- Published: 17 April 2011
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I understand Jonah's account of 3 days in the belly of the great fish to be likened to that of Christ's three days in the grave, but I see one difference. The Bible I read doesn't say that Jonah died. In Chapter 2 verse 1Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, What's up with this?Dear John,
God Bless your beautiful heart and thank you for writing. We understand that many people have trouble with is in that the traditional teaching is that Jonah was alive in the great fishes belly the entire three days and nights. We are sure we have similar Bibles but will show the Hebrew on the key words. First we ask you to consider that if you being a believer like Jonah were thrown into the ocean and swallowed by a great fish that at the moments before your certain demise you also would be praying as fast and furiously as possible and if three days and nights later you found yourself back on shore alive we are convinced you would be giving God the glory. Now let's look at the record.
First the length of his stay.
Jon 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Now the events of his stay.
Jon 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
Jon 2:2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
hell = sheol or hades the world of the dead (seems he knew this was a death sentence and where he was soon to be heading).
Jon 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
He is already under water as the waves pass over him.
Jon 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Jon 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
Waters compassing his soul = nephesh defined as a breathing creature (still underwater thus unable to breath) weeds around his head (further affirmation of being still underwater)
Jon 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
Here he goes down to the bottom of the mountains thus being buried underwater by the usage of bars or a watery prison. He then shows positively his death as he claims " yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God". Corruption = shachath meaning destruction, corruption, destruction, ditch, grave, pit. He could not be delivered from this state unless he was behind it's bars under tremendous pressure from the depths of the mountains underwater grave.
Jon 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
fainted = ataph to be overwhelmed but confident God will supply his salvation.
Jon 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
Jon 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.
Jon 2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land .
Now let's look at the most important evidence of all.
Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
So we must ask ourselves how was Jesus Christ in the heart of the earth? So how must Jonah have been in the great fishes belly? What kind of sign could Jonah have been if he wasn't dead and if Jonah wasn't dead then was Christ not raised from the dead? Any answer other than being dead would be the end of the Christian faith so why do so many cleave unto tradition and ignore the Truth. Fear is the only possible answer but:
1Jo 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
All Gods Blessings,