Jonah and the Whale

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by templaris, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Jonah and the Whale

    many things in the Bible are unbelievable.

    Jonah and the whale is no exception. How could a man be swallowed whole by a shark, or whale, ans survive for three days and nights?

    many whale sharks have been found with whole specimens as large as a human in their stomachs, nd some of them have been on the brink of death, but barely living. for 40 hours, it is very possible for a human to have survived with airpockets in the creature's bowels. though it'd probably be very uncomfortable, it is very possible to live inside an underwater leviathan for a short period of time.

    though the Bible has some pretty mirculous things, many can be explained by simple logic and simple physics.
  2. This example is told in PARABLE FORM from the prophet, 'Jonah' as detailed in Jonah 1:1 (KJV).

    PARABLE: "A short 'story' or 'lesson' used to deliver a moral or religious teaching."

    Jonah's fear and pride causes him to run from God. He does not wish to go to Nineveh to preach repentance to the people, as God has commanded, because he feels they are his enemy and he is convinced that God will not carry out his threat to destroy the city. Instead he boards a ship for Tarshish, which is in the opposite direction. Soon a raging storm causes the crew to cast lots to determine that Jonah is the problem. They throw him overboard, and he is swallowed by a great fish. In its belly for 3 days and 3 nights, Jonah repents of his sin to God, and the fish vomits him up on dry land (* please refer to 'add-on' below). Jonah then makes the 500 mile trip to Nineveh and leads the city in a great revival. But the prophet is displeased instead of thankful when Nineveh repents. Jonah learns his lesson, however, when God uses a wind, a gourd and a worm to teach him that God is merciful.

    We cannot hide from God. Regardless of our patriotism, we must never put our country or city ahead of God. Regardless of our reputation, nationality or race, God loves us. Rejoicing in the salvation of others is an experience God wants us to share with Him; not be resentful, jealous or thinking it is not "real".

    Your statement that 'many things in the Bible are unbelievable' is truly troubling to a number of us here, because you do not seem to understand that a significant number of teachings in BOTH the Old and New Testaments, in the Original Manuscript Languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, were done in PARABLE FORM to offer a teaching in a manner that the uneducated persons of the day could relate to from experiences and observations in their own lives. You are nearly calling God a liar and THAT is unacceptable. Leave your logic and physics outside when you study God's Word. You don't need it because He is THE scientist - he created YOU, afterall, didn't he?

    Study the Bible in the forms that it was written in, because your literal interpretation will get you nowhere in understanding the original meanings. Think in parable form, not literal form, when you run across teachings such as this. Put yourself in the place of a farmer or peasant who is listening to a prophet or disiple teaching in story form so YOU, in the year 134 BC OR 59 AD, can understand what is being taught.

    Add-On: The Number "3" in Biblical Numerics means "Divine Completeness or Perfection". It is not only used in the Book of Jonah, but also in the first Books of the New Testament regarding the Three Days Christ spent in the tomb before resurrection.

    In the case of Jonah, he spent Three days swallowed up before he recognized his sins and repented. As he repented, his 'divine completeness or perfection' was restored, as his sins were washed away by God. He then returned to Nineveh and proceded to mess up once again... and God corrected him using several examples. If anyone wishes to examine a good listing of Biblical Numerics and what the numbers in the KJV stand for, use this link if you wish:
  3. Science or human knowledge cannot explain many stories in the Bible and that is not the proper way to understand them. The difference between believer and unbelievers is firstly evident in our belief. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods (Psalms 40:4). Trust in Him and his word at all times (Psalms 62:8).

    When God himself is the creator of the whale and Jonah, how is it impossible for Him to keep Jonah alive? There is nothing hard for him (Jermiah 32:27). God had a plan for Jonah, but he disobeyed Him, therefore Jonah had to be put through all this inorder to place him back into God's plan. It's very logical but it questions science and that is why science is wrong.
  4. Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    Gen 1:1 ,possibly the most important and certianly the most pivital verse in all of scripture. It is by what one believes and accepts in this ,the very first verse of scripture that we can know what they will see in the rest of the bible.

    For if one can believe and accept this simple statement at the bibles very begining without question or hesitation then everything that follows is understandable and acceptable without question as the truth.

