Jonah’s encounter with the great fish

Recently we called attention to significant biblical events that took place at Joppa. One of these was the account of Jonah taking a ship for Tarshish from Joppa to avoid going to Nineveh (Jonah 1:3).

The folks at Joppa (Jaffa; Yafo) have not forgotten what happened to Jonah.

Visitors to Joppa (Jaffa; Yafo) are minded of the story of Jonah and the great fish. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Visitors to Joppa (Jaffa; Yafo) are reminded of the story of Jonah and the great fish.

The biblical account says,

And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 ESV)

The NET Bible uses the phrase huge fish.

The New Testament accounts of Jesus’ reference to this event use the phrase “great fish” or “sea monster” in Matthew 12:40 and Luke 11:29-30. Of the commonly used English versions, only the King James Version makes reference to a whale.

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40 ESV)

3 responses to “Jonah’s encounter with the great fish

  1. As you probably know the Hebrew term gadol is used fourteen times in Jonah. We have a “great city” (1:2; 3:2, 3; 4:11), a “great wind” (1:4), a “great storm” (1:4, 12), a “great fear” (1:10, 16), a “great fish” (1:17), a “great” or important person (3:5, 7), a “great displeasure” (4:1), and a “great happiness” (4:6.). So often tell my students that Jonah is a “great” book.

  2. And I call that a “great” comment. I can see the preachers copying it now.

  3. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival July 2016 | Reading Acts

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