A Christian Study of The Book of Jonah


Engraving of “Jonah Cast Out by the Big Fish” published in “The Story of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation” Published by Charles Foster in 1883. The engraving is now in the public domain.

“Can There Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?”  

“Search, and Look: For Out of Galilee Ariseth No Prophet”

Introduction

In John 1:45 we read, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Why did Nathanael ask this question?  We get the feeling that it was some kind of contemporary euphemism which indicated that Nazareth, a city in Galilee, was a place of poor reputation.  We find support for this idea in John 7:52, where we read, “They (the chief priests and Pharisees) answered and said unto him (Nicodemus*), Art thou also of Galilee?  Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” (We should also be aware that this is entirely consistent with what we read just a few verses prior in John 40-41, “Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the ProphetOthers said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?“)

Wouldn’t it be logical to assume that these men, being Jewish “chief priests and Pharisees,” would have had to have been thoroughly familiar with the scriptures (“Moses in the law, and the prophets”…the Old Testament in that day) to allow them to make such a bold and emphatic challenge to Nicodemus?  Nonetheless, all true believing Christians know that Jesus is “Good” in answer to Nathanael’s question (for He is God, as we read in John 1:1-3 and John 1:14), and that He also was the specific fulfillment of the Prophet found in Deuteronomy 18:15 (“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;“) because Acts 3:20-26 gives us this commentary, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.  For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.”  The New Testament also makes reference to Jesus as, “the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” as we read in Matthew 21:11 for example, “And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

However, we must remember that the priests and Pharisees in Jesus’ day were looking for that coming “Prophet” only on the basis of what they found in the Old Testament “scriptures.”  It is clear from the challenge to Nicodemus by the chief priests and Pharisees that, according to their understanding and knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures, there was no scriptural basis or precedent to expect that a prophet would arise out of Galilee.  How, then, are Christians (who use the New Testament to claim that Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture) to deal with this issue?  The answer is that we must be like the Bereans of Acts 17:10&11, who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

       The Book of Jonah Is the Place to Search and Look!

             The Bible offers no “plain and simple” information from which to determine either 1) a rebuttal to the challenge made to Nicodemus by the chief priests and Pharisees , or 2) whether or not Nicodemus was himself able to give them such a rebuttal.  However, when we look in Matthew 12:38-41, isn’t it interesting that we find the account in which “certain of the scribes and Pharisees” asked Jesus to show them a sign to validate that He was indeed the Messiah (that great Prophet) to which Jesus’s only response was to refer them to the book of Jonah.  They said, “Master, we would see a sign from thee.  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 (Greek for “Jonah”): 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.  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas [is] here.” (please also see Matt. 16:4)

In Luke 11:29&30, Jesus provides additional insights, “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.”

Could it be that the Old Testament support we seek is found in that book, the Book of Jonah?

[The reader should also take note of the importance of the above statements by Jesus, because Jesus also validated that Jonah was indeed a real person, and a real prophet, and that Jonah was really swallowed by a fish/whale for 3 days and nights…and moreover that he served as a “sign”hence anyone who disbelieves in the book of Jonah is, in effect, calling Jesus, hence God, a liar.]

[It should also be noted that the Book of Jonah is read every year to the assembled congregations of the Jewish people in their synagogues on Yom Kippur to the present day. Yom Kippur, which occurs on the 10th day of the seventh month (Tishri), is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a day-long fast, confession, and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services.  Sadly, they remain entirely unaware that Jonah was established by God as a prophetic sign of The Messiah, Jesus Christ.]

At this point, it would be quite helpful to recall what Jesus Himself said regarding the challenge of the chief priests and Pharisees to Nicodemus to “search and look.”  First, in Matthew 23:1-3, we read, “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,  Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.  In other words, the scribes and Pharisees did not practice what they preached.  They did not “search and look”; but Jesus said we should do whatsoever they said to do, which in this case is to “search and look.”  Secondly, Jesus specifically told the Jews themselves to “search the scriptures,” as we read in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (Jesus).”**  So let’s do just that.  Let’s search and look in the scriptures as Nicodemus was challenged to do; particularly looking in the book of Jonah as Jesus implied, to see if we can refute the question and assertion that form the subtitles of this paper (and also to see how the book of Jonah testifies of Jesus).

Chapter 1: Jonah (or Jesus?)

Let’s begin our search of the scriptures by focusing on the very first verse of Jonah, where we read:

Jonah 1:1, “Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

A lot of very important information is packed into this little verse.  At the start, it is clear that Jonah’s office was that of a prophet, for the word of God came specifically to the prophet to declare unto the people (Heb 1:1, Jer 29:19, Hos 12:10, and many others).  We also learn that Jonah’s father was named Amittai.

The son of Amittai?  

Who is this Amittai?  When we “search the scriptures”, we find that the only information concerning him is found in 2 Kings 14:25, and there we find that God provides pretty much the same information.  However, when we search out the meaning of Amittai we can begin to see what God has in view.  In the Hebrew, Amittai means “faithful”, “trustworthy”, or “true”.  Who is it that is repeatedly declared to be faithful and true in the scriptures?  God!  In Deuteronomy 7:9, we read, “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”  In John 7:28 we read, “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.”  We can see then that Amittai is a type or figure chosen by God to represent God the Father.  So who does that suggest Jonah might spiritually represent?  Remember how above in John 5:39 Jesus said the scriptures testified of Him, hence the title of this chapter heading, “Jonah (or Jesus?)”

But what about Gath-hepher? 

If we go back for a moment to 2 Kings 14:25, we are provided additional evidence to confirm that we are on the right track.  There we learn that Jonah’s abode or home was in Gath-hepher; “He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which [was] of Gath-hepher.

Gath-hepher is a primary clue from at least two distinct vantage points.  First, if we look in the back of our Bibles at the ancient map of National Israel, we will find, to our utter amazement, that the town of Gath-hepher from the Old Testament is located no more than two miles north of Nazareth from the New Testament.  To assure ourselves that this is indeed the case, we have only to search it out in God’s word.  From Joshua 19:13, we learn that this town (also referred to as Gittah-hepher) was within the borders of the land given to the tribe of Zebulun, “And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittah-hepher (in the original Hebrew this is the same as “Gath-hepher”, and, which translated, means either “winepress of digging” or “winepress of shame” https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Gath-hepher.html), to Ittah-kazin, and goeth out to Remmon-methoar to Neah;” 

From Matthew 4:12-15 (and Isaiah 9:1), we learn that the land of Zebulun (Zabulon in Greek) is identified as being within the region of Galilee, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he (Jesus) departed into Galilee;  And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (“Isaiah” in Greek, see Isaiah 9:1) the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, [by] the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles (nations);”

Please also note that when we take a close look at Isaiah 8:11 to the end of that chapter, and then Isaiah 9:1 (which Matthew 4:12-15 just pointed us to) and then the verse immediately following (Isaiah 9:2), we can gain some additional insights to show us that Jesus is the Christ, and that “Great Prophet”, Whom the people in Jesus’s day were not expecting to have come from Galilee nor would see that Jesus would be the Means of Salvation to all the world (gentiles) and not just the Jews only (of which a remnant would still be saved).

For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (See also Romans 9:30-33) 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.17 And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.”  Then Isaiah 9:1 reads, “Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.”  The dimness and darkness surrounded the nation of Israel (“both houses of Israel” and “the inhabitants of Jerusalem”). However, in the very next verse (Isaiah 9:2) we read, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”  Which leads us to  John 9:5, where Jesus announces, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” after which he immediately healed a blind man, “born blind”.  Then we read later in John 9:39,”And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.”

Getting back to the issue of Galilee…From this Bible study we can see that Jonah was the son of Amittai who was from Gath-Hepher which is in the land given as part of the inheritance to the tribe of Zebulun which is in the region known as Galilee.  Isn’t that astounding?  They were both Galileans!  God raised up the great prophet Jonah from the exact same neighborhood as the ultimate “Prophet”, Jesus Christ (except that Jonah lived about 800 years earlier than Jesus).  As we go on, we will see this is more than just coincidence, but for the moment it might be profitable to take a slight detour to review another aspect of this geographical information.

