Archaeology

Jonah — Everyone Says Yes

Everything says "Yes" to Jonah. Biology says "Yes." History says "Yes." Archaeology says "Yes," and God says "Yes."
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Jonah — Everyone Says Yes

Article#: 874

John 3:1-8:

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

This is the concept supreme of all time. This is man’s eternity-dictating decision. If this concept is a mystery to you or if you are aware of this eternally life-changing decision and have refused to follow, or once walked in but have turned away from this truth, click on to "Further With Jesus" while you still have time. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Jonah 1:15-17; 2:1-10:

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.

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.

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: 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 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.

MAN SAID:  It’s a nice kids’ story, but that’s all it is. This is just one more absurdity of the so-called Word of God.

Now THE RECORD. The world is filled with miracles that believers and non-believers experience on a regular basis. God continually interacts on behalf of the sons of men. For example:

1. God creates the heavens and the earth and all that in them is, in six literal days, just over 6,000 years ago.

2. In the days of Noah, because of man’s decadence, God destroys all that have the breath of life in their nostrils with a global flood. We have flood strata all over the globe that testifies of it.

3. The Scriptures record a plethora of miracles performed by God in the Old and New Testaments.

4. Through Christ’s saving blood, God performs the glorious life-transforming miracle of redemption—the born-again experience.

5. Then there are the miracles of the magnificent baptism in the Holy Ghost: casting out devils, speaking in tongues, laying hands on the sick, and more.

6. There are millions of personal testimonies worldwide of sundry miracles attributed to the hand of God.

7. Then there exists a host of angels here on this earth ministering unto believers concerning the issues of eternal life (Hebrews 1:13-14).

8. Finally, for example’s sake, Hebrews 13:2 reads:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

With a world full of miracles, why not one for Brother Jonah?

In regard to Jonah, it must be noted that Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe (Hebrews 1:2), fully believed and testified of the record of Jonah, comparing it to the three days He Himself would be in the tomb and His resurrection from the dead. Matthew 12:39-40:

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:

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.

It’s a shame someone didn’t tell the Christ, who was and is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, that Jonah was a fairy tale before He exposed His "ignorance."

Is the Bible correct? Could Jesus Christ be accurate? In the April 2005 issue of Smithsonian, in a story titled "Evolution on Trial," which was about the famous Dayton, Tennessee, Scopes trial that occurred in 1925, the author framed some of the cries of the Bible skeptics of that day. They challenged the time that the sun stood still in the days of Joshua and Hezekiah, and the idea that Jonah lived for three days in the belly of the whale. The skeptics continue to whine, but God’s Word continues to reign undefeated.

Part of the skeptics’ ridicule is focused on the idea that a whale’s throat would be too narrow to swallow a mature man. That is true in regard to the Blue, Gray, Humpback, and Bowhead whales, but not the Sperm whale. The following excerpt is from www.probe.org:

The Sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, adult males measuring over sixty feet in length (walk into your garage and multiply the length by four!). They are most prominent in the Pacific Ocean, but not unknown in the Atlantic and a favorite of Norwegian whalers. This whale’s diet consists of giant squid, large sea-bottom and mid-water sharks, skates, and fishes.The Sperm whale has a huge capacity in its gullet to store food. In his book, Sixty-Three Years of Engineering, Sir Francis Fox tells of a manager of a whaling station who indicates that the whale can "swallow lumps of food eight feet in diameter, and that in one of these whales they actually found ’the skeleton of a shark sixteen feet in length.’"

In the Daily Mail of December 14th, 1928, Mr. G. H. Henn, a resident of Birmingham, England recounted the following story:

"My own experience . . . about twenty-five years ago, when the carcass of a whale was displayed for a week on vacant land in Navigation Street, outside New Street station . . . I was one of twelve men, who went into its mouth, passed through its throat, and moved about in what was equivalent to a fair-sized room. Its throat was large enough to serve as a door. Obviously it would be quite easy for a whale of this kind to swallow a man."

