JONAH AND THE WHALE
The story of Jonah is taken from the Book of Jonah from the But it is not written in the first person, but in the third person. So, it’s possible that someone else told Jonah’s story for him. However, most Biblical scholars attribute the Book of Jonah as being written by Jonah himself. The Book of Jonah is four short chapters in the Old Testament.
Jonah or Jonas is the name given in the Hebrew Bible to a prophet of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in about the century B.C. His parents were Amittai.
Jonah came from a town called Gath-Hepher, near Nazareth in the area that later came to be known as Galilee (II Kings 14:25). This made Jonah one of the few prophets who hailed from the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Jonah ministered during the reign of Jeroboam II in Israel (about 793-753 B.C.). Jonah correctly predicted that Jeroboam would regain lost territory East of the Kings Jeroboam’s reign ended about 30 years before Assyrian invaders wiped Israel off the political map and exiled the Jewish survivors.
Jonah’s story begins in the Northern Jewish nation of Israel. It continues on the Mediterranean Sea with a short, stormy cruise. And it ends after a thousand mile walk to Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire. Note: Asshur, second son of Shem and grandson of Noah, was founder of the Assyrians and builder of Nineveh. Nineveh’s ruins are near what is now then northern Iraqi town of Mosul. Nineveh was nestled along the banks of the Tigris River and was protected by nearly eight miles of walls.
In it says “The Assyrian capital is so large, that it took three days to see all.”. Nineveh was believed to have been the largest city in the world at the time of its demise, having a circumference of exactly “three days journey”, as recorded in Prior to its rediscovery in the mid 1800’s (1850), skeptics scoffed at the possibility of Nineveh ever existing altogether. Its rediscovery by archaeologists proved to be a remarkable vindication for the Bible, which mentions Nineveh by name 18 times and dedicates two entire books (Jonah and Nahum), to its fate. It’s also mentioned in the Book of Zephaniah The Book of Nahum is three short chapters in the Old Testament that tells in detail the ruin of Nineveh and God’s fearful vengeance. Just a generation later, after Jonah, God calls on Nahum to deliver Jonah’s message all over again. Within 50 years of his prophecy, Nineveh becomes a ghost town. The Babylonian Empire and the Medes attack and sack the Assyrian capital about 612 B.C. (which was 150 years after Jonah).
As for the whale, the Book of Jonah doesn’t actually specify what sort of marine animal swallowed Jonah, only that it was a great fish. In we see the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. However, in Jesus speaks and says, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly… .”.