The “Winepress of Shame”?

From our geographical study of Gath-hepher we have found the unequivocal similarity between Jonah and Jesus based on the fact that both were “prophets” from Galilee.  However, there is one other aspect denoted by Gath-hepher that we must consider.  Gath-Hepher is a compound word that is generally thought to mean, “well of the winepress.”  In the Hebrew, Gath means “winepress.”  The word hepher, while sometimes translated dig, pit, or well, also means “shame” or “reproach” https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Gath-hepher.html”  Amazingly, when we search the Bible, we can again see how this focuses our attention on Jesus.  Let’s look at the winepress first.

“Gath” (גַּת, gat or gittahH1660) is translated as “winepress” in Lamentations 1:15, “The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty [men] in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, [as] in a winepress H1660 (gath/gittah).”  For further insight on the role of the winepress in scripture let’s look at Isaiah 63:2&3, where we read, “Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat (winepress)? H1660  I (Jesus) have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”  In Joel 3:13, we read, “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press H1660 is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great.” And in Revelation 14:19, “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.”  In Revelation 19:13, “And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Clearly the winepress refers to God’s wrath that must be brought to bear in judgment for sin.  Jesus, as the believers’ atoning sacrifice, first had to endure that wrath and suffer the shame of God’s reproach for their sins.  

It should be noted here that if we look closely at the word “hepher” in the original Hebrew we find the following:

  1. The verb חפר (hapar) means to dig, both in order to unearth something and to bury something. Hence this verb may be used both to describe (1) a quest for something wanted, and (2) a quest to obscure or cover-up something unwanted.
  2. The latter usage appears to have evolved into its own verb, namely חפר (haper), to be ashamed, again both because (1) something secret was exposed or (2) something embarrassing is sought to be covered.

In both instances, we can clearly see that, from a Godly/Spiritual standpoint, the “something” that is to be both exposed or covered is SIN! Jesus bears the exposed sins of the believers, he bears our shame, He became “sin for us” as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  Also in Isaiah 53:5, “But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” And our sin is covered in the robes of Jesus Christ’s righteousness as we read in Isaiah 61:10, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Psalms 69 gives us a glimpse of the shame and reproach Jesus had to suffer.  However, we are also reminded how, on Judgment Day, Jesus will return as the Judge who pours out God’s judgment on the unsaved for whose sins He did not pay in the winepress of God’s wrath.  We read of this in Isaiah 47:3, “Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet [thee as] a man,” and in Daniel 12:2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

Jonah: the “Dove”

Did you know that Jonah’s name means “dove”?  Do these terms relate to/prefigure Jesus?  Indeed they do.  Remember what the pigeon or dove was used for in the scriptures?  The dove or pigeon was used as a sacrifice offering for the poor and leprous.  We read this in Leviticus 5:7, “And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.”  Also in Leviticus 14:29, “And the rest of the oil that [is] in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.  And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;  [Even] such as he is able to get, the one [for] a sin offering, and the other [for] a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD.  This [is] the law [of him] in whom [is] the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get [that which pertaineth] to his cleansing.

We know that only Jesus is the valid atoning sacrifice which can satisfy God’s Levitical Law of Sacrifice for our spiritual destitution and the cleansing of our sin, our spiritual uncleannesses (typified by leprosy) and that it was He who was prefigured by the dove and the pigeon.  Interestingly, when we look in Jonah 1:4-16, we find that the mariners were forced to cast Jonah into the sea, because it was the only way that they could be saved from the tempest.  In essence, Jonah was “sacrificed” by the mariners to appease the wrath of God that otherwise would have destroyed the ship and all who were aboard it.  We should also remember God’s usage of the dove in the account of our LORD’s baptism, see Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:9, Luke 3:21&22, and John 1:31-34.