    However if one does not or cannot unconditionaly accept it then everything there after is foolishness to them.

    If some one believes the story of Jonah to be a an illogical work of fiction, then we need to bring them to this verse and question their belief in God and all of his word.

    If they doubt this verse then there is no teaching them anything from a book they can only accept as fiction written about a fictional powerless God.
    Making believers out of stones is not done by persuassion and logic. His word needs no proof, no scienticic explination. Only belief and acceptance even though we may notfully understand. It's called faith and without it there is no belief in God no matter how strong or logical the defence.
  5. Jonah being swallowed by a whale is a matter of translation. Actually, the Hebrew notes his being in the inner parts of the whale. Personally, I believe he was in the lung -- a 10' x12' chamber at room temperature, with a source of fresh water at the bottom, condensation from breathing, which is emmitted from the blow hole. I think when Jonah got in the lung, the whale started moving toward the beach, and finally ejected him through the blow hole.

    The Bible requires a lot of time and study to fully appreciate all the possibilities of what it is saying. But its author is quite sophisticated, even using a very complex logic in creating the universe.

    M Paul
  6. okay maybe I take it back. Maybe Jonah and the whale didn't happen. ~shrug~

    sheesh. try to sy something positive and it just backfires....ill just not say anything positive now. lol

  7. templaris,

    I find at times your posts are confusing. Forum registration requires agreeing that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. You started the thread off saying many things in the the Bible are unbelievable and Jonah is no exception. wonders...

    Do you believe the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God??

    M Paul
  8. I think it did happen, thats what my orginal point was.
  9. Call me simple but if the Lord God created the heavens and the earth I would have no problem with Him keeping Jonah alive inside the belly of a whale. The idea is to learn from Jonah- listen for God's voice and OBEY- otherwise we might just find ourselves puked up on a beach in the very place we were supposed to go in the first place. God's word is always true.
  10. Christ was resurrected from the dead.
    (Others were raised from the dead. Lazarus was.)
    We all believe that do we?
    Why than should we not take literally the story of Jonah?:)
  11. Yes, interesting how Yeshua draws from its example:

    Now consider the parallel. Was Christ in the belly of the earth? He was in the tomb. Was that literal? Yes it was, he was in the tomb (sheol) for three days.

    "Even as..."

    Seems pretty literal to me. ;)

  12. Blowing off the dust....

    ...The bible never said it was a whale... it says God prepared a Fish...just my 2 cents.

  13. I think Templaris was misunderstood here.
    It was clear to me that he was saying that even though some things may seem impossible that in fact they are not.
    He was not at all disputing Jonah being swallowed by a whale, but explaining how it is proven it can be done.
  14. P.S.
    ....the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
  15. the bible is there to teach,everybody takes diffrent meaning from diffrent passages.dont stop people asking take the fun away from learning.
  16. The letter of the law kills but the Spirit gives life- mans interpetation without God's revelation is DEAD RELIGION- it is true that one passage of scripture can reveal many different things to many different people ( or the same person at different times) but no interpetation is valid unless the Holy Spirit breathes His life unto it and makes it come alive to you personally!
  17. Not only was Jonah's stay in the water creature real and factual (literal) but even more astounding, the sea creature was not a whale (air breathing sea fairing animal), it was a giant fish (water breather).

    Not only should the story be taken literally but, the fish also should be taken literally. God is well aware of the many different kinds of creatures in the world. After all, he made them. If the virgin birth of Jesus should be taken literally, everything aside from the symbolic nature of prophetical scripture should be taken literally.
  18. Whenever a scripture is symbolic it is explained somewere else in the scripitures !
  19. The author certainly viewed the account as factual...since he include Jonah's lineage. Why bother telling the reader who Jonah's father was if Jonah was a fictitious character?
  20. What are you saying, Larry? The truth is dynamic; always changing? From what I understand, there's only one truth and one Spirit. I don't believe any of us has the whole truth perfectly. Does that mean we aren't saved? Not at all, salvation is simple; unmistakable: believe. Nothing else matters as far as getting to heaven is concerned.

    The one who believes and lives a long life in faith will have done many more works and enter Heaven just as will the one who just became a believer moments befor their death.

    Both will be in Heaven but only one will have done good works.

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