This could only have been a sperm whale. On the coast of England, Mr. Frank Bullen in his book, The Cruise of the Cachalot (another name for the Sperm whale), notes that the sperm whale always ejects the contents of its stomach when dying. He himself witnessed such an incident and described the huge masses of regurgitated contents, estimating their size as about "eight feet by six feet into six feet, the total equal to the bodies of six stout men compressed into one!"

It is argued that Sperm whales are not found in the Mediterranean. But who is to say that was the case 2,800 years ago? There are a lot of marine creatures not found today due to the intense, world-wide fishing pressure of the past 300 years. If a Sperm whale beached itself on the west coast of England in this century, who’s to say a Sperm whale might not have found its way into the Mediterranean? We know all whales migrate toward warm water to bear their young. [End of quote]

G. C. Aalders, author of the 1946 book, The Problem of the Book of Jonah, refers to an article published in Bibliotheca Sacra, written by G. Macloskie. Macloskie points out that a whale is an air-breathing animal. After the whale has taken in a large draft of food it must expel the superfluous water immediately. All live air-breathing animals, or a man such as Jonah, would be able to breathe inside the whale’s belly. Macloskie also points out that a human being could exist inside the whale in another way and that is in the possibility that a man "might reach the great laryngeal pouch, which starts from below and in front of the larynx and runs down the front of the neck on to the chest. It has thick, elastic walls, and a cavity quite large enough to receive a human body, and to supply it with air for breathing. [End of quote]" Biology says "Yes" to Jonah.

God sent Jonah to the heathen city of Nineveh, which was the famous capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire, 280 miles north of Babylon and presently located in the country of Iraq. It was called the "Robber City" because it obtained its great riches by conquering its neighbors and claiming their wealth. The Word of God declares that because of the preaching of Jonah, this entire wicked city repented, from the king down. Jonah 3:5-10:

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.

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.

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:

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.

9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

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.

Does secular history record such an event? G. C. Aalders cites history reporting a sweeping religious reform in Nineveh at approximately the time of the preaching of Jonah. History records that the city turned monotheistic, which means they worshipped one God. These historians claim this one god was known by the Assyrians as Nebo, who was the one they claimed "invented the arts and sciences" and understood "all the mysteries connected with literature and the art of writing." The true God of creation, of course, created all such things and His national name in Scripture is Jehovah. He is actually known as the Word. John 1:1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Revelation 19:11-13:

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

History reports a city-wide turn to one God in the days of Jonah. History says "Yes" to Jonah.

The following excerpt is found in the archaeological supplement in the Thompson Chain Reference Bible: "Henry Austin Layard visited ruined Nineveh in 1845 and found the entire circuit of its walled area to be seven and one-half miles. Within the 1,800-acre enclosure were two mounds. The southern mound was one hundred feet high, covered forty acres, and was known by the natives as ‘Nebi Yunis,’ (the Prophet Jonah). The north mound was ninety feet high, covered one hundred acres, and was called ’Kuyunjik,’ (The Castle of Nineveh). [End of quote]"

The city had two colossal mounds: one in the south, known by the people of Nineveh as "Nebi Yunis" which means "the Prophet Jonah," and the mound in the north, known as "the Castle of Nineveh." Did a man named Jonah proclaim the Word of God in Nineveh? Does the history of Nineveh revere a man named Jonah? Archaeology says "Yes!"

I must also mention that in the beginning of the Jonah event, God had intervened supernaturally on his behalf. 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.

This special creature was marked by the thumb-print of God. Why not a miracle for Brother Jonah?

Everything says "Yes" to Jonah. Biology says "Yes." History says "Yes." Archaeology says "Yes," and God says "Yes."

GOD SAID, Jonah 1:15-17; 2:1-10:

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.

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.

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: 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 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.

MAN SAID: It’s a nice kids’ story, but that’s all it is. This is just one more absurdity of the so-called Word of God.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

King James Bible

Aalders, G.C., The Problem of the Book of Jonah, London: Tyndale Press, 1948

Morris & Clark, The Bible Has The Answer, Masterbooks, 2001, pp74-76

Thompson Chain Comprehensive Bible Helps, B.B. Kirkbride Bible Company, pp1778-1779

Williams, J., "Jonah in the Whale or Who Could Swallow That?" www.probe.org

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