I trust that you have begun to see the amazing informational potential of the book of Jonah and its answer to both the question raised by Nathanael in John 1:45 and the challenge laid down by the chief priests and Pharisees to Nicodemus in Jesus’s day in John 7:52.  By way of exhortation, let’s review what we’ve learned:

Jonah was a prophet (a “Good” thing, in answer to Nathanael’s question) and, perhaps more importantly (regarding the challenge and erroneous assertion of the chief priests and Pharisees to their peer, Nicodemus), he arose from Galilee (the exact same region as Jesus!).  Furthermore, Jonah’s dwelling place was in Gath-hepher, which pointed to the judgment of God as we have seen.  That winepress was where the LORD became sin for the believers as God the Father pressed out of Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, the sweat as it were great drops of blood as one treading under foot the grapes in the vat. This was indeed the dwelling place of Jesus!  It was most necessary for Him to dwell in Gath-hepher for a time that He might become a sacrifice for the poor in spirit, the spiritually unclean.  For the believers, Jesus became poor and unclean, that they might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9) and clean before God.  Jesus was also referred to by God as the Prophet.  Jonah was also the son of Amittai, which means faithful and true.  We know that Jesus is the Son of God who is Faithful and True.  Finally, the dove again points us to the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of God’s elect and reminds us of the Holy Spirit as He came upon Jesus to validate His ministry as the Priest, Prophet, and King, and His evangelical work through His believers bringing salvation to a hostile world, yours and mine (typified by Nineveh in the book of Jonah).

 Chapter 2: Jonah’s Sojourn in the Sea Prefigures Jesus Christ’s Eternal Sacrifice 

            Some critics might dismiss the above exposition of Jonah as simply another one of so many so-called “fanciful” or “allegorical” interpretations.  They might say that these comparisons are only curious “coincidences” and have no validation other than in the mind of the beholder.  On that, you’ll have to judge for yourself.  However, before you pass judgment, it might be helpful to look at one more key element of comparison whereby God Himself provides the unequivocal validation for the above exposition.  When we carefully look at the corollary between: 1) what we find in the book of Jonah with 2) what we know about from the Bible concerning death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (that Jesus pointed to in Matthew 12:38-41), we will find something very interesting.  We know that Jesus was referring to the three-day and night period that began with His torment beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night and which was completed at His resurrection on Easter Sunday morning because of what we read in Jonah 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.

In Hell Forever?

             However, in Jonah 2:1&2, we also read, “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell(***)H7585cried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.”  Jonah is described here as being in “Hell”, but we know he was only in a fish/whale at the bottom of the sea, correct?  Then, later, in Jonah 2:6 we read, “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.”  But doesn’t it explicitly state in Jonah 1:17 that Jonah was only in the belly of the fish/whale for three days and three nights?  And why does it say “the earth with her bars,” if Jonah was only in the sea?  Please remember, I didn’t put these words here, and neither did any New Testament era theologian.  These words are in the original Hebrew texts just as they have been for over 2500 years.  They were put in the Bible by God Himself through the work of His Holy Spirit (please see 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21).  They unequivocally pre-figured Jesus’s torment, death, and resurrection; as well as the fact that Jesus, in the space of the referenced “three days and nights”, actually endured the equivalent of an eternity (forever!) in Hell for the sins of all who would ever believe on Him as their Savior.  As for “the earth with her bars,” we are given another reference to the prison house of hell, which also parallels with Jesus’s description of his atoning sacrifice in Matthew 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.”

Note also the similarity with Psalm 18:4-6, where we read, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hellH7585 compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (were before) me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”  

No Corruption

We also read in Psalm 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell H7585; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. And this is exactly what Peter preached at. Pentecost, essentially word for word from Psalm 16:10 regarding Jesus in Acts 2:27 and thereby also confirming Jesus’s connection to Jonah, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Interestingly, when we go to Psalm 49:15, we read, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: H7585 for he shall receive me. Selah.” The word for “grave” is the exact same Hebrew word for “hell.”  Some scholars try to explain away the use of “hell” by saying it is just “death”, but they ignore the fact that Peter is quoting Psalm 16:10 in the Greek New Testament by referring to the “hell” there as  “hades”, which is not the grave, but a place of disembodied spirits/souls. The correct Hebrew word for “grave” is קֶבֶר, H6913 qeber, keh’-ber; or (feminine) קִבְרָה qibrâh; from H6912; a sepulchre:—burying place, grave, sepulchre.”

Please also note the consistency between this and what we read in 2 Samuel 22:4-7, “”I will call on the LORD, [who is] worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death  compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hellH7585compassed me about; the snares of death prevented (went before) me; In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry [did enter] into his ears.” (Note: It is worth reading all of Chapter 22 for more comparable insights, like in verses 16 and 17, “And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters;).

Note also the similarities between what we read in Jonah Chapter 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.” with Psalm 42:7, “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” as well as Psalm 69:1&2, “[[To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David.]] Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

Note also the similarity of Psalm 16:10 to Jonah 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.” Interestingly, in most reference Bibles, “many scholars and theologians” have highlighted this verse (usually marked with a star) as being “Messianic” (because “the verse embodies a prophetic reference to Christ”, which was confirmed in the New Testament by Peter at Pentacost), which would seem to at least suggest that those same scholars and theologians are in agreement that Jesus was in hell at some point. 

Crown of Thorns?

One additional note of interest from Jonah chapter 2 is where we read in the preceding verse, Jonah verse 5, we read “The waters compassed me about, [even] to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.”  The word weeds comes from the Hebrew word for “reeds” or “red” as in Red Sea, but isn’t it true that “weeds” can also be likened to thorns and thistles.  Therefore, couldn’t it be said that the weeds that were wrapped about the head of Jonah during his torment were similar to the crown of thorns placed around the head of Jesus during his torment?

Finally, we are reminded that Jesus, as He stood before John in the Book of Revelation, said in verse 1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Other Thoughts from Chapter 2

Jonah 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.

Matthew 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.”

Sacrifices of Thanksgiving Versus Lying Vanities

Jonah 2:8,  “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.”

Jeremiah 10:8 “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock (staff?, gallows?) [is] a doctrine of vanities.”

Jonah 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.

Hosea 14:2, “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.”

Isaiah 1:13, Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.”

Psalm 107:22, “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.”

Psalm 116:17, “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

Chapter 3: Preaching to the Gentile World

Jonah Chapter 2 ended with these words, “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry [land].” When we consider that Jonah’s 3 day sojourn in the great fish/whale was a typological representation or “sign” pointing to Jesus’s atoning sacrifice, Jonah’s exiting of the sea creature would have to represent Jesus’s resurrection. Jonah’s exit would also therefore presage the beginning of the New Testament era where the Gospel proceeds forth into the Gentile world.  Prior to Jonah, God never recorded one of His Prophets being sent to the Gentiles. But here we see it happening as a type of Jesus’s post-resurrection, when He “arose” as the “firstborn from the dead”(Colossians 1:18) and declared the Great Commission to His eleven disciples, as we read in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” While not exactly the same, there is nonetheless a clear corollary with what we next find in Jonah Chapter 3:1&2, “And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.” Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire and represented the center of the Gentile world of its day.

Upon his entry into Nineveh, Jonah (in verse 3:4) cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” Note two key things here, 1) There is only a pronouncement of judgment, without any mention of repentance or mercy, and 2) the timeframe given is forty days, and the number forty is always used in the Bible to signify a “testing period.” Israel was tested during Moses’s 40 days on Mount Sinai and Jesus was tempted in the wilderness sojourn for 40 days. And what do we see immediately after the pronouncement of judgment day for Nineveh?…a great conversion!  Verse 3:5 reads, “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” The people of Nineveh believed God and repented and humbled themselves in the hope that God might yet show them mercy.

We read more of the details in verses 6-9 where everyone in the kingdom of Nineveh, from the king to the nobles and below, humbled themselves before the God of the Bible, the God of all creation.  The humbling effort was manifest by the putting on sackcloth and sitting in ashes and proclaiming and observing a total fast that applied to all creatures in the kingdom in the hope that it might deter God’s wrath. “Who can tell [if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?”  Chapter 3 ends with,”And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.”

