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Saturday, February 16 2013

Jonah: Three Days And Three Nights

After the division of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah), Jonah was a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel (that later became the "lost ten tribes"; see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) at the time when the Assyrian Empire (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) was a growing threat to then-corrupt Israel. Jonah was sent to prophesy to the Assyrians, warning the Assyrians to repent, so that they would not be destroyed before their God-given task of destroying Israel, because of Israel's unfaithfulness to the LORD. Jonah naturally would rather have seen the Assyrians devastated because they were a growing threat to Israel (i.e. Jonah at first put his patriotism to Israel ahead of his patriotism to God - "patriotism" literally means loyalty to the father, which to a true Christian means to God The Father; hence also "king" was a term for the father of a kin, a family that had grown into a nation - the entire meaning of God the Father coming to the Kingdom of God; see The Church: Mission Accomplished), so Jonah (from the Hebrew name pronounced yo-naw, meaning a dove) attempted to flee on a ship from Joppa, today a part of Tel Aviv - and hence his famous encounter with a "great fish."

"1:1 Now the word of the LORD [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?] came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me." (Jonah 1:1-2 KJV)

The place name Tarshish is regarded as a Sanscrit or Aryan word, meaning the sea coast. It's unclear where that particular Tarshish was located, however it would seem obvious that it was neither in Israel (where Jonah already was) or Assyria/Babylon (i.e. Jonah was fleeing to Tarshish so that he wouldn't have to go to Nineveh in Assyria/Babylon).

Tel Aviv Coastline

"1:3 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." (Jonah 1:3 KJV)

The incident of Jonah and the "great fish," including the repentance of Nineveh thereafter, was used as the only "sign" of the Messiah: "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: 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. 12:41 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." (Matthew 12:39-41 KJV)

There were however other parallels. Compare The Messiah's "8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish" (Matthew 8:24-25 KJV) with Jonah's "1:5 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." (Jonah 1:5 KJV).

Another was Jonah's "1:14 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." (Jonah 1:14 KJV) and the Messiah's "27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that." (Matthew 27:3-4 KJV).

"1:4 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. 1:5 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. 1:6 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.

1:7 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.

1:8 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?

1:9 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 [again, see The Kingdom Of The LORD God].

1:10 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.

1:11 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.

1:12 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.

1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. 1:14 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. 1:15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

1:16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows." (Jonah 1:4-16 KJV)

Whatever the fish was, whether literal "great fish," or a submarine version of a "chariot of fire" such as had taken Elijah away, "Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

Jonah's Storm

"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." (Jonah 1:17 KJV)

More parallels between Jonah's three days and three nights, and the Messiah's three days and three nights in the Tomb (see also The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week):

"2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, 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. 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. 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?]: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. 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. 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land." (Jonah 2:1-10 KJV)

Jonah then obeyed the LORD. He went to Nineveh and succeeded in getting the city, of that time, to repent.

"3:1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 3:5 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.

3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 3:7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 3:9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

3:10 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." (Jonah 3:1-10 KJV)

Studies For The Book Of Jonah

Will Jesus Christ Obey Your Christian Religion?

Ahead Of The Prophet

Forward, Not Froward

Why Did The Sadducees Fear The Messiah?

The Old Testament Prophecies Of Christ's Return

The Four Winds

The Pilgrims

The Messiah's Teachings About Gates

Why Does Satan Hate Humility?

When Freedom Crosses The Line

As The Sand That Is On The Sea Shore

The Lessons Of The Loaves And Fishes

Fact Finder: What is the New Covenant? With whom did the LORD actually make it?
See Israel In History and Prophecy: The New Covenant


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This Day In History, February 16

116: Emperor Trajan sent laureatae to the Roman Senate at Rome for his victories over Parthia (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

374: The ninth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet occurred.

1349: Jews were expelled from Burgsdorf, Switzerland.

1559: Pope Paul IV called for the overthrow of any king who opposed the Church of Rome's doctrines (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1646: The Battle of Torrington in Devon; the last major battle of the First English Civil War.

1771: Astronomer Charles Messier presented his original list of 45 M-objects to the French Academy.

1808: France invaded Spain during the Peninsular War.

1918: Lithuania proclaimed its independence from Russia.

1923: Howard Carter unsealed the newly-discovered burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun (see also Ipuwer's Exodus).

1940: The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescued British seamen from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord.

1944: The Japanese naval base at Truk, Caroline Islands, was bombed by Allied aircraft, destroying 201 planes.

1948: "Miranda," a moon of the planet "Uranus," was photographed for the first time (while many scientists claim to reject religion, they nevertheless very often name heavenly objects after pagan gods e.g. Saturn, Uranus, Pluto).

1956: Britain abolished the death penalty.

1959: Fidel Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that ousted the C.I.A. and Mafia (the Cuba scenes in the "Godfather" movies are based on historical reality) backed dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Year's Day. The "out of the frying pan, into the fire" Cuban people went from being ruled by a fascist, U.S.-backed tyrant to a communist rebel.

1987: The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible" of the Treblinka death camp, began in Israel.

2005: The Kyoto Protocol came into force after its ratification by Russia.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank