The Fish’s Belly

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 cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

(Jonah 2:1-2) KJV

Jonah woke up in a dark, cramped, smelly, moist place not knowing where he was. He’d been resurrected after a harrowing experience in the interior of the Earth. That’s not the only thing that’s odd about this verse.

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.

(Matthew 12:40) KJV

In the book of Jonah it’s said that the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow him up. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus describes Jonah spending three days and three nights in the belly of a whale. Is this a problem?

Newer translations solve this by changing the word whale to great fish, but the most ardent Bible believers also believe that there are right Bibles and wrong Bibles, and they’re steadfast in their belief that the KJV is the inerrant word of God. How do we solve the apparent fish/whale contradiction for them? Spherogenetic systematics.

The apparent contradiction is only a problem in classification systems which are phylogenetic. A whale is a mammal and mammals aren’t fish. However, phylogenetic means “based on the passage of heritable traits to successive generations of offspring.” There were no successive generations of offspring during creation. God created by spheres of life, not genetic lineages.

The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.

(Ezekiel 38:20) ESV

In the case of Jonah’s fish/whale the resolution is very simple. It was both a fish and a whale. The broad divisions of the spherogenetic classification system are stated above by Ezekiel. Three major groupings are mentioned here which correspond to the three terrestrial spheres, and they’re in the correct sequence of creation:

  1. Hydrosphere
    • fishes of the sea (everything in the sea).
  2. Atmosphere
    • fowls of heaven (everything that flies).
  3. Biosphere
    • beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the Earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth.

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