So because there was evidence of both conversion and repentance after hearing the word of God preached, Nineveh averted its declared Judgment Day.  Throughout the whole New Testament era, the Gentile world has similarly heard the Word of God preached to it from the prophets of God as typified by Jonah.  God uses the believers as His Ambassadors to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice to the whole wold, such that if anyone believes God (as He is revealed in the Bible) and is humbled and repentant for sins, and cries out to God for mercy and Salvation through Jesus Christ, he or she can escape God’s wrath on Judgment Day.

And, dear reader, please note how well the above harmonizes with the Word of God as scribed by the Apostle Paul to the Colossians in Colossians 1:21-29, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Chapter 4: God is Gracious and Merciful (and Completely Sovereign)

We learn in Jonah Chapter 4:1 that when Jonah saw how God spared Nineveh, “it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.”  It is difficult for this student of the Bible to see an allegorical “type” for Jesus in this reaction of Jonah, the man.  Nonetheless, the next verse tells us why Jonah is unhappy. It is because he “knew” that God was a “gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Jonah knew this because, being a prophet of God, that it is made clear in the scriptures as we read in Exodus 34:6 as God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,…” and Psalm 86:5, “For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.We also have this which was declared after Jonah by the prophet Joel in Chapter 2:13, “And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Next we see in verse 3 that Jonah would rather die than deal with the situation. We can only speculate on why Jonah was in such despair. One thing that we do know is that, approximately 120 years later, another king of Nineveh, Sennacherib, destroyed all but Jerusalem in Judah, during the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18 & 19, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36 &37). Whether or not this could have been foreseen by Jonah, we do not know.  However, roughly 150 years subsequent to Jonah, the prophet Nahum did pronounce a perpetual judgment against Nineveh that stands to this day. This is also consistent with the denouncement against Assyria as given in Isaiah 10:5-19.

As for wishing to die, Moses said something similar in Numbers 11:15, “And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”

Elijah the prophet also felt similarly when he was pursued by Jezebel as we read in 1 Kings 19:4, “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I [am] not better than my fathers.

 A lesson on God’s Magnificent Grace and Mercy

Jonah 4:5-11 provides us insights on how God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked as we are told in Ezekiel 33:11, “Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”  Psalm 34:18, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

God Alone is Sovereign Over His Creation 

Jonah 4:10, “Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither modest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:”

We can see that from the human, earthly, perspective, that Jonah was contending with God over the Administration of God’s Creation.  God used the gourd as an object lesson on His Sovereignty over His Creation. Jonah didn’t create the gourd, God did.  And God also had the power to keep it alive or kill it. 

We should also remember that God explicitly stated the following (via Moses in Deuteronomy 32:39-42 as part of what is referred to as the “Song of Moses”) where God makes clear that He is the only True God, and is completely Sovereign, and that He Alone has the power over life and death, and that goes beyond the physical, it includes eternal life in Heaven and eternal death in Hell:

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword (“Barak”, in the original Hebrew, please see: https://bereansearching.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/the-battle-of-armageddon-the-earthly-version-already-happened/), and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.”  For more on God’s Total Sovereignty please see: https://bereansearching.com/2015/12/28/the-real-inconvenient-truth-god-is-in-sovereign-and-in-charge-of-all-of-his-creation-this-universe-and-god-alone-determines-the-end-from-the-beginning-and-jesus-is-the-embodiment/

The Gourd Came and Went “In the Night”

Why did God mention “night” rather than day?  It is likely because if we go back to Genesis 12-5, we read that God equates the night with darkness (wherein is no light), “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”  The night came first, and there was no light until God sent it.

The people of Nineveh were in darkness (hence in the night).  They had not yet seen “The Light”.  They were typifying the world in darkness until a preacher (Jonah) came to them bringing the light. And when they heard the word of God and of God’s judgment about to come upon them, they believed God and exhibited signs of repentance.  But God established Nineveh as a physical “type”, which while only temporally and physically saved from destruction, allegorically represents those in the world who will be eternally spiritually saved through the hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught in Matthew 4:16 (referring to Himself as prophesied back in Isaiah 9:2), “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” The gourd also died in the night, as ultimately Nineveh, generations later, would as well be destroyed in the night (darkness), having never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God is Sovereign over His entire Creation.

