elf-words, Tollers! This is serious! This is the Bible!"
Butthe shady pipeline of the colocynth didn’t last long. ~ a work or two, God likewise sent a worm tochew ~ above the vine. The plant withered anddied, leave Jonah to roast in the sun.Miserable and also faint through the heat, Jonah complains the he’d be betteroff dead.
But God claimed to Jonah, “Doyou have actually a ideal to it is in angry about the vine?”“I do,” the said. “I am angry sufficient to die.”But the mr said, “You havebeen concerned about this vine, despite you go not often tend it or make itgrow. That sprang up overnight and diedovernight. However Nineveh has an ext than ahundred and also twenty thousand world who cannot tell their appropriate hand indigenous theirleft, and also many livestock as well. Must Inot it is in concerned about that an excellent city?” (Jonah4:9-11)
Wedon’t know what happened to Jonah afterwards; presumably the went residence to GathHepher. Maybe, as legacy state, hewrote the book about his adventure which bear his name; or probably it waswritten some time later by someone else.
Presumablythe Ninevites relapsed into wickedness, because we recognize from background thateventually the Babylonians overcame Assyria and destroyed the city; althoughnot prior to Assyria dominated and soaked up the Kingdom the Israel. But for a time, they got a reprieve fromthe damage to come.
Inthe Gospel of Matthew, Jesus cites the story that Jonah on an occasion once somePharisees and also teachers the the regulation ask that to provide a miraculous sign to provehis credentials.
He answered, “A evil andadulterous generation asks because that a miraculous sign! but none will certainly be offered it except for the signof the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah wasthree days and three nights in the ship of a large fish, for this reason the child of man willbe 3 days and three nights in the love of the earth. The guys of Nineveh will stand up in ~ thejudgment v this generation and condemn it; for they repented at thepreaching the Jonah, and also now one better than Jonah is here.” (Matthew 12:39-41)
HereJesus is extending things. It is onlyby a generous translate of the Gospel narrative the we deserve to say Jesus wasin the dig for three days; and also it wasn’t three whole days and also three wholenights. Still, i think we can grant theGospels part poetic license here.

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AlthoughI need to wonder if the most far-reaching parallel in between the story that Jonahand the story of the Resurrection is not the variety of days the protagonistspent buried away native the surface world however the article that God hadcompassion top top the sinners who knew no their ideal hand from your left, andextended to them forgiveness.
Posted bykurt wilckenat6:04 AM
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God created the storm, the whale, the shady irpari plant, the worm and they every obeyed Him! Why would certainly Jonah, an additional one the His creations, not?

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kurt wilckenIn my mystery identity, i am a ninja cartoonist. I live in the enchanted Land-O-Cheese with my wife Lute, my daughters Gamera and Rodan and a hatful that ferrets.View my finish profile
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