Other thoughts on the “Night”

Psalm 90:4-6, “For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning [they are] like grass [which] groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.”

1 Thessalonians 5:7, “For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

Psalm 30:5,”For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

God Loves and Cares for His Creation 

Jonah 4:11, “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and [also] much cattle?

In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus taught us the following, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

We, by nature due to the original Sin of Adam, are enemies of God.  But God not only loves His enemies, He (as Jesus the Savior) voluntarily died for those of His enemies whom He chooses to save.   And let us also not forget, Psalm 50:10, “For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills.”

All that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, can say in response to the last verse of Jonah is what Jesus taught his disciples in Luke 11:12, “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”

Conclusion

             The big lesson of the book of Jonah is that God sent the prophet Jonah to the wicked city of Nineveh (typifying the world) to warn them of His impending judgment.  Although in the historical account, Jonah was acting rebelliously, he was nonetheless used by God to portray Jesus Who voluntarily left His Heavenly habitation and from the face of God the Father to come to this sin cursed earth to dwell among men, become the atoning sacrifice for the sins of God’s elect, and calm the raging sea of God’s wrath that would otherwise have destroyed them for their sins (and thereby reiterating what we read in Jonah 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.”  As a result of Jonah’s atonement and resurrection after three days (typifying that of Jesus (as “a sign”) according to Jesus’s own teaching), the people of Nineveh were able to hear the warning, repent of their evil ways, and cry out to God for mercy; and then God showed them mercy.  (Psalms 51:17, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” and God also tells us in Hosea 6:6, “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”)  However, if the people of Nineveh had not repented, then God would surely have destroyed them.  Now each of us, who hear the similar warning of the impending Judgment of God from God’s Word the Bible, are in the same position before God as were the people of Nineveh.  The big difference is that the next time, on Judgment Day, while God does promise to spare (from His just wrath) all individuals who repent and cry out to Him for mercy, His judgment on the rest of world will not be stayed.  Those remaining non-believers will end up in Hell forever as the just payment for their sins.  According to the Bible, Judgment Day is inevitable!  Regardless of how soon Judgment Day is for all of this creation, for any one individual it is actually only a heartbeat away (and therefore generally much sooner than anyone might think).

Today’s Application: Are You Ready?

            The Bible makes it clear that if God was willing to put His own Son through Hell to save a people for Himself, how much more would He be willing to send the wicked who reject Him to Hell for their sins (please see Romans 8:32).  Jesus is the only Way of escape from the just penalty for our sins. All other ways that man can devise will lead only to Hell.  Have you made peace with God through Jesus Christ? Please pray to God for mercy through Jesus Christ and He will show you mercy.

POSTSCRIPT #1:  Yet Another Proof: A Condensed Version of God’s Salvation Program Interwoven in the Book of Jonah

Please also note how in Jonah 1:5, “the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god;”.  They cried out to their false gods for salvation and found no help, but then in verse 9, Jonah witnessed to them about his God, the True God, the “LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry [land].“.  Then in Jonah 1:14 we read that they “cried unto the LORD” asking for mercy; and finally, after they cast Jonah into the sea (who in effect became their atoning sacrifice), “the sea ceased from her raging” (the demands of hell, according to the Law of God, were assuaged) in verse 16, “Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.”  In effect, these men were converted and received salvation from God.  Please, dear reader, do not miss the very important and unambiguous fact that no matter how hard the mariners tried to save themselves through their own efforts (by rowing or lightening the ship), or by crying out to their false gods (representing false religions), they remained doomed to a watery grave.  In the same way, mankind cannot hope for a moment to find salvation from God’s wrath and hell by doing “good works” or through faith in any other god, because “Salvation is of the Lord.”  (It should be noted here that this quote is taken verbatim from Jonah 2:9.) Salvation can only come through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  That ultimately is the essence of the book of Jonah.

POSTSCRIPT #2: It is now nearly nine years since this study was first posted.  Since then I have continued to see additional harmony with the rest of the Bible.  In just reading Psalm 88, it is clear that they Psalmist is describing a situation matching that of both Jonah (in the fish/whale) and Jesus (enduring God’s wrath in “Hell” beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane, as The Atoning Sacrifice for sin…culminating in the resurrection that was typified by the vomiting of Jonah out of the great fish/whale).

Psalm 88 starts with: “O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:”  and then goes on to read, “Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deepsThy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.”

The Psalm goes on to describe affliction and the forsaking of God (Reminding us of Psalms 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” and the corollary when Jesus cried out from the cross of sacrifice (see Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34), “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?“)

“Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about togetherLover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.”

POSTSCRIPT #3Jonah or Jesus?: Sleeping in a boat during a tempest, then arising when called, and being the means to calm the sea and wind to save the ship and all who were aboard it

There is at least one other interesting parallel between Jonah and Jesus that is worth an effort to compare and contrast. Let us first take a closer look at Jonah 2-16, and consider the account of Jonah going into a ship with other men with a tempest arising while Jonah slept and, when, once awakened by panic stricken companions (who were about to perish), he was able to provide the means to calm the wind and waves of the sea to save the ship and his companions who were aboard it.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah[1]. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

Now let us take a closer look at the account in the life of Jesus as recorded in both Mathew 8:23-27 and in Mark 4:35-41. There we read:

  “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

 “And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ship.  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?  And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

In both of these accounts in the lives of both Jonah and Jesus, we can see the supernatural actions taken by God to first bring a tempest against a ship in which both Jonah and Jesus were found to be sleeping by companions.  And once awakened, God intervened to stop the wind and waves from destroying the ships and thus saved the people aboard them.

In the first instance, we see that Jonah, who although a prophet of God, was still only a man and thus only a type of Jesus, having no power to directly stop the wind and waves himself, was nonetheless a prefigurement of Jesus (Who is also God) Who exercised His power over creation to directly stop the wind and waves to save the ship and all aboard it.

It should hopefully be clear from this comparison that God has provided us with another amazing example of how He uses types and figures in the Old Testament to point to the coming of Jesus in the New Testament.

[1]The “casting of lots” is a means that is used in the Bible to determine God’s Will as we read in Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

POSTSCRIPT #4: Parallels in Psalm 107

It is also interesting to note how the whole account in Jonah chapter 1 is also quite similar to what we find in Psalms 107:23-30.  “They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.


     * The chief scribes and Pharisees were specifically addressing Nicodemus, a fellow “man of the Pharisees,” “a ruler of the Jews,” but “who came to Jesus at night,” and who lastly gave evidence that he had become a believer in Christ.  Please see John 3:1, 7:50, and 19:39.

     ** In Luke 24:27, where we find Jesus searching out the scriptures for His disciples, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets (which would have included Jonah), he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

     *** From the Hebrew word “sheol,”H7585 which is the only word in the Old Testament that is translated as “hell” as we read in the following sample of verses: Deuteronomy 32:22, “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” Psalms 18:5, “The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented (went before) me.” Psalms 116:3, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.”  (Incidently please note the similarities in the language of the last two verses with what we find in Jonah 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.” and in Jonah 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.“)  Finally in Psalms 86:13, “For great [is] thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

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3 Comments on “A Christian Study of The Book of Jonah”


  1. I am amazed at searching the scripture how God the father explain his salvaton to all man kind.


  2. […] It should also be remembered that Jesus not only gave his life as “a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28), but He had to endure the wrath of God on behalf of all who would believe on Him because God’s justice demands that the penalty for the sins of the believers had to be paid in order to make their salvation possible. Jesus not only died for those whom He came to seek and to save, but He had to endure the equivalent of an eternity in hell for them (something which is humanly incomprehensible). For proof that this is the case, please see the study on Jonah: https://bereansearching.com/tag/jonah/